Friday, April 23, 2010

The cure for a dried coater

The Polaroid print coaters that you might find that have all dried out can apparently be saved.

The ingredients in the coater consist of zinc acetate, acetic acid, and methanol.  I had no methanol, but tried using one dropper-full of isopropyl rubbing alcohol 91%, plus one drop of acetic acid (indicator stop bath - be careful with that stuff), which I put into the container, as you see.

After a few minutes the wonderful perfume scent we remember returned, and apparently the acetate dissolved from its hardened state, producing the sticky spreadable consistency that you would expect. Glacial acetic acid might be better, along with methanol. We don't want our prints to turn purple. Unlikely. This concoction seems ok also.

On the left, a New55 dark sleeve with some exposed film in it newly attached to the metal clip from an Old 55 sheet sent in by one of several helpful people. More progress.


Bob Crowley said...

It's isopropyl, not methanol. The zinc acetate binds strongly to metals, thus is a good choice for keeping oxygen off the silver. It is also glossy and dries hard, but will dissolve again in alcohol.

jeff said...

I have coaters that are probably 40 years old. They're still wet, nesting in their glass tubes. But this is excellent information for those without them. I applaud all your efforts in trying to keep vintage Polaroid materials alive. I'll continue to follow your posts with interest & hope for the future. Thank you Sir.