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  #1  
Old 7th April 2021, 11:49 AM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Default Is deposited sulphur okay in a fixer bottle?

Okay, I've asked in a previous post, about how to remove sulphur that has deposited itself in two of my plastic (made to hold chemicals) bottles:

http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.or...ulphur+bottles

I've tried the numerous ways from suggestions on here and from searching the web, but nothing seems to remove it.

One litre bottle is about half full, with full strength fixer in it, and has a deposit of sulphur, covering the base and about the bottom inch of the bottle.

The second litre bottle is empty and somehow has a deposit of about an inch at the top of the bottle.

Q1. Is it okay to use the fixer left in the one bottle for either film or prints, at their required dilutions?

Q2. Can I use both bottles to decant fresh fixer from a 5 litre container of new fixer into them or will the sulphur cause more sulphur from the new fixer to collect on the sulphur already there?

Q3. Is it worth reinvesting in some new 1 litre glass bottles or do they also have this problem of sulphur deposits over time?

Terry S
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Old 7th April 2021, 03:18 PM
John King John King is offline
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Depending on how thick the plastic is, but there are a couple of things you could try. Use a normal household bleach at a 1 to 1 dilution in a half full bottle. Give it a good shake and leave it over night.

Or

Put a tablespoonful of small pebbles in the bottle about 1/4 full water and give it a prolonged shake and if the sulphur is that thick it will shift most of it.

Glass bottles do not usually hang onto any solids in the chemicals so for long term use it may be worth it.
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Old 7th April 2021, 03:36 PM
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Martin Aislabie Martin Aislabie is offline
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Hi Terry

When I was faced with a similar problem I used the remaining fixer - but only to half its recommended fixing capacity - then chucked it.

I then chucked the contaminated containers as well.

I never found anything that would remove/dislodge the sulphur.

Personally, I'm not a great fan of glass bottles as I've stand in my darkroom in just socks and don't fancy finding shards of glass the painful way.

I drink Tesco Finest Orange Juice which comes in nice thick walls PET litre bottles - which after I have drunk the orange juice I us for neat fixer.
When I need to break in to the next whole litre bottle I decant in to two half litre bottles and use Tetenal Protectan to dispel any air from the residual space.

I also filter all my new fixer using a Paterson Filter to remove the white/grey precipitate which occurs at the bottom of every box of fixer that I have ever bought, however fresh the new bottle of fixer is.

Hope this helps

Martin
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Old 7th April 2021, 03:37 PM
Svend Svend is offline
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Terry, did you try full strength bleach? I had some badly stained plastic bottles and it took about 2 to 3 days with undiluted bleach to get the fixer residue cleaned out. It did work in the end, but just needed time is all. If you're not in a hurry to put the bottles back into service, why not try it? Bleach is cheap.

Hope you get them cleaned out.
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Old 7th April 2021, 04:03 PM
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photomi7ch photomi7ch is offline
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Have you tried boiling water if you do do it out side.
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Old 8th April 2021, 12:03 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Thanks for all the replies everyone.

Yes, I've not long tried full strength bleach for a good number of days, and as far as I can tell, none of the sulphur was removed.

I also tried last night, shaking for a good length of time, some pea shingle in the bottle with water last night. This dislodged a very small amount of the sulphur deposit.

I'll try the boiling water next - outdoors as recommended.

As no one is sure and searches on the web don't give an answer about long term problems with sulphur deposits, I think that I will buy half a dozen brown 1 litre bottles to try out, and then dispose of the two plastic bottles to be on the safe side.

And finally, I always have footwear on in the darkroom, so no worries there Martin.

Thanks for all your help.

Terry S
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Old 8th April 2021, 12:19 PM
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Martin Aislabie Martin Aislabie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photomi7ch View Post
Have you tried boiling water if you do do it out side.
Look at what sort of material your bottles are made of before you try boiling water.

PET bottles (labelled No1) will shrivel up under boiling water.

HDPE bottles (No2) might be OK - it depends on what grade of HDPE the bottles were made from.

Martin
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Old 8th April 2021, 12:21 PM
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Uwe Pilz Uwe Pilz is offline
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If there is sulphur, parts of the thiosulfate are degraded to Sulfit. This gives a brownish colloid in the fixer when used. Later is coagulates to some kind of dark mud. You may decant this form time to time.

I would use / have used such fixer only for paper and only if sulphur amount is not too large.
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Old 8th April 2021, 01:05 PM
Svend Svend is offline
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Terry,

A quick web search turned up this little bit of info:

"Sulfur, particularly in its S8 form, is insoluble in water but dissolves in carbon disulfide, anhydrous liquid ammonia and methylene iodide. It is moderately soluble in benzene, toluene, chloroform and acetone, its solubility increasing with temperature. Solid polymeric sulfur is practically insoluble in all solvents."

I'm no chemist, so have no idea if the last sentence is applicable to your stuff. But I suppose it can't hurt to go to the cleaning section of your local supermarket and get a cheap bottle of ammonia and try it for a few days. Worth the experiment?
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Old 8th April 2021, 01:34 PM
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I use old dish scrubbers. Here in Canada they can be had as 3x4 inch sheets of green fibrous stuff. a 3M scotch-brite scouring pad. after they have been used a while they get quite floppy and can be inserted through any bottle opening. A chopstick can be used quite successfully to move it around inside( or a old and discarded laparoscopic forceps )
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