Ilford Powder Developers : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Anyone here happen to know the shelf life of unused Ilford Powdered Developers (specifically Microphen, DD-L and Perceptol) once they are mixed? I'm wondering because I'm only using 20 oz at a time, and the mix is for one gallon.

TIA, Paul

-- Paul (, February 25, 2000


If you divide the made-up developer into smaller full stoppered bottle quantities it should be good for about 12 months or more. Good bottles and stoppers are hard to come by, though. Dark glass bottles with plastic screw caps and neoprene washers under the cap are ideal. Beware of cardboard washers, even if they're plastic or foil coated, they'll let air in. Visit your local Pharmacist and see if they're throwing out any large medicine bottles.

As a rough-and-ready guide, if the developer shows any more than a pale straw colour, don't use it, it's begun to oxidise. One final tip, exhaling (not blowing) into the bottle as you close it will displace a lot of the oxygen from the air gap.

-- Pete Andrews (, February 28, 2000.


I'd like to add to the previous post. Proctectan (distributed through JOBO in the U.S.A.) and available from them, B&H and others, is an inert gas, with a density greater than air. When sprayed into a partially filled bottle it displaces the air (oxygen) and protects the solution from oxidization.

Another good source for bottles are very clean, plastic soda pop bottles. Make sure you clean them well and only use soda, or carbonated liquid bottles; these contain a laminated vapor barrier which will keep air out. Instead of using Proctectan, or breathing into the bottle, you could squeeze the bottle until the level of the solution rises to the top.


-- Pete Caluori (, March 02, 2000.

If you use small mouth glass bottles you can get a "wine saver" kit which is made up of special corks and a hand vacuum pump to remove the air from the bottle.

-- Tim Brown (, March 02, 2000.

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