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Thread: Poll: Do you use distilled water?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Poll: Do you use distilled water?

    Hi, Folks:

    Do you use distilled water for your darkroom chemicals and your working solutions?

    I do. I sorta figured everyone did this.

    Then I was chatting with a photographer friend this weekend, and he told me he uses unfiltered Dallas tap water for everything.

    I suggested at a minimum he should use distilled water when he gives his negs the Photo-Flo treatment, but he said no.

    His position is since negs and prints are washed in tap water, what difference does it make?

    My position is that I want each solution to be as pure as possible, and frankly, I wouldn't mind washing in distilled water.

    So let's hear what you have to say.

    I'm guessing my friend isn't alone in his tap water use.

    William

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Re: Poll: Do you use distilled water?

    I don't use it for every solution.

    I use it for film developer, Photo-Flo and toners

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    2,588

    Re: Poll: Do you use distilled water?

    I used distilled water only for the final rinse before leaving the negs to dry, to avoid water spots.
    There really is no need to use distilled water in mixing solutions. Maybe if the pH of the tap water was way off or something...
    {EDIT} but I only use "normal" chems for b&w. I don't know about color chems.

  4. #4

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    Re: Poll: Do you use distilled water?

    for stock solutions of developers, yes. for fixers, no.
    for everything e-6 and c-41, yes.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    Re: Poll: Do you use distilled water?

    Film pre-rinse, developer mixing, film water rinse (no stop used), fixer mixing and film final Photo-Flo rinse: distilled. Everything else, including print water rinse (no stop used) and washing of both film and prints: tap.

    Note that using distilled for washing might, depending on the makeup of your tap water, be less effective than tap. Here our tap water is somewhat alkaline year round. It is very good at removing residual thiosulfates as well as ridding negatives of their pink sensitizing dye, a small benefit that offsets drawbacks related to its hardness. I have to drain film/print washers after use and rinse their interior passages with distilled water to avoid a buildup of calcium carbonate.

  6. #6

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    Re: Poll: Do you use distilled water?

    Everything except water only rinses.
    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. ~ Mark Twain

  7. #7
    photobymike's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    Re: Poll: Do you use distilled water?

    I use distilled water all the time. I even check the water for disolved solids with a meter. My problem is that it is hard to find just distilled water. They ad some minerals to make it taste good. Real distilled water taste terrible, so they add minerals because the major use for the water is baby food. Distilled water has no dissolved solids, that makes it easy to mix other chemicals. Water can only take so much chemicals disolved in it. Ever have developer that has precipitate that does not seem to dissolved? The sludge at the bottom....

  8. #8
    Octogenarian
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    Re: Poll: Do you use distilled water?

    Hi William,

    In the past, all distilled water from my local super market was steam distilled. Most brands were labeled as safe to be used in steam irons.

    Examining the labels of the so-called distilled waters available in super markets today, they are actually highly filtered tap water. Still safe for steam irons, however.

    (Merg Ross clued me on that fact).

    The water dispenser in the door of my refrigerator dispenses water that has been filtered through a 5 micron filter made by PUR (which I replace every six months).

    It does a fine job of removing the sanitizing chemicals from tap water. Makes great drinking water and ice cubes.

    I use that refrigerator water for mixing photo chemicals. A separate 5 micron filter, made by General Electric, filters the tap water that runs through my film washer, as well as

    the final rinse for film, in a tray with a few drops of wetting agent added,

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Re: Poll: Do you use distilled water?

    Gem, I wonder if a Britta filter would do the same thing?

  10. #10
    Octogenarian
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    Sep 2003
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    Re: Poll: Do you use distilled water?

    Paul,

    Any brand of a water filter, of 5 microns, or less, will do the job.

    Needs to be capable of removing the sanitizing chemicals (mostly chlorine).

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