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methyl cellulose conclusions

I received a number of responses to my post about methyl cellulose. Several
folks emailed me to share the responses. Here's a summary.

The conclusion was pretty much the same from everyone: you don't need to
refrigerate methyl cellulose, and you should not refrigerate a PVA/methyl
cellulose mix.

One writer (Jane Brown) reminded me that  "one feature of PVA is if it gets
too cold it  molecular formula breaks (many firms will not ship PVA when
there is danger of it freezing in the mails).  Room temperature is usually
adequate for storage.  The same is true for Methyl Cellulose."

Others wrote that if mold is a potential problem, there are some
conclusions. Charles Schermerhorn wrote: "The surest preservative is thymol,
which comes in a crystal.  A teaspoon dissolved in a bottle of rubbing
alcohol will last you the rest of your life, since only a couple of drops in
the paste will keep it. But thymol fumes are toxic, and it needs to be used
with plenty of ventilation.
    An alternative, which someone on the List gave me a year or two ago, is
tea-tree oil, which is available at most health-food stores, like General
Nutrition Centers.  It's a bit expensive, at nearly $10 for a nail-polish
size bottle, but again a couple of drops in the paste will allow you to keep
it at room temperature for a long time."

I'm going to not use the refrigerator. If I start getting mold, I'll think
about trying tea-tree oil (works great on cold sores too!). I think i'll
avoid the thymol.


           Gary Hillerson
H i l l y s u n   E n t e r p r i s e s
Informed Technical Writing

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