Yesterday I cleaned out the old darkroom that my dad and I used to use at his house, in preparation for putting my new darkroom into service. (Will primarily be used to make 12x20 contact prints.) Most of the ‘consumables’ are approx. 10 years old. Common sense says some of the chemicals are clearly no good anymore (developers, etc.) and others will clearly still be good (stop bath, photo-flo, etc.).
But there are some ‘in-between’ items I’m not sure about, and as some of these tend to be a little costlier I hate to just toss them. (Plus why create extra waste if not necessary?) Examples:
Ilford Rapid Fix (5 liter, to make up to 50 liters). Full or nearly so. $20?.
One gallon of Kodak fixer (working strength).
Kodak Rapid Selenium Toner (1 qt.). Unopened, still clear. $20?
Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent (unopened envelope, to make 5 gal). $7?
Lots of paper also, but I can easily test that and see what condition it’s in. The problem with the above chemistry is that it’s harder to test (esp things like fixers and clearing agents, etc) without waiting a few years and seeing if the prints fade(!) My gut instinct is that fixers aren’t complex organic chemicals and thus might have a long shelf-life, but I don’t really know.
I know the obvious ‘safe’ choice is to toss everything and start over (and I’m happy to do that, if required) but before I put a bunch of potentially good chemicals down the drain I thought I’d look for further data.
So… any direct experience here, or objective, scientific input? (Not all that interested in random guesses.)
Thanks much! Really looking forward to having my own working darkroom again!