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  1. #1

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    Detergent Containters for Chemicals?

    Is there a reason not to use laundry detergent containers is they are throughly cleaned for darkroom chemicals? Some of those large ones that sit on the shelf with the push pour spot seem like they would do nicely. What do you think?

  2. #2
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    I don't know that I would trust them, even if washed out throughly, all plastics absorb what ever they contain, I would not take the chance with my chems, I don't mix chem bottles either, it starts out for one thing and that is what I continue to use it for until I replace it.

    R.

  3. #3
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    I'll second that -- I don't know how you'd go about verifying the original detergent was completely removed. In addition, the plastics used are usually less desirable in terms of permeability; they're usually LDPE or HDPE, which are more permeable than PET.

    I use glass jars with cam-lock, rubber sealed lids that originally held pickles, jalapeno slices, relish, and so forth. They're clear, but they're glass, and they're free (since I'm eating the original contents anyway). A trip through the dishwasher, and they're ready for chemicals -- sometimes the machine even takes the labels off.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

  4. #4

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    www.usplastic.com has all sorts of plastic containers..
    The kind with spigots too. Their prices are, well.. pricey I think but they have the biggest selection I have seen.

    I agree with both posters above. I used to drink a lot, and would use empty Jim Beam bottles for chemicals. Those glass handled bottles are great.
    Now that I don't drink so much, it's back to 1gal. juice containers

  5. #5

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    Donald and Phillip hit the nail on the head.
    Try to look for glass bottles in all the wrong places. For instance, I asked my local apple cider guy if he had any old glass laying about (now uses plastic). I ended up with 12 old smoked glass 1 gallon jugs he had stashed in his barn. Farmers don't toss anything out.

    Mike

  6. #6

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    I use enough of liquid chemicals (from developer to hypo-clear/wash-aid), and I have some empty plastic bottles sitting around in my darkroom.

    They can take 1 liter each and are good for storing used chemicals for 8x10" prints.

    The thing is, until I thought about the reuse of these bottles, I was always throwing them away.

  7. #7
    juan's Avatar
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    I've used some of the detergent bottles for short term storage with no apparent ill effects. First, I washed them throughly, then filled them with water and let them sit for a week to soak out the detergent. I now use them for storage of fixer or toner that I will be using over the course of a few days. Anything I store longer I put in glass.

    I think the detergent has washed out - and if it hasn't, I doubt the small amount remaining would hurt. But I agree that the type of plastic is not condusive to long term storage, and I would not use them for developer.
    juan

  8. #8
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    My T-Max developer working solution is stored in a plastic soft drink bottle, and is good after months at room temperature. Diluted stop bath is stored (appropriately) in an old glacial acetic acid jug. The big jugs for Kodak Rapid Fixer concentrate are great for working solutions of fixer. Long ago I used milk jugs, but they are too fragile. Windshield washer fluid jugs were better. I do have some nice brown glass bottles with plastic caps that originally held enbalming fluid, but the plastic jugs are lighter.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roxi331
    I don't know that I would trust them, even if washed out throughly, all plastics absorb what ever they contain, [...]
    I would wash them out with a little detergent first before I use them.

  10. #10

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    I have used detergent bottles with the tops cut off and handles left on for mixing chemicals for years, with no apparent ill effects. I agree there are much better ways to store chemicals. I now use one liter wide-mouth pop bottles for developer, so I can squeeze the air out.

    Wayne

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