View Full Version : has any one used a negative ioniser to control dust?

29-Oct-2010, 00:54
Airborne particles are attracted to the electrode of an ioniser in an effect similar to static electricity. These ions are de-ionized by seeking earthed conductors, such as walls and ceilings.

This is the premise for using an ioniser to control pollution in the home. sounds like a good solution to control dusk in the dark room. has any one used one?

people have mentioned running the shower if your's is in the bathroom. running water creates negative ions.

29-Oct-2010, 11:15
I have an old sharper image ionic breeze I run in the darkroom once in a while to keep it clean. It does create some ozone odor which is the downfall. That builds up rather quickly in darkroom, but doesn't in a normal spaces due to doors opening/closing, convection air changes, etc... Thus, it's not run that much, especially when I'm in there or plan to be in the darkroom that day. You'd be surprised at all the dust and truly microscopic crud these things collect on their blades.

My real solution to keeping the darkroom clean though is to prevent dust by not having carpeting, (tile floor) keeping pets out, and keeping needless people traffic out.

I've been thinking about getting a small hepa cleaner with permanent filter. These are under $70 now for small rooms.

29-Oct-2010, 20:06
I use a Delta air filter that filters 99 % of 5 microns and 80 % of 1 micron particles. It has a 300W motor and moves 750 cubic feet of air per min. The specs show it clears the air in a 30-by-30-foot darkroom 10 times an hour.

What are the specs on the ion machine? I doubt it does anything but make the wallet lighter.:(

Brian C. Miller
30-Oct-2010, 13:30
I was reading up on ion machines, and they really shouldn't be used in a confined space like a darkroom. It is bad for your health to breathe a concentration of negative ions. Yes, they can destroy odors and the like, and I borrowed one to remove the smell of cigarrette smoke from a used vehicle. I'd recommend a good desktop air purifier, like Alen T100 unit.

Eric Woodbury
30-Oct-2010, 15:10
Ozone is a strong oxidizer. It will oxidize silver and most metals. It is not good for negatives, prints, and stuff you don't want to rust.

I don't think running water generates ozone. Running water generates humidity which control static electricity. Also, the water droplets can attach to dust particles and 'rain out' of the air.

To keep dust down, clean and remove unneeded paper from the room.

To keep static down, increase the relative humidity. Easiest way to do this is to cool the room. All that water doesn't hurt. Wear an anti-static lab coat. Use a staticide for problem items.

There were ionizing brushes and negative dusters made. You plugged them in and they had a high voltage power supply to make the ozone. Also, there were radioactive dust brushes made. Maybe there still are, but that seems like a bad idea. Go down to the local nuclear power plant and see if they'll give you a few micrograms.

30-Oct-2010, 17:09
I have not seen anything corrode due to ozone. The ion purifier is great for locking up in a car to clean chemical odors though. If you buy used cars regularly, get a cheap one for your garage. Most of the used car dealers like to use quarts and quarts of smelly cleaning products when a dash would do. I mix garlic concentrate (www.mosquitobarrier.com) in my darkroom, and that's the sort of machine for clearing up that smell.

Those radioactive brushes (staticmaster) are indeed excellent. I have one, but it's well past it's expiration date (apparently a short halflife) and a new cartridge is mucho $. Their radioactivity is of the type that does not penetrate your skin or most surfaces, so it's harmless as long as you don' t eat your static brush. The radioactive part is also encapsulated in some sort of glue as well. Lantern wicks are radioactive too, btw.

Eric Woodbury
30-Oct-2010, 18:11
Didn't know about the wicks. Mantels were radioactive with thorium, but I think this gone now.

30-Oct-2010, 18:26
You can still get thoriated lantern mantles (from china of course) if you know where to look. The Coleman ones you buy at the supermarket are not thoriated anymore, though.

30-Oct-2010, 20:09
thanks for the ideas, besides being hungry for a radioactive brush, i like the air purifier the best.
makes the most sense.

Michael Rosenberg
31-Oct-2010, 10:16
Passive ionic air cleaners like the ionic breeze sold by Brookstone do not work, and several years ago they recalled them and issued a refund: I had one and know they don't work! I now have 3 air cleaners that are forced air made by Oreck and they work extremely well. I am always impressed by how much dust they pick up out of the air, but it is never 100%. I use two in my darkroom (and one in the laundry room, a great source of house dust). It has greatly cut down on dust. But in the winter you cannot run them at the same time as a humidifier, the plates that collect the dust will begin to corrode.

I also clean/dust the floors and walls with a microfiber towel sprayed with Endust for electronic equipment on a regular basis.

I think an ionizer will only put a charge on dust that allows it to go to walls and floors where it will eventually go back in the air.


9-Nov-2010, 01:32
I had a few ionic breezes from sharper image. for my scanning room They were seriously expensive and broke within 2 years.
They sort of worked but i wouldn’t recommend them or anything like them.
I went to ebay a few years ago and bought an air ionizer from a clean room. It was cheap, dirty and needed a plug.
But once i cleaned it up, it wrks like a champ. I have that over my mounting station.
I also bought an ion gun that i connected to my air compressor. I use that to clean off the mylar before scanning.

For the whole room, i found a Kenmore Air Purifier HEPA 220. Its basically a big round hepa filter with a fan and an ionizer.
Its works really well and they can be found cheap. They say the filters last at least 6 months to a year.

If you just get an air ionizer, the dust can be blown back into the room and will settle on another surface.
A unit with a filter is so much better and for the little cost (compared to an ionic breeze type system), its well worth it.

9-Nov-2010, 07:45
I think those Ion air guns are pretty cool; are there any affordable ones (<$500)?

Staticmaster brushes are nice, but having to purchase refills is a concern.

9-Nov-2010, 10:36
It depends on the deal you get on ebay. I bought a Simco Top Gun 3 air ionizer, It was off of a production line so i had to do some work on it.
The Gun part on normal ones looks like a pistol grip of sorts. The one i bought was just a block of plastic with an outlet port and no trigger.
I had to take it apart and rewire it and add a trigger. But because of that, it was cheap, under $100.
They normally go for $250 or so used in the standard configuration. I guess no one new what to do with it so i got it cheap.
I already had the air compressor for our in shop air so it was easy to tie it in.

I never liked the static master, you have an ongoing expense plus you have to touch the film with a brush and if you miss you hit it with the metal guard.
The whiskers on the brush pickup gunk from film and could deposit it at any time. Its also based on a radioactive element, albeit a relatively safe one.
Just don’t eat it!
But seriously, i calculated my costs of buying static masters and lots of cans of “air”, it scared me how much i was spending ($200-400 per year!).
Over 1-2 years i figured a medium sized compressor with a few thing off of ebay still came out much cheaper then those continued expenses.
One of the best decisions i have made. Btw, Harbor Freight has a few inexpensive compressors and their shipping is very fairly priced.

Last thing, Ion guns need water vapor and oil free air to work properly. You also don’t want to be spraying oil particles and water vapor.
I bought a Desiccant Air Dryer for my air compressor from MacMaster Carr and a moisture separator from Harbor Freight.
That was $50 for the desiccator but worth it and the desiccant can be regenerated.

I know this isn’t an option for most but if you already have a compressor, it might be a good inexpensive solution to buying lots of canned air.

Drew Wiley
9-Nov-2010, 11:33
I have a couple of them. They work. One is a pistol type, the other a large industrial
unit which both scrubs the air and ionizes afterwards. I'd imagine the latter would be
quite expensive today. I got it free and refurbished it about twenty years ago.

11-Nov-2010, 18:46

Just got one of these in today. Honeywell HHT-011 Compact Air Purifier with Permanent HEPA Filter for $42.99 and free shipping. gonna alternate it between my home office where I scan and kids play and my darkroom.

21-Nov-2010, 15:03
Hi all
BUT here in Kansas & Colorado it does not get it all!!
so I got a Living Air Purifier it cuts out alot of the Darkroom Oders and maybe
helps on dust BUT I got on ebad a Omega Anti-Dust & static Devices
AND IT WORKS it took about 5 days in my hole house to kill the static
but they say to turn it on for an hour before you go in to the darkroom
to work

George W.
21-Nov-2010, 15:55
I use a Delta air filter that filters 99 % of 5 microns and 80
% of 1 micron particles. It has a 300W motor and moves 750
cubic feet of air per min.
The specs show it clears the air in a 30-by-30-foot darkroom
10 times an hour.

-is this a closed loop system, using air intake within the darkroom?
-how is fresh air handled?
-is there a link available to the datasheets of this hardware?

22-Nov-2010, 09:13
-is this a closed loop system, using air intake within the darkroom?
-how is fresh air handled?
-is there a link available to the datasheets of this hardware?

For about 8 years I used a big Honeywell HEPA unit, then my neighbor had a Delta new in box at a garage sale, so I picked it up. The Delta blows the air around the darkroom more (but if the air is not moving around with the Honeywell, it only cleans a small area).

Mine is an older model, but this is the current Delta offernig: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=18243

22-Nov-2010, 09:42
Those big hanging workshop filters are nice. They tend to be relatively quiet and high volume. I don't have enough room in my darkroom for one right now.

I had a craftsman one at work that I ran 5 years continuous in a computer room before the motor failed. Computer fans and cases are very effective (but inefficient) means for capturing dust, and goal was that this shop filter system would remove more dust more efficiently than the computers would.