I have posted this so many times, here and on PN, I must have used a gig of storage for the reply, so here goes again!

Do you need to stabilize color film, or can you wash after stabilization or can you use any stabilzer for color film... Etc.. Any statement about E6 and C41 stabilzers are in question here due to a change in the processes a few years back.

At one time, Formaldehyde was needed to stabilize the magenta dye in C-41 and E-6 films. This prevented dye fade during dark keeping and growth of an orange color to the film. The problem had been solved for color paper in the 60s, but film still had a lingering problem. In addition, color films needed a bacteriostat and fungicide to prevent deterioration and formaldehyde served this purpose too.

Well, along comes about 2002 and Kodak and Fuji finally solve the problem. Kodak and Fuji use a special bisulfite/formalin material in the E-6 pre bleach and then use a proprietary bacteriostat/fungicide in the stabilzer.

For C-41, the solution involved new couplers which require no formalin at all, just the bacteriostat/fungicide in the stabilzer.

These stabilizers are now called "final rinses" and they mean just that. You must NOT rinse the film after this final rinse. But it has other implications as well. The old stabilzers can be used with modern films, but the new final rinses CANNOT be used with the older films, say pre 2002........ So, this is a caution.

Now, why does color film need a bacteriostat or fungicide. Well, for 2 reasons. First, the color products are loaded with tasty organic chemicals that the bugs love to eat, and second, finely divided silver is an excellent bacteriostat / fungicide all on its own. And, there is none in color film. It is all bleached and fixed out. B&W film still contains silver metal and is much more resistant to bugs.

So, there it is, a complete explanation!

And yes, Photo Flo is present in the final rinse, and NO in 50 years of use of Stabilzers and Final Rinses, I have never had it gum up my processing reels or tanks. But then, I wash them in hot water after every use!