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chemicals in the fridge

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by Ian_the_framer, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. Is it advisable to store chemicals in the fridge, and is it bad for any?

  2. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    In general I'd expect it to be OK, but I remember being told that spots on a B&W film I developed just after starting (in the 1950s) were caused by one of the developing agents crystallising out, and not re-dissolving in the working developer. At this distance in time, I can't remember whether it was the hydroquinone or the metol. Acetic acid, (once) widely used very dilute as a stop bath, is also available as a concentrate, "glacial" at close to 100%, and I'd expect this to crystallise, hence the description, if stored in a modern fridge. I think the real problem is oxidation of dilute developers, and oxygen displacement sprays are available.
  3. Manofolympus

    Manofolympus Well-Known Member

    I have never done this so I couldn't say whether any ill effects would ensue-but I would be a little worried about things crystallising out especially in developers. Exposure to air (oxygen) and light are the main causes of chemicals "going off", so storage in a cupboard should be sufficient-just avoid extremes of heat.
  4. zx9

    zx9 Well-Known Member

    My darkroom is in a partially converted loft, insulated and plaster boarded out but there is no heating so in the winter it gets very cold and in the summer it can get very hot. My B&W chemicals are kept in a cupboard up there so experience vast changes in temperature through out the year with out any noticeable effect. As said previously in this thread, exposure to light and oxidisation is more of a problem, I have never understood the 'keep it in a dark glass bottle' advice if you keep the bottles in a dark place.
    Though having two young children there is no way I would keep anything in the fridge which could be mistaken for food or drink.
  5. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    Well said! As said above, oxidisation would be your main problem and that would really only affect developers. If it's longevity you require, get a bottle of Rodinal; it lasts for years opened or unopened. It's also (so I've heard) quick and ready additive for a warm tone paper developer! If it's a paper developer you require, maybe you try Ilford Bromophen; a powdered warm working developer which (as long as it's kept in powder form) will last indefinitely.
  6. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    There's no point in doing so .... acetic acid is what you get when ethanol oxidises in air, it won't "go off" on further exposure whatever the temperature is. And evaporation is not a significant issue at any normal sort of room temperature.
  7. DaveS

    DaveS Well-Known Member

    Ye gods!
    As a chemist the idea of keeping ANY chemicals in a 'fridge with food makes my skin crawl!
    DON'T DO IT.
    If you want to refrigerate your chemicals, (And very few need it) then buy yourself a little one just for that, and keep it in the darkroom.
  8. Manofolympus

    Manofolympus Well-Known Member

    A little beer chiller should do-and as darkroom chemicals don't really need chilling-you can put beer in instead :D
  9. John_K

    John_K Well-Known Member

    Having read the replies, I am still using Tetenal to process my E6 film and because the output is very low, I am using the remnants of a kit I started close to a year ago.

    How? Well I actually freeze the chemicals and de-frost when I am going to use them. I have noticed no difference with the colour so that's the way I will go.
  10. Just to assure everybody. I never had any intention of keeping chemicals in the kitchen fridge where they can be accessed by anybody.

    I am setting up a new darkroom and one of the considerations was is it worth getting a fridge solely for keeping film and chemicals in, if it enabled me to buy in bulk and store long term.
  11. DaveS

    DaveS Well-Known Member

    Phew! That's a relief :D!
    Seriously though, I can't, off the top of my head, think of any darkroom chemicals that need refrigerating.
    Film now, that's a different matter, definately 'fridge that, though not in a darkroom, in fact it's generally regarded as a bad idea to store film and / or paper in the DR for any length of time.
  12. why is it not good to store film and paper in the darkroom? seems the obvious place, what am I missing?
  13. DaveS

    DaveS Well-Known Member

    Basically fumes from the chemistry, even basic B&W chemicals can give off fumes at RT, one reason to have good ventilation.
  14. Can a roll of film in a metal cassette, in a plastic canister in a sealed cardboard box really be affected by processing chemicals to any serious degree?
  15. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin


    Chemical fumes should NOT be an issue.... if they were then you'd need to wear a breathing set!
  16. DaveS

    DaveS Well-Known Member

    Sure, sealed film packages, eg 120 should be immune, but paper, with it's large surface area in unsealed boxes would be at risk.
    I do think that there can be chemical fumes, eg from fixer. Perhaps I'm biased because my D/R has a large south wall, and can reach 30+ deg in summer.

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