How to dry film with a salad spinner

Everyone who developed a film once in his life has seen them – water marks. Thin white lines all across your negatives, either lots of work on the computer after scanning or you have to wash the film all over – again with the risk of getting new water marks. There are numerous ways to avoid water marks, like using distilled water, a washing agent or isopropyl alcohol as last bath (something I need to try myself). But all this solutions just replace the water, it still needs to dry and while doing so it can leave marks. And when you use a film squeegee, you might scratch and ruin the whole film.

So what to do. Well, use a salad spinner. It might sound crazy at first, but let me show you.

All you need is a cheap salad spinner, I got mine at a household store for about 3€. For start, no modification is needed, you just put the film, still on the reel from the dev tank into the spinner and crank as fast as you can. The centrifugal force pushes all water off the film, only leaving tiny droplets behind that dry quickly and without any residue.

An advanced version would have a counter weight on the opposite side of the drum, as well as a pin or so to make sure the reel stays on the opposite side of the counter weight. I currently upgrade mine with those adjustments, but even without them, they work great. Since I started to use the spinner in my workflow, I never saw any water marks again, and also dust is a far rarer sight than before.

So darkroom friends, get a salad spinner. Your film will thank you.

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