e. Fixing. During the first stage of fixation, unexposed silver crystals are
removed from the film, thereby clearing the film and making the image translucent. The
hanger should be moved up and down several times (figure 3-8) to make sure the fixer
contacts all surfaces. An average safe time for the film to remain in a fresh fixing
solution is 10 minutes. This provides time for the emulsion to harden properly after the
film has cleared. The film may be examined briefly after one minute in the fixer, but it
must be returned to the solution to complete the hardening process. For wet readings,
a minimum of two minutes of fixation is required. After readings, the film must be
returned to the fixing solution to complete the process.
Figure 3-8. Fixing x-ray film.
f. Washing. Upon the completion of fixation, the film should be immersed in
fresh, cool, circulating water for at least 20 minutes to ensure complete removal of the
fixing solution (figure 3-9). If not washed properly, the radiograph will turn yellow and
fade with time if any of the fixing chemical remains on its surface.
Figure 3-9. Washing x-ray film.