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[BKARTS] ortho-phenylphenol / long-term paste storage

I've heard canning proposed as a way of storing paste long-term without adding preservatives. I have no experience with the process myself, and I'm reporting this to the list as third- or fourth-hand hearsay, so take this with a grain of salt (or ortho-phenylphenol, if that's your thing). Supposedly you can buy empty metal "toothpaste tubes," open at the long end, with an airtight foil under the cap that must be punctured before use (as with, for example, a tube of antibiotic ointment). Fill the tube with paste, crimp the end, boil it - and then, if all goes well, you have a tube of at-the-ready paste that doesn't even require refrigeration. My first of many questions about the process would be whether the canning process alters the working or archival properties of the paste, but still, it's an intriguing idea. Has anyone tried something like this?

As for PVA and mold - my PVA, stored in an airtight Rubbermaid container swabbed out with ethanol prior to use, starts to get moldy within a few weeks. A small amount of alcohol (ethanol and isopropanol both seem to work), about 1-2% by volume, mixed in with the PVA seems to slow, though not prevent, the mold growth. When the PVA starts to smell like funky yogurt, or when it starts getting brown/green/red swirls, I dump it.

With a nod to Austin Powers, only two things scare me: nuclear war . . . and mold.

Andrew Rabkin

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