Are Brown storage jugs a thing of the past?

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Charles Webb

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I have really enjoyed the "Darkroom Portrait" thread, but have perhaps a dumb question. I notice that few if any are storing chemicals in the old brown jugs/bottles. For many years I have used and stored my developers etc. in brown containers as I somehow came to believe that they were sensitive to long exposure to light. The great yellow "God" in Rochester even shipped many of their chemicals in brown glass. So I guess I am a bit surprised
to see so many clear or opal plastic jugs/containers in everyones darkrooms.

Is it a myth that developers and some chemicals need to be stored in dark container? I have always stored my chemicals right in the darkroom, so they are actually not exposed for long periods to sunlight or other light. But I have continued to use brown glass and plastic containers. Can someone bring me up to date on storage containers? I find it very difficult in my location to find the new plastic brown 1 gal jugs. Am very interested in your comments!
 

SchwinnParamount

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I'd say its much more important to store chemicals that oxidize such as developers in airtight containers that collapse to the level of the liquid. I bet a clear glass bottle that is filled to the cap will last longer than a half full dark brown bottle. Still, I keep my chemicals in the darkroom which is dark most of the time anyway. My experience then, might be less germain to your question.
 

Bob F.

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I note that Ilford liquid developers come in translucent white containers, as does Rodinal. Paterson ones are in translucent red... Other than that, I can't say, but it seems likely that many at least are not very sensitive to light.
 

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I still use brown glass as well as nitrogen... Most of the chemicals I use are still sensitive to light and oxygen... The Kodak E6 so sensitive and short lived that I don't use brown, but do nitrogen...
 

Ed Sukach

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One part of Tetenal CN-2 comes in an honest-to-goodness brown GLASS bottle, apparently 250ml . I'm saving these puppies.

I've found that I can develop two (2) rolls of 120 at a time in 250 ml of chemicals - although JOBO says 270 ml - with *no* problems. Just enough for one 1500 series tank load .. and 1 liter of chemicals will be sufficient for eight rolls of film. So now, mix one liter, decant into (4) 250 ml bottles, and use one bottle for each load. Cover each with a shot of butane from my Bernz-O-Matic torch and Iamb done.
 
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Not in my darkroom they arent a thing of the past!

I store my mixed chemicals (ilford PQ, ilfostop, ilford rapid fix) for printing for the week in 1 liter brown plastic bottles. The purchase of this type of bottle is mostly due to them being very cheap at my local shop, and they are a great size to fill up one tray (as well as it is the only type of plastic jug they sell).

I keep my bigger quantities of chems (usually rapid fix at 1:4 and film developers) in 5 gallon white plastic translucent tanks with spiggots and floating lids for 'longterm' storage, as needed I will fill up a liter with fix for the week from the large container into one of the smaller brown bottles. If I am printing fiber I use the fix straight from the large container at 1:4 if I am using RC I dilute 1:9 and store in a 1 liter brown bottle. I generally mix my paper developer from fresh concentrate stored in Ilfords white 1 liter PQ bottle then move the working solution into a brown bottle.

This method seems to work fine for me! My working chemicals stay in the brown bottles all week, yet the large containers exposed to light will stick around for 2 months or more... I havnt had any problems with anything losing its shine over time. At least, no problem I could blame on light! (accidently dumping used developer into the wrong container! or foolishly putting fix into the developer is always fun!)

I would think it would be a bigger hassle for me to use 1 gallon 'jug' containers for larger quanities as well as lacking the floating lid and ease of the spiggot it just wouldnt work out for my habits... Though Im sure if I printed anything larger than 8x10 I would eventually use 1 gallon containers to store my 'mixed chems for the week'.

I've never made the choice of my containers based upon their possibility to transmit light (I used to keep my chemicals in crystal clear storage containers!).
 
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Thomas Wagner

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My local supplier suggested green bottles AKA gallon wine jugs years ago. Have been keeping chemicals in them and had no problems. But, my chemicals get used pretty rapidly and I never mix anything more than a gallon at a time. Also, not using anything exotic.

Tom
 

dancqu

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Amber Boston Rounds to 1 liter and a 1 gallon amber jug
are available from www.tri-esssciences.com. Thay have
a big selection of containers and much other; a nice
selection of caps and lids. Dan
 

jovo

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dancqu said:
Amber Boston Rounds to 1 liter and a 1 gallon amber jug
are available from www.tri-esssciences.com. Thay have
a big selection of containers and much other; a nice
selection of caps and lids. Dan

I went to the linked site and found that tri-ess is going out of business for the expressed reason that there isn't enough demand for their wares. Since they seem to supply materials for a wide variety of purposes as well as photography, it's a real shame that they can't continue. Progress marches on....dammit!!
 

dancqu

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jovo said:
I went to the linked site and found that tri-ess is going
out of business for the expressed reason that there isn't
enough demand for their wares.

That's BAD news. Their wares are their strength and
weakness. For example, they have a very large selection
of containers of many descriptions but in my mind do not
offer a good looking, quality, scale; Ohaus oddballs.

Also if IIRC, their microscope selection is not of the
general appeal it could be.

Their amber and clear boston rounds with the screw-in
cork polyseal or polycone caps are just the thing. They offer
a good selection of CAPS in many sizes.

I've an order shapping up for them. Maybe I can talk them
out of shutting down. Perhaps they should play eBay. An hours
drive from my Willamette Valley location, Springfield Scietific closed
shop. Photo-Lab supply sources are drying up. Well their's always
spoons and recycled tonic water bottles. Dan
 

juan

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I suspect the chemicals were shipped from the manufacturer in light reducing containers because the containers would likely sit on an open shelf at the dealers'. I think that keeping the chemicals in a cabinet would protect them from light regardless of the type of container.

From my personal experience, not a scientific test, I have come to believe that a glass container keeps chemicals longer than a plastic one, even if not full. I've read that many kinds of plastic will breathe oxygen, and since the outside surface of the container is relatively large, it allows chemicals to oxidize more rapidly.
juan
 

Bob F.

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I use plastic fizzy drink bottles on the basis that if they keep CO2 in, they should keep O2 out (even allowing that the CO2 molecule is larger than the O2 one...). However, a lot of air is diffused in the water anyway (about 5mg per litre in houshold drinking water) so it seems you are locking the enemy in there with the chemicals anyway....
 

rjs003

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I use white plastic jugs for chemical storage. When not in use the jugs are stored in a closed cabinet; which means light can't get to the jugs. So far no problems doing this and it is cheap and I'm recycling.
 
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