View Full Version : blue stain on pants

Joseph O'Neil
18-Apr-2006, 13:03
Okay, you can all have a good laugh, but here's the dumb question for the day. Hell, dumb question for the whole month, but dunno where else to ask.

I get a pair of olive/ drab green 100% cotton pants for causal wear. I wear them while developing my 4x5's (HC-110, ilford hypam fix, water stop & wash), while printing (dektol, kodak indicator stop, ilford hypam, water wash) and while sepia toning (kodak sepia toner - bleach then toner).

This is over the course of a week . At the end of the week, my wife pulls the pants out of the laundry bin, wants to know why there are blue stains all over my pants, especailly since they are brand new. I say no problem, it will wash out. Well, it doesn't. She's not really mad at me, but after paying an arm, leg and my left gonad to get the car fixed this week, I sense her "exasperation threshold" is maxing out. I am not sure if it's really a stain, or a bleaching effect, or if the stains can even be cleaned.

so, short of remixing all my chemistry at once, and experimening ( those old Kodak hard rubber dip tanks would come in usefull though :) , anybody got a good guess at what might of caused the blue stains? thanks


Brian Vuillemenot
18-Apr-2006, 14:03
Perhaps it's related to the loss of your left gonad? ;)

ronald moravec
18-Apr-2006, 14:04
Wear old clothing or an apron in the darkroom. Anything that splashes andnot immediately washed will stain.

Jorge Gasteazoro
18-Apr-2006, 14:07
It is the phenoftalein in your indicator stop. You probably take the print out of the stop with your hand, put it in the fixer and wipe your hands on your pants. Nothing to do since the indicator is already in the threads, you might try to dilute with acetic acid, the stain will disappear but most likely come back on the next laundry.....

18-Apr-2006, 14:13
hypam is very effective at leaving stains which subsequently rot. I would suggest tie dying the pants then you won't notice the blue spots so much...

At least now you have some dedicated darkroom pants...

Joe Davis
18-Apr-2006, 16:08
I have used the clothing stain remover from Photographer's Formulary and it worked wonders. You can email them about it or check out on their website.

Joseph Dickerson
18-Apr-2006, 16:17
Stain Out from Freestyle Sales. All of my pants have those stains from teaching high school photography for twenty years!

Joe D.

John Kasaian
18-Apr-2006, 19:04
To prevent this sort of nonsense from happening you may want to consider taking off your pants before going into your darkroom ;-)

Brian Ellis
18-Apr-2006, 19:42
"To prevent this sort of nonsense from happening you may want to consider taking off your pants before going into your darkroom ;-)"

Good idea except that he said his wife is already exasperated and now you want him to start taking his pants off every time he goes in the darkroom? : - )

Donald Qualls
18-Apr-2006, 20:15
The indicator in stop bath isn't phenolphtalein, which changes from red, to clear, to purple; the one in stop bath goes from yellow to purple without much if any colorless stage. In any case, phenolphthalein is water soluble and would wash out without leaving any permanent stain.

Assuming the blue is darker than the original color, I'd be inclined to suspect it's deposited silver from a fixer or Dektol splash. The above suggestion for dedicated photographic stain removers is probably most sensible (though if your darkroom gets as hot in the summer as mine, your pants won't be the only things that you'll take off on the way in, by about August).

Paul Metcalf
18-Apr-2006, 20:54
"Hell, dumb question for the whole month"

And what has to be the best answer of the year so far:

"Perhaps it's related to the loss of your left gonad? ;)"

I'm still on the floor LOL...

Christopher Nisperos
19-Apr-2006, 15:08
1. wear an apron

2. stop making love to Smurfs (and tell your wife the truth . . . she surely won't get jealous)

While you're at it, cut out that "old Kodak hard rubber dip", whatever the heck it is.