As you may know, till now i used to clean the silver deposit on top of gelatine layer with isopropyl alcohol. Last night i found a new treatment, in „The Keepers of Light“ by William Crawford, p. 297 that says (about gelatine plates and films) bluntly:
If there are no signs of mold you can clean the emulsion surface with ammonium hydroxide.
As I don’t have such a substance, this morning i’ve tried another alkali — sodium carbonate (1tbs disolved in 1cup warm water) — and i was amazed of how quick the gelatine gets cleaned of that nasty silver deposits. Here’s some before and after examples so you can see for yourself how nice the plate is cleaned.
And another one (same post-treatment on both scans, even the scanner exposure was locked):
About ammonium hydroxide: I don’t know what household cleaning products are sold in Romania, but in the United States a weak solution of ammonium hydroxide is available in almost any grocery store under the generic name of ammonia.
But your own new cleaning procedure is certainly producing great results, and it has the additional advantage of no noxious ammonia fumes.
You can find such a products here in Romania too. The problem is they have lots of other additives which i don’t know how will react with gelatine. There is a old and large factory in Slobozia who is producing chemicals on large scale — i’ll try to get a small quantity of ammonia from them. https://goo.gl/maps/1yueo
I badly need ammonia as in September i plan to get started with salt prints 🙂
Thank you for sharing your cleaning procedure.I think in Germany we call it (Wasch-)Soda or kalkinierte Soda. I will try it …
Use the procedure only on non-cracked gelatine as if it gets under the gelatine it will soften it alot.
Of course 🙂 Gelatine and water is in general no good combination. But i think there are some plates to test it…