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Re: Methyl cellulose response

Gary initially asked:

>I just mixed up my first batch of methyl cellulose, and then mixed it
>with PVA.    Can I keep the methyl cellulose in a closed jar in my
studio, or does >it need to be refrigerated? Same question for the
>Thanks in advance,   Gary.


Our response follows:

We initially found that mould grew in MC, even in the fridge.  So, we
started to use natural spring water, which we have delivered here for
drinking purposes, in those large upside-down  bottles, over a cooler
(like you see in offices).  It's not distilled, but it is very much
purer than tap water.  This in itself will help to preserve your MC
batch.  Never use tap water when making up solutions in your workshop.
Ideally, distilled water, if you keep it.  If you live in the country,
away from city drinking water, good river water may suffice.

We also keep to hand a 5-10% solution of Thymol in alcohol.  This is a
traditional fungicide, a substance which is also used in throat gargles.
A drop or five in your newly made batch of Methocel, kept in the fridge,
should cause no mould or fungi.

We have found that PVA/Methocel mix does not need to be kept in the
fridge, nor does it need preservatives, as no moulds or fungi have ever
formed in our batches.

There are many arguments for and against, in the journal literature, for
using fungicides, and if used,  just which ones.  You will have to work
that one out for yourself.

BTW, thymol is also useful for keeping at bay the mould growths on books
(during those wet weeks!).

A further note:  A drop or two of eucalyptus oil in your thymol solution
will give added benefits to the preservative nature of the solution.
Both substances are available from your local chemist shop or drug store
(depending on where you live!).

Peter Krantz.
Book Restorations.

Established 1976

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