vinegar bath? : LUSENET : polaroid transfers : One Thread

I understand that the vinegar bath clears emulsion excess and so leads tio brighter colors. And that the bath must be followed by a water waqsh to take away the acidity. In my 'experimentsd,' I haven't seen the brighter colors, and the additional submersions and washings tend to produce runny colors, messy prints. I'm interested in others' experience. Also, someone recently told me that the vinegar bath helps prevents fading. I can't see why this should be so. Anyone have a thought on this? Margery

-- margery b. franklin (, March 21, 1999


I am sure that I am getting more saturated colors (especially red) in the vinegar bath. I haven't experienced any problems with additional washing of the print.

-- Marek Uliasz (, March 21, 1999.

There is quite a lot information on the vinegar bath in both Kathleen Carr's book (page 31) and Theresa Airey's book (page 99)

If you don't have these books I will try to summarize it.

-- Marek Uliasz (, March 23, 1999.

I thought that I read in Kathleen Carr's Polaroid Transfers book that the purpose of the vinegar bath was to whiten the whites in the transfer (essentially to get rid of the yellows in the white). I could be wrong.

Kathleen, if you're out there, any clarification (I couldn't find the page in my copy of the book, sorry margery).

-- Stuart Goldstein (, March 23, 1999.

Dear Margery,

The other purpose for giving your images a vinegar bath in addition to the other responses is to bring back the PH balance due to the acidity or alkaline levels of your water source, as we all have different methods we use to produce our images. In example, some artists will use photoflo (fixer) to help brighten their images, while others may use gelatins to help their images process for better quality etc. FYI. Thanks, Elena

-- Elena Trujillo-Spice (, June 29, 1999.

I'd had really good luck with my image transfers until recently - and any additional soaking, whether in just plain water or a vinegar bath really exacerbates the emulsion liftoff. Little bubbles start forming in the dark areas after just a short time of soaking. I wish I knew why that was happening.

To avoid the liftoff problem, I've tried soaking in a vinegar bath after the transfer has completely dried out. I can't say that I've noticed any whitening of the whites or brightening of the colors, however. I'd read that the transfer will be very alkaline and the vinegar bath brings the PH back into balance, so even though the whites and colors don't seem to be affected, I will sometimes do the bath anyway for the PH reason (followed by additional rinsing in water).

-- Kris Anderson (, July 26, 1999.

Margery, i too have experienced the exact same problem you did with the vinegar rinse. i couldn't see any brightening of colors and it made my edges of the transfer run as well, but i ended up liking the "runny effect". the vinegar definately changes the ph of the print. the goo that oozes out of the film is very alkaline, even after rinsing with water, so at the very least the vinegar (which is diluted acetic acid) restores the ph to a more neutral level.

-- jane linders (, December 27, 2000.

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