Washing Fiber Based Prints

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by wjk, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. wjk

    wjk TPF Noob!

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    Hello all-compliments on a great forum. My question is on washing fiber-based prints---I'd prefer not to use a hypo-clearing agent (though I've used Perma-Wash in the past)---any advice on techniques and times to wash my prints? (I do not have an archival washer). Thanks!
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    If you are using typical fixers without hypo-clear, you are looking at wash times of 1 hour plus. You can get a testing agent that will tell you if your prints still contain fixer, and determine exactly how long you need to wash for.

    Washing fixer from a print has more to do with a leeching process than running water. So soaking your prints in water that's changed for fresh every ten minutes or so is probably just as good as the several hundred dollar archival washers. I started researching these methods because my washer can only handle 11"x14" prints, and I couldn't afford a larger washer. Do some google searches, and I'm sure you'll find the same articles I did.

    I've also switched to using TF-4 for fixer. It's alkaline instead of acid. The manufacturer recommends no acid stop bath, no hypo-clear, and 30 min wash times for FB. I've been using it for about five years now, and really like it. You can get it at The Photographers' Formulary and Freestyle.
     
  3. ladyphotog

    ladyphotog TPF Noob!

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    Why do you not want to use hypo? I usually wash for about 30-45 minutes after hypo. I would imagine you would need to double or triple that with no hypo. You also won't have the stablizing effects of the hypo.
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    It's just semantics, but in case a newbie is reading, "hypo" is another word for the fixer (at least the sodium thiosulate varieties). Hypo-clear eliminates the hypo. Refering to hypo-clear as hypo could be confusing.
     
  5. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've done it myself in conversation while printing at home, and even though my husband knows what I mean, he has had correct me more than once. :blushing: It is hypo-clear.

    I also use plain sodium thiosulfate crystals as a fixing agent when I prepare bromoil prints and refer to it as "plain hypo", so prattling about hypo (crystals) and then hypo (clearing agent) is pretty sloppy of me. :mrgreen:
     
  6. wjk

    wjk TPF Noob!

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    Does TF-4 have an odor (any more than "standard hypo" ) and are there any health or disposal issues with TF-4 more so than "standard hypo?"
     
  7. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    It may stink worse! Like ammonia. The disposal issues are the same. Most labs have fixer filters that remove the silver from spent fixer. I take my spent fixer to the local full service lab, and they dispose of it for me. They get paid for the silver they collect, so they usually don't mind.
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I do it too. I know what people mean when they say it, but a newbie might not. It's sort of like calling "paint thinner" paint, or "grease remover" grease. :)
     
  9. ladyphotog

    ladyphotog TPF Noob!

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    You are right, I apologize for confusing anyone. I was speaking of hypo-clear when I said hypo. I should have realized that it could have been confused as to what I was talking about. Thanks for the reminder.
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    No problem. Thanks for not thinking I was trying to be a jerk. :)
     
  11. Philip Weir

    Philip Weir TPF Noob!

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    I must agree with "ladyphotog" Why do you not want to use hypo [hypo clear]. I may not want to use soap when I wash, but believe me, it helps. I always hypo for fixing with sodium metabisulphite as an hardening agent, but always used a hypo clearing agent if I wanted the prints to last. In Australia, we also have to consider the water restrictions, we don't have enough of the clear stuff.
     
  12. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm wondering the same. I always used Perma Wash. The prints I made more than 30 years ago look as good as the day I made them.


    Pete

    P.S. In the early days, I used Kodak's hypo clearing agent
     

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