most critical stages in film handling, because the unloading normally is
accomplished in the same area where processing is done. Here again, check
the dry side very carefully. When in doubt, wipe the area with a clean
sponge or cloth and let dry.
f. Before processing, check the trays or tanks for cleanliness and
chemical condition. Any chemical that has been unused for some time or
appears dirty should be discarded and replaced with fresh solutions. False
economy in this area could ruin your best negatives.
g. Drying your negatives introduces another critical step in the
process. If you accidentally drop a wet negative, it must be rewashed to
produce an acceptable product. However, if the negative is allowed to dry
with dust or dirt particles on it, no amount of washing can remove the dirt.
Therefore, you must check the drying area for cleanliness.
h. Another hazard is that of fingerprints caused by careless handling.
Fingerprints should be removed from the surface of the negative as soon as
they are discovered.
i. Keeping your processing area clean will save you additional work and
materials. Your first consideration should be to maintain a dry side and a
wet side, and keep the dry side dry!
j. After processing operations, your hands will be wet with water or
chemical solutions. In either case, rinse them in clean water and wipe them
on a clean towel, not one contaminated with chemicals. Be sure your hands
are dry before you return to the dry side.
k. Chemicals splashed on the floor or your clothing may ruin prints
when transferred to the dry side. Chemicals on the floor may go unnoticed
until they dry to a powder. Walking back and forth agitates the powdery
crystals and they become airborne. Ultimately, these particles settle on
your negatives and paper, causing spots that require retouching on negatives
and spotting on prints. Remember to clean up all spills immediately.
l. Regular cleaning of the laboratory is essential to quality
production. No area should be overlooked. Floors should be swept with a
dust mop rather than a broom. Then use a wet mop to rinse the floor with
clean water. Never use a dirty mop, as this only moves the dirt from one
place to another.
m. When a liquid is needed to complete a cleaning job, remember, plain
water will remove most chemical deposits. If a solvent is necessary, use as
little as possible while following all safety precautions connected with its