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  1. #1
    jp80874's Avatar
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    Fixer spills clean up questions

    She who must be obeyed says I ought to clean up after myself at least every five years.

    What are good cleaning materials to remove spilled Ilford Hypan (fixer) from non porous and porous surfaces? The cleaners should be available in stores in NE Ohio, USA or online. I built this 11x13 foot darkroom in the basement five years ago and there is an accumulation of occasional spills that have left fixer smells creeping out into the rest of the house when the exhaust fans are not running. I could close the door, but in basements that often leads to moldy rooms. Non porous surfaces: Rubber Maid cart, plastic and stainless trays, one gallon hard plastic bottles used to transport old fixer to desilvering process at school, painted table top supporting print washers, eight foot stainless sink. Porous surfaces: concrete floor and particle board shelf under eight foot stainless sink.

    A slightly more specific application is the two large stainless trays that I use once in a while for 20x24 inch prints. Is there a cleaner I can use that will not leave a residue that will create a problem when fresh fixer is used in these trays again?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    John Powers

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    23mjm's Avatar
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    Well Simple Green seams to clean all. But in the future I would clean all spills up right away.

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    I usually use water with a sponge, but it works best when the spills are fresh. For older spills you might need a cleanser/scouring powder like Bon Ami or similar, if a general purpose cleaner doesn't do it. Water and a scotch-bright pad should work too.

    The presence or not, of little spots of crystalized fixer is an indication of how thorough a darkroom worker is at clean up

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    correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the dust created by dried fixer quite unhealthy to breath?
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

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    jp80874's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdial View Post
    ....The presence or not, of little spots of crystalized fixer is an indication of how thorough a darkroom worker is at clean up

    This is more a lingering smell. I must have cleaned the crystals at the time.

    John

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    John your darkroom is 5years of hypo spills and mine is only 2years of spills,plus mines in the garage which will probable give me another two years ,so that's another 5yrs before I have to do something or move.In the mean time I'll just monitor this post for any good ideas!

    Mike

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    I second the recommendation to be sure you have cleaned up all of fixer spills at the time they happen. Once the liquid dries to powder it can blow around the darkroom and cause spots. I use paper towels, so that I can throw them away. And for the same reason, I never dry my hands on a regular towel after they have been in fixer—I don't want the towel to be contaminated.

    For cleanup I always use Formula 409, just because it is easily available. As for fixer odors, how about switching to a fixer that smells better? That might at least help prevent your problem from getting worse.
    Charles Hohenstein

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    Just had a thought,I've have a porous concrete floor and was thinking of coating it with a epoxy floor paint. All it would need is a wet mop for clean up. the sink is stainless and is wiped down after each use.

    Mike

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    jp80874's Avatar
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    I can't turn back the clock five years. If I could I would fix a lot of things like investments and diet before I got around to fixer spills. The 409 suggestion helps. Any other suggestions? Chazzy, what fixer would you suggest for less smell? I know there have been threads on this, but what is your thought? Unfortunately I have two five liter jugs of Hypan, one sealed and one just opened, that would be $70+ waste if I make that change.

    There are a couple of trays for 20x24 inch prints used last week that have crystals. Everything else is clean to my sight, but still has odors. I have used throw away paper towels in abundance rather than cloth reused towels and I think it may show in the lack of crystals. I vacuum with a dust sucking Electrolux canister vacuum to eliminate dust on negatives. Hopefully that has picked up some of the fixer dust. What else do you suggest?

    I had wanted to seal the floor when I built the room. This is a second marriage and that was the corner of the basement I could have. The drain is at the other end, down a very low grade. The floor sealant instructions required several whole floor washes, something you can't do without a drain. Not perfect conditions, but it was this or no darkroom. More ideas please.

    John

  10. #10
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    I use Ilford Rapid Fixer, and don't notice the odor. But I thought that I remembered odorless fixers on the Freestyle website, and I was right:

    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/c303-B...emicals-Fixers

    They sell both Arista and Clayton odorless fixers, but I haven't tried them. Does someone reading this thread have experience with them?
    Charles Hohenstein

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