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You can try adding a few drops of vinegar or clove oil to prevent mold growth. Clove oil smells great too. I’ve used thymol, a fungicide, but it’s toxic and I no longer use it. I used to use it in my bookbinding wheat glues. 

You could also wine, and in Cennini’s day, they sometimes used urine. I didn’t make that up. 

I use RO (reverse osmosis filtered) water with my paints. I started using this many years ago when one of my parrots contracted cryptosporidium (from agricultural run-off - RO filtration offered the best results. Filters are expensive but vet bills are more expensive. 

K

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 4, 2019, at 4:37 PM, Marni Fylling <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> ... And there are spores floating around in the air, bacteria on paintbrushes, on your fingertips, everywhere! If there is enough moisture and the temperature is right, you will grow something...
> 
> Have a great week, everyone!
> - marni  
> From: SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Lynette Cook <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Monday, February 4, 2019 5:11:36 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [SCIART] Gesso without a screw cap? (Slightly TAN subject)
>  
> Good point, Bruce. I have been thinking about this all wrong, then, assuming mold spores were being introduced by tap water contamination and not already there in the substrate. 
> 
> Lynette
> 
>> On Feb 4, 2019, at 2:06 PM, Bruce Bartrug <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> Lynette,
>> In this case, distilled water wouldn't make any difference.  Minerals in water don't jump start mold, and chlorine in the water might even delay the growth for a while.  If the substrate can grow mold, it probably will.  Sometimes with a vengeance :).
>> 
>> bruce
>> 
>> On Mon, Feb 4, 2019 at 4:53 PM Lynette Cook <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Interesting about the caution regarding water. This is true with distilled water also? I know tap can be an issue. When I find mold on my paint or gesso (and it’s rare) it tends to be a container that I have contaminated by putting my paintbrush inside (i.e. wet brush that had been in the tap rinsing water). I fill all my spray bottles with distilled, so it’s tap only in my brush rinse. I usually remember to put only a clean, dry palette knife or other utensil in the containers.
>> 
>> Lynette
>> 
>> ________________________________________________
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