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Thread: Fixer Concentrate Go Bad?

  1. #1

    Fixer Concentrate Go Bad?

    Acquired a few bottles of Ilford Rapid Fixer concentrate that could be 8-10 years old but sealed in the original box. Does it go bad over time?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Re: Fixer Concentrate Go Bad?

    From the Rapid Fixer datasheet

    "Full, unopened bottles of ILFORD RAPID FIXER
    concentrate stored in cool conditions, 5–20C
    (41–68F), will keep for two years. Once opened
    use completely within six months and keep all
    bottles tightly sealed until used."

    I wouldn't use it!

  3. #3

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    Re: Fixer Concentrate Go Bad?

    Rapid Fixer (and any liquid fixer) fails when the sulfur precipitates out of the solution. This leaves a yellowish sludge in the bottom of the bottle... or inside the tank of your Kreonite roller-transport RA-4 processor. If you see any sludge, the fixer is useless.

  4. #4

    Re: Fixer Concentrate Go Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    Rapid Fixer (and any liquid fixer) fails when the sulfur precipitates out of the solution. This leaves a yellowish sludge in the bottom of the bottle... or inside the tank of your Kreonite roller-transport RA-4 processor. If you see any sludge, the fixer is useless.
    Thanks!

    Makes sense. I will dispose of it.

  5. #5

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    Re: Fixer Concentrate Go Bad?

    I should add that I don't know if that's the case with alkaline fixers like TF-4, which is cloudy in the bottle from new. I've worked with TF-4, but used it up before it could go bad. Still, it's best to be conservative about photo chemistry- it's far cheaper than the film, and the time and effort you spent making pictures.

  6. #6

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    Re: Fixer Concentrate Go Bad?

    Give it a try before you throw it away. Mix it 1:4 and insert a piece of film to see if it clears within a few seconds. I have about 1/4 gallon left of 2 year old Ilford Rapid fixer with a half inch of sulfur in the bottom and it still works fine. I just shake it every couple of weeks. It lasts longer than people give credit but may not be optimal as new.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Fixer Concentrate Go Bad?

    The sulfur precipitation is caused by oxidation of thiosulfate and/or acidity from dissolved carbon dioxide (sulfite is normally present as a preservative). Cheap polyethylene bottles are somewhat permeable to both oxygen and water, whereas glass is an effective barrier to both. Because concentrates are stored with a smaller ratio of container surface to chemical, then tend to keep better; personal experience says that five-year-old fixer concentrate in glass bottles with good caps will still be usable,

    If the fixer will clear film in under 30 seconds, you should have no problem using it. Remember, the old rule was "twice the initial time to clear" for fixing, and discard with the clearing time had doubled from the value for fresh solution. It's not a particularly delicate process.

  8. #8
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    Re: Fixer Concentrate Go Bad?

    Good point Harold, I am going to rebottle to brown glass my fresh TF5. Photographers Formulary says 2 years. I know it lasts longer.

  9. #9
    Cor's Avatar
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    Re: Fixer Concentrate Go Bad?

    I too have bottles with sludge..it is still usable, but do proper testing as in clearing time for negative, and I use the same dilution for paper (1+4) and test very regularly with those Silver test dip sticks..

    Btw I do not use it on film anymore, have fresh stock for that, re printing is less of a hassle (hasn't been needed thusfar..) than re-shooting..

    good luck,

    Cor

  10. #10

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    Re: Fixer Concentrate Go Bad?

    Michael, recently I run out of concentrated fixer but I had a 0.5L unopenned plastic bottle being 22 years old of Ilford Rapid Fixer, it came with a used enlarger I bought. I filtered out the yellowish precipitate, and it worked perfect. I used it until exhausted.

    I always fix with lights open, and it take similar time to clear the film that with a fresh product.

    IMHO it can be used, if it clears a not developed film end then it works. Anyone heard ever about an outdated fixer damaging a film ? If a fixer does not work just we can fix again...

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