Originally Posted by Mick Fagan
Vanbar have a new outlet in North Melbourne. Bulk chemicals are there, but not on display. Check their prices at
Best to phone and place an order, and go in when you have confirmed availability., since they don't have every chemical in every size on the shelf. Quantities are made up one day a week, I think currently on Wednesdays, by Mario.
Pricewise, they are good on some things, a bit expensive for others, but it depends on quantities. If you can store 25kg bags of hypo, sodium sulphite, etc, then many chemical suppliers have these in technical (industrial) grades, not super pure. Price depends on purity. Price usually includes delivery, so if you ask for their best price if you pick up, it can be much cheaper.
I buy from various chemical suppliers for 25kg bags, e.g. sodium sulphite. I priced hypo at Vival at Laverton and Spectrum (distributor for Orica) last year- don't have the figure, but it was cheap. Purity specs available and seemed ok. Sometimes 99% pure and 97% pure are photographically equivalent if the main impurity is something benign, like sodium sulphAte in sodium sulphite. I guess generally the main impurities to look out for are metals.
Then there are Ajax and Merck Australia, but they are very expensive. They will sell to us, but Sigma will not, which is a pity since they have lots of nice stuff at (comparatively) low prices.