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Biocide Shootout Tests



SamCapote

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Hello Sam,

 

Thank you for providing this useful formula; while we're on the subject, do you recommend adding Phenol to uninfected inks to PREVENT contamination? If so, should we follow this same formula or use a little less in non-infected specimens? :unsure:

 

All the best,

 

Sean :)

 

The lesser amount (and qualifiers) in post #37 is for prevention. I don't think anyone needs to do this unless they are crazy like me and have a large number of inks that they want to preserve for as long as possible. Originally this started because I began to see that some ink makers did not use adequate (or any) biocides.

 

The only promoted option out there was using Tryphon's Ink Safe or Steril Ink, neither of which worked even in doses 30-40 times as strong as Giovanni told me by phone. So the hunt began, and knowing that almost all ink began using phenol for a biocide before preposterous rat testing mega-doses gave it a bad reputation.

 

Based upon what pharmacist said, I cannot recommend phenol for inks that likely have a pH higher than 8.0, which appears to be some number of the Japanese Sailor & Iroshizuku brands. However, more color varieties within those brands need to be pH tested before that becomes a hard and fast rule.

 

As you know Sean from having made your own inks, there are also other very effective commercial biocides such as Dowicil-75, salicylic acid, sodium azide, etc. but they have significant obstacles for the average FP user.

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

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Since salicylic acid works as a biocide, I wondered if aspirin would work - its not that easy to get salicylic acid . In water aspirin decomposes to acetic acid and salicylic acid - thats why old aspirin can have a vinegar smell.

1 aspirin 325mg will yield about 200mg salicylic acid.

My bottle of uncoated aspirin tablets lists only starch as an inactive ingredient. I expect that that will be filterable with any SITB with a paper coffee filter.

I made up a 500ml bottle of ink diluent using Pharmacist's recipe using 5 regular uncoated aspirin (5 x 325mg = 1625mg) and then filtered it through a coffee filter to filter out the starch from the tablets. I hope the aspirin decomposition will do the work of the salicylic acid

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Hello Sam,

 

Thank you for providing this useful formula; while we're on the subject, do you recommend adding Phenol to uninfected inks to PREVENT contamination? If so, should we follow this same formula or use a little less in non-infected specimens? :unsure:

 

All the best,

 

Sean :)

 

The lesser amount (and qualifiers) in post #37 is for prevention. I don't think anyone needs to do this unless they are crazy like me and have a large number of inks that they want to preserve for as long as possible. Originally this started because I began to see that some ink makers did not use adequate (or any) biocides.

 

The only promoted option out there was using Tryphon's Ink Safe or Steril Ink, neither of which worked even in doses 30-40 times as strong as Giovanni told me by phone. So the hunt began, and knowing that almost all ink began using phenol for a biocide before preposterous rat testing mega-doses gave it a bad reputation.

 

Based upon what pharmacist said, I cannot recommend phenol for inks that likely have a pH higher than 8.0, which appears to be some number of the Japanese Sailor & Iroshizuku brands. However, more color varieties within those brands need to be pH tested before that becomes a hard and fast rule.

 

As you know Sean from having made your own inks, there are also other very effective commercial biocides such as Dowicil-75, salicylic acid, sodium azide, etc. but they have significant obstacles for the average FP user.

 

 

Hello Sam,

 

Yes, I know; I am aware of Phenol's limitations in alkaline inks. I just wanted to make sure because while I am knowledgeable about Dowicil 75; I've NEVER worked with Phenol before... at all. I just wanted to make sure I don't add too much; fearing that it may have an effect on flow or lubrication, (both of which are very important facets to me). :) Thanks again.

 

All the best,

 

Sean :)

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"Every one therefore that shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father Who is in Heaven." - MT. 10:32

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  • 1 month later...

Since salicylic acid works as a biocide, I wondered if aspirin would work - its not that easy to get salicylic acid . In water aspirin decomposes to acetic acid and salicylic acid - thats why old aspirin can have a vinegar smell.

1 aspirin 325mg will yield about 200mg salicylic acid.

My bottle of uncoated aspirin tablets lists only starch as an inactive ingredient. I expect that that will be filterable with any SITB with a paper coffee filter.

I made up a 500ml bottle of ink diluent using Pharmacist's recipe using 5 regular uncoated aspirin (5 x 325mg = 1625mg) and then filtered it through a coffee filter to filter out the starch from the tablets. I hope the aspirin decomposition will do the work of the salicylic acid

 

Edmund, I'm sure there is a proper dose of salicylic acid & other suggested chemicals that member "pharmacist" has made, but you would need to do the research on purity, stability, biocidal dose, possible interaction with ink dyes and components, effective pH range (since many inks are not acidic), duration of action, etc. I chose phenol because we know that all the major ink makers used it almost exclusively for ink preservation, up until the irrational & preposterous testing began with very high doses of many drugs and chemicals on animals, and overreaching extrapolations back to humans, leading to bans and fear mongering. So the extensive research using phenol with inks had been done, and it is readily available in the 4% concentration I listed about 4 posts earlier.

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

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this is just fascinating, Sam. I was wondering what this persistent and beastly infestation is. What kind of a recurrent critter has gotten loose in this ink. I am assuming that there were other people who had this problem and around the same time as you did? If that is so, then perhaps deA had a dirty batch of bottles into which they poured their product? I guess I like a good mystery, too.

 

I have a bottle of their Vanilla ink I got from Art Brown about 2 wks ago and nothing has happened to it but I am keeping my eye on it none the less.


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That's the worst part of the whole thing. I confirmed it is a fungal infection from microscopic exam (and photos were shown in the other thread). I confirmed it was present in other (normal round) bottles on the shelf at Art Brown's before the three separate shipments of the specialized wedge shaped bottles were sent to me (via Art Browns). There was an initial admission of the problem from Dr. Jansen at DeAt., which he attributed solely (in writing) to the Italian bottle maker that had not cleaned them before sending to DeAtramentis.

 

No further explanations were given, or problems admitted to after the 2nd and 3rd replacement shipments directly from Germany were also contaminated with fungi, and after Dr. Jansen complained about how much extra time and expense it cost him to rigorously clean and sterilize all the replacement bottles. I can imagine that one possible option a corporation may employ--based on fear of the fallout--is the "ostrich strategy," but to be fair, I don't know what actually happened, nor how widespread, how far back, or if the problem is still ongoing.

 

Personally, I am more inspired and confident by the way J. Herbin dealt with a similar issue, and noted in their pinned thread above.

 

One of the problems with this particular (DeAtramentis) type of fungal contamination is that it never developed into an obvious jelly-like glob, or a white floating colony. It would be nearly impossible to see it in medium to dark ink bottles. I only saw it accidentally when holding up and admiring the shade of a light yellow/orange color in the narrow wedge side of the bottle

 

Almost no one is going to routinely examine an ink against a backlight in thin vials or under the microscope, so I cannot comment beyond what I know as fact. The best news for me personally is I have effectively filtered and treated all the previously contaminated ink with effective biocides, and all are looking perfect as of 2 weeks ago. I will start using them after a full 6 months post-treatment has passed--which will be Feb 2012.

Edited by SamCapote

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

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Sam,

Great work and a great service to the FP community. I have an Esterbrook dipless double desk stand that I will be using the phenol in (already obtained, Natural pigments was very easy to work with and it turns out a good resource for me Wife who is an artist!) to prevent biological growth. I am trying to decide if I will be routinely adding it to open bottles...but there seems to be little risk of harm. Now if only there weere a list of inks with pH values above 7.8 (to be safe I might use this instead of 8.0 :embarrassed_smile: )

Thanks!

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  • 3 months later...

This wonderful reply today from Herbin via Exaclair is what a number of us have been suspecting might have happened with well established brands of european inks when forced to comply with the new EU chemical regulations.

 

Huge appreciation for how J. Herbin handled this whole issue.

With the new FPN rules, now I REALLY don't know what to put in my signature.

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This wonderful reply today from Herbin via Exaclair is what a number of us have been suspecting might have happened with well established brands of european inks when forced to comply with the new EU chemical regulations.

 

Huge appreciation for how J. Herbin handled this whole issue.

 

Absolutely!

 

 

 

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This wonderful reply today from Herbin via Exaclair is what a number of us have been suspecting might have happened with well established brands of european inks when forced to comply with the new EU chemical regulations.

 

Huge appreciation for how J. Herbin handled this whole issue.

 

Absolutely!

 

 

 

 

I suddenly have an urge to buy some J Herbin ink. Now which one to buy is the next question.

What Would The Flying Spaghetti Monster Do?

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This wonderful reply today from Herbin via Exaclair is what a number of us have been suspecting might have happened with well established brands of european inks when forced to comply with the new EU chemical regulations.

 

Huge appreciation for how J. Herbin handled this whole issue.

 

It's very refreshing to see J. Herbin actively address the issue and communicate their findings. Thanks for passing on the message.

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  • 1 year later...

Really interesting post. I've been on a bit of a fountain pen exile for a year or so - lots of factors but had basically tuned out a bit and was focused on other things...

 

So I missed the J Herbin party until one day my vintage Aurora 88P filled with Eclat de Sapphire stopped writing properly and filling properly. I sat it aside for a bit and uncapped a week or two later to start cleaning it out to discover mold on the nib. I threw the bottle away and finally have managed to clean out the pen which has been a real nuisance to say the least.

 

While I appreciate their candor and handling of the situation - I admit I'm still a bit miffed as the $8 bottle of ink is the least of my problems - it is the infected pen. Thankfully I only filled one pen with Eclat so I don't have a run through others...

 

Anyway - I have a new appreciation for the challenges ink makers suffer from. 30 years of using a fountain pen and this is my first encounter with SITB - so I should consider myself fortunate I suppose...

 

I'm now pondering adding a bit of something to my open bottles - I don't want to go through this process again!

A pen a day keeps the doctor away...

 

Parker "51" flighter; Parker 75 cisele; Conway Stewart Dandy Demonstrator; Aurora 88P chrome; Sailor Sapporo ; Lamy 2000; Lamy 27 double L; Lamy Studio; Pilot Murex; Pilot Sesenta (Red/Grey); Pilot Capless (black carbonesque); Pilot Custom 74 Demonstrator; Pilot Volex; Waterman Expert 2000 (slate blue)

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amberleadavis

I found myself in a similar situation yesterday. A Goulet sample of JH Eclat Sapphir (or however it is spelled) had slime. I hadn't used the sample since I did some of my first fade tests - so, I've probably had that sample 2 years or so. Overall, I am glad I didn't have a big bottle and I'm glad Sam did these tests.

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  • 8 months later...
saskia_madding

Thanks for that. I've bought three Kobe yellow ink bottles and all of them had suspicious flakes. I'm sure it's nothing, but after the awful incident that took out a bottle of Penman Emerald, I want to be careful. I'm getting some right now!

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The above link to buying Phenol from Natural Pigments has changed to this page: http://www.naturalpigments.com/phenol.html

 

Dosage is in post #37 above

 

 

Just wanted to give you a big THANKS... for doing all this work and sharing it with us. ;)

 

I found myself in need of "cleaning" some shady ink bottles (some showed things floating, others looked hazy) .. and I am glad to report that after following all your instructions... THEY ARE NOW HEALTHY CLEAR LOOKING INK!!!! ( ..With a strong smell of Phenol.. :D )

 

 

It has been more than 6 months and they are still quite healthy looking.

 

 

:wub: Thanks SOOO much Sam !!! :wub:

Edited by Cyber6

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+N on that. Yes, I favour phenol, one reason why I love Sailor's. I detest any of these made-up junk imitation additives. As said, go for the real thing. Sodium azide (NaN3) is even more potent but more poisonous and much harder to get.

 

Mike

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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This wonderful reply today from Herbin via Exaclair is what a number of us have been suspecting might have happened with well established brands of european inks when forced to comply with the new EU chemical regulations.

 

Huge appreciation for how J. Herbin handled this whole issue.

First it's inks, then it's cinnamon rolls. Thank goodness my primary ink comes from Japan...

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