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Isopropanol as film cleaner?


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#1 Michael Ryan

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 10:23 PM

Hello All,

I've been reading about film cleaners and I wonder if anyone has had any experience with Isopropanol as a film cleaner?

I have used some 99% pure Isopropanol on a few feet of Super 8 reversal as a test and it seemed to work well.

Any thoughts?

(my main goal with this stuff is that it is much, much cheaper than the name brand film cleaners).


Mike
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 10:45 PM

Hello All,

I've been reading about film cleaners and I wonder if anyone has had any experience with Isopropanol as a film cleaner?

I have used some 99% pure Isopropanol on a few feet of Super 8 reversal as a test and it seemed to work well.

Any thoughts?

(my main goal with this stuff is that it is much, much cheaper than the name brand film cleaners).


Mike


I assume you are referring to cigarette lighter fluid? People have used this to clean film. I think it might be outlawed in California because the fumes can cause cancer, and it is flammable.
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#3 James Baker

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 02:05 AM

I think you mean isopropyl (?) as in isopropyl alcohol. Lighter fluid is naptha, nasty stuff --but from what I remember some of the old timers in film labs used it as an all purpose cleaner. Naptha cleans just about anything but I personally wouldn't use it on film.

Isopropyl alcohol works okay. Trichloroethane is normally what's used but very bad for the ozone.

I read a reference from an engineer at Kodak (Alan Masson) who says "100% isopropyl alcohol is a preferable method if cleaning film by hand." But he goes on to say the nothing works better than trichloroethane.
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#4 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 02:11 AM

I think you mean isopropyl (?) as in isopropyl alcohol. Lighter fluid is naptha, nasty stuff --but from what I remember some of the old timers in film labs used it as an all purpose cleaner. Naptha cleans just about anything but I personally wouldn't use it on film.

Isopropyl alcohol works okay. Trichloroethane is normally what's used but very bad for the ozone.

I read a reference from an engineer at Kodak (Alan Masson) who says "100% isopropyl alcohol is a preferable method if cleaning film by hand." But he goes on to say the nothing works better than trichloroethane.



Thanks for clearing that up. I think some type of lighter fluid has been used for wetgating purposes in the past. What do you think the side effects are besides being flammable, and toxic to humans? Does it also harm the film as well?
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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:06 AM

I've used isopropyl alcohol to clean some old R8 home movies of my grandpa's. It worked pretty well, it dries quickly (before it gets taken up into the reel), and the footage didn't seem to suffer at all when I viewed it again a couple months later.

I guess it's not nearly as harsh as developer and other processing chemicals, so I can't imagine it doing any damage.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 20 April 2008 - 04:07 AM.

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#6 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 01:11 PM

I've used isopropyl alcohol to clean some old R8 home movies of my grandpa's. It worked pretty well, it dries quickly (before it gets taken up into the reel), and the footage didn't seem to suffer at all when I viewed it again a couple months later.

I guess it's not nearly as harsh as developer and other processing chemicals, so I can't imagine it doing any damage.


I wonder if it is too much of a drying agent. I hear the unsafe stuff had lubricants in it which is why some people used to use it.
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#7 Michael Ryan

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 03:51 PM

Hello All,

From what I have read on the internet it looks like Isopropanol has two or three different names, but it's all the same product.

Here is a really interesting page from a Kodak site that talks about Isopropanol as a film cleaner. Here is the site: [url="http://%5burl="http://www.kodak.com/global/en/consumer/products/techInfo/cis145/cis145.shtml"]"]Visit My Website[/url]


The bottle of Isopropanol I bought (in Canada) was 4.00 dollars and was a 20 oz bottle. I bought a 4 oz bottle of Edwal's film cleaner and it was 13.00 dollars.

There was a sight on the internet that gave some directions on how to add a film lubricant to the Isopropanol, but I can't seem to find it.


Mike
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#8 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 03:53 PM

I wonder if it is too much of a drying agent. I hear the unsafe stuff had lubricants in it which is why some people used to use it.



We have a San-Labs Spectraclean film cleaner which uses isopropanol as a cleaning agent, it has a special sealed chamber with a set of wetted rotary buffers that wet and clean the film, then there is a stack of four dry rotary buffers that buff the film while the alcohol dries. The film is then taken up over four ptr's and tight wound on a reel.

The only real issue with alcohol cleaning is making sure the alcohol dries without leaving spots or streaks, if it does leave spots they can be hard to get out.

-Rob-
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#9 Michael Ryan

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:00 PM

We have a San-Labs Spectraclean film cleaner which uses isopropanol as a cleaning agent, it has a special sealed chamber with a set of wetted rotary buffers that wet and clean the film, then there is a stack of four dry rotary buffers that buff the film while the alcohol dries. The film is then taken up over four ptr's and tight wound on a reel.

The only real issue with alcohol cleaning is making sure the alcohol dries without leaving spots or streaks, if it does leave spots they can be hard to get out.

-Rob-


Thanks Robert,

It's nice to hear from a pro that you guys use Isopropanol as a film cleaner. What do you use to lubricate the film?


I don't think the link I had above worked, so here is another try: Visit My Website


Mike
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#10 James Baker

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:01 PM

FWIW(?):

http://www.film-center.com/clean.html
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#11 Michael Ryan

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:07 PM

Hello All,

If my above links do not work you will have to cut and paste this: http://www.kodak.com...45/cis145.shtml


Mike
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#12 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:42 PM

Thanks Robert,

It's nice to hear from a pro that you guys use Isopropanol as a film cleaner. What do you use to lubricate the film?


Mike


I think slightly lubricating the film is a good thing to do so I am curious if Isopropanol is good enough just by itself.
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