Many processing chemicals can be exchanged by common household products and get similar results. These substitutions are intended as a quick replacement when you run out of one of them or if you don't have access to them at all. For assured quality, use proper formulations.
Used in the stop bath, it quickly halts film development. Can be replaced by:
- vinegar: one part common white vinegar to 4 parts of water = 2% acetic acid solution
- citric acid: 4 teaspoons of citric acid for one liter of water (also 2% solution)
A.k.a. Washaid, Hypo Clearing Agent. Can be replaced by:
- sodium sulfite: the official hypo remover. 2% solution of sodium sulfite in water (20 grams of sulfite in a litre of solution)
If you're feeling brave, you can also try these, but they were not recommended for film:
- washing soda: a mild water solution of sodium carbonate ("a few table spoons of Arm and Hammer washing soda per gallon")
- baking soda: a 2% solution of sodium bicarbonate (sulfite is superior in that sulfite can desorb not only unreacted thiosulfate but also sparingly soluble and adsorbed argentomonothiosulfate complex.)
Note: salt is not recommended as a washing aid. While sodium chloride may have very small enhancement in washing compared to distilled water, it is vastly inferior to sulfites. Also, residual chloride salts can be harmful to the image; a very thorough water washing process is required following the sea water bath, negating the purpose of using a washing aid bath.
A.k.a. surfactant, Photo-Flo. Reduces water surface tension much like a detergent does. Can be replaced by the drying liquid used in dishwashers. A couple drops per litre.
Fixer, a.k.a. Hypo, is mainly sodium thiosulfate (previously called hyposulfite - hence the name) with additives.
"The best homemade fixer is still plain hypo -- for one-shot use, 50 g/L sodium thiosulfate in water, nothing else needed; test for clearing time, and fix twice that long (use two baths, each this long, for T-Max, Delta, Foma 200 and Acros). This will easily fix at least half a dozen rolls per liter, or a similar number of sheets of enlarging paper. The problem is, you can't buy hypo at the local supermarket. You can, however, sometimes find it where pool chemicals are sold. Sodium thiosulfate and sodium sulfite are both sold as chlorine reducers; the trick is determining which one you have when you find a product sold for that purpose. The easiest way is to ask for the MSDS, though you're also likely to find the information on the package labeling, if you have a magnifying glass handy. If you can get a look at the contents of the package, it's easy to tell -- sodium sulfite is usually sold as anhydrous, a white powder with a consistency rather like table salt, while sodium thiosfulate is usually sold as pentahydrate, aka "rice crystals" -- as the name implies, they're crystals shaped like grains of rice, though in my experience usually somewhat larger; they're clear, irrgularly polygonal in cross section, usually with broken ends."
- Sodium sulfite, anhydrous 35g
- Hydroquinone 6g
- Phenidone 0.2g
- Potassium metabisulfite 6g
- Water to 1l
- Sodium sulfite, anh. 65g
- Sodium tetraborate, X10H2O 20 g
- Water to 1l
- I took potassium metabisulfite instead of recommended sodium bisulfite because the former replaces the latter freely weight by weight, and it's more stable. Also, I got only metabisulfite on my shelf. The people make much fuss about the alkali used in a part B - the tetraborate works fine, so I see no point to try any kodalk (metaborate) or even carbonate, as some folks could suggest here and there. I am absolutely sure you should make our solutions at least the night ahead your development (as with any phenidone-containing solutions), so it ripens well.
- I always use isopropylic alcohol to dissolve phenidone - about 20 ml per liter works fine. Apart from its capabiliy to dissolve the stubborn powder, it probably adds to the shelf life of my mixtures.
- The process is quite simple: load your film in the tank, and fill it with enough part A (temp. about 20-22 C, though people claims it makes no much difference). I agitate the film in A quite vigorously, maybe 20 sec of each minute for 5 min. Then you dump the A solution back into the bottle, and fill the tank with part B, the quicker the better to avoid streaks. You should give your tank a good tap to avoid any bubbles clogging to film. I agitate in B not too strongly, like two slow inversions each minute for 5 min. After you're done with B, dump it in its bottle, rinse the film with a tap water, and pour in the fixer. Process as usual further. It should work fine!
- Cheers from Moscow,
A.k.a. Caffenol C.
- Thread on photo.net - Homemade washer
- f295 DIY forum - Fixer alternative
- Thread on APUG - Homemade stopper
- Thread on APUG - Unofficial Diafine formula
- The wash step in developing film - Frugal Photographer
- A through discussion on washing aid - Silvergrain Labs