Does Photo Flo Expire?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by willscarlett, May 15, 2020.

  1. I may be answering my own question here, but I'm wondering if photo flo expires. I've been processing at home since 2010 and still have the same bottle that I opened on day 1. However, for a while, there have been drying marks on my film, even tho I've been using photo flo. So, I bought a new bottle and the one roll I've developed since then has no drying marks.
     
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  2. SCL

    SCL

    Mine is older than yours, but not having any problems...maybe yours had too much room in the bottle exposing it to air over the years. You can always substitute dish detergent in a pinch.
     
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  3. I bought a bottle when I started doing my own developing in 2006 and have barely used even a noticeable amount out of it. In fact, I think I used more back a few years ago when I was playing with blending fountain pen inks(it's often recommended to add to make an ink feel more "lubricated"-or have a smoother feel on the nib) than I have processing film.

    In any case, the stock solution shows no perceptible issues from my perspective. The working wash needs to be discarded if not used in a few weeks in my experience as it tends to grow mold, but the little bottle of concentrate just keeps on going.
     
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  4. Never seen it go bad and mine is probably at least 20 years old.
     
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  5. AJG

    AJG

    I too have used bottles over a long period of time (5+ years) without any issues. What are you mixing it with? Maybe it is your water supply rather than the PhotoFlo.
     
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  6. My 10-year-old bottle still is good, but it does 'run out' eventually.:rolleyes:
     
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  7. Anyone want to comment: Until about two months ago, I have never seen lite, feathery drying marks on my film after using Photo Flo & a DI "mist spray" since the late 80's. Suddenly, the marks were there. Putting the little grey cells into action, I realized the DI was being delivered in #1 PET containers, vrs the "old fashion" milk jug #2 HDPE plastic. Switched back to the #2 plastic and....Dry marks are all gone ! Any chemist around on this "bit" ??
     
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  8. Best guess would be that the PET had a plasticizer that would at least disperse if not dissolve in the DI water and then end up as a deposit on your film. Presumably whatever was in the HDPE didn't do that.

    DI water can be a bit funny in what it is capable of dissolving. Our system at work(which was installed by a since-deceased person in the department) is all done with HDPE tubing, and some back of the envelope math tells me that it should be right at 3/4 miles of tubing give or a few hundred feet. That delivers "standard quality" 1MΩ/cm(generated by ion exchange resins from tap water, and also hit with a germicidal lamp and filtered). The one 18MΩ/cm system I look after(ultra high purity, aka "nanopure") is fed the "house" DI water and steps it down via ion exchange plus activated carbon and physical bacteria filters. Things like the filter cartridges are made of HDPE, while a lot of the plumbing on the system is PTFE.
     
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  9. You will find expiration dates on bottles of water.

    I have not known Photo-Flo to go bad.

    Normally you can feel the slipperiness of it, which means it is doing what it is
    supposed to do. That is, reduce surface tension. If it isn't slippery, don't use it.

    One thing I learned somewhere along the way, is not to use it too concentrated.

    It used to come in 4oz glass bottles, with, I always believed, about a 1ml cap.

    The current bottles have a much larger cap.
     
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  10. I am not sure how others do it, but when I am ready, I mix (close to) 1ml with the about 240ml
    of water in the tank. I have never mixed up a large bottle with it.

    By the way, there used to be a Photo-Flo 2100, which is diluted 1:2100,
    and only comes in gallon bottles.
     
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  11. It may be the water supply. We have a water softener in the house, but I just developed a bunch of Rollei Retro 80S, and all the rolls suffer from those blank dots, which is apparently an iron complex that is formed when there are too many minerals in the water. I ran into that issue once many years ago with Rollei ATP, and the workaround is to use distilled water. I also recently did shoot some ATP and used distilled water, but have yet to scan it, so I'm not sure if those rolls have the black dots as well. But, this is the topic for a future post.
     
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  12. I believe I just have the Kodak concentrate that you mix up by adding 1 mL to 200 mL of water. Maybe too much air got in, maybe it's the plastic bottle, or maybe it's the water.
     
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  13. Is there an "expired" date on the bottle ? Mine has "Exp: 2016/18" but it's still working ok. Water marks could be from a mixer that's too weak, or drying the film too quickly. For water I use is demineralized water I buy at the local car accessory/parts shop, it's battery water, batteries hate minerals and contaminates. A 200:1 mixture is supposed to be "one-shot", used once then discarded, but I've used the same mixture twice for two nights running and then discarded it. It can be more economical that way if you have more than one film to develop, that is if you're doing the films one at a time. Another requirement I've found is that's fairly important is to calculate accurately the 200:1 for all the different quantities for different size films. You can of course mix just one quantity for a tray and slide the film through it. I sometimes do it that way, and sometimes pour it into the tank without the top on and agitate for a minute using the twiddle stick. Whichever way it's done, tank or tray, the 200:1 ratio for different film sizes, still needs to be pretty accurate. I use a syringe to measure out the PhotoFlow after calculating the quantity needed.
     
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  14. Update: While rummaging under the sink where the various developing chems are keep (No kids here), I noticed that the "master" bottle (2011 purchase) of my photo-flo had "gunk" at the bottom similar to what I see during beer brewing. I put this mix thru a coffee filter just in case. What's in your Bottle ?? Aloha, Bill
     
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