Red beetroot juice developer – The beetrootol

Published by Tina Bele on

Did you know that almost anything that contains vegetables develops film if mixed with washing soda and vitamin C?

Well, it does. Today I present you:

The beetrootol

250 ml Red Beetroot juice
2 tsp of washing soda
1 tsp vitamin C

works fine with papers, haven’t tested the films, yet.


YVonne · January 12, 2015 at 9:53 pm

Just to confirm…. 2.5mL beetroot? Not more I would love to try this but that seems like a tiny tiny amount… not L?

    Tina Bele · January 13, 2015 at 8:32 am

    YVonne, the papers I was developing were tiny, (as a test) so 2,5 ml was enough… sure you can double the measures 🙂

      YVonne · January 13, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Aha!! Excellent. Thank you

phototobi · February 1, 2015 at 9:33 pm

Hi, crazy way to devolpe paper.

So i tested film as well
works fine with the same juice receipe

After the film will dry overnight i post my results torrow!

Thanks for the idea!

Tobias · February 3, 2015 at 3:30 pm

For film it works fine as well!

Thank you for the hint

Samples you´ll find here:


Tina Bele · April 22, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Great!! Thank you for sharing Tobias! 🙂

Robin Hutchinson · April 27, 2015 at 9:19 pm

where does beetroot come from? smash a bunch of beets with a truck? a blender seems more likely, I’ll try this soon .Robin

    Tina Bele · May 3, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Robin, I used beetroot juice from organic shop, sure you can use a blender, though… Pls, do show us your results afterwards…

      Robin · May 4, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Some told me that beets and carrots are related, so carrot juice might work too! so many vegetables so little time…

Jasper · September 7, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Hey guys, thinking about doing this cause I have a black and white darkroom at uni but heaps and heaps of surplus c41 fiilm which i can’t afford to have developed. I’m fine with the photos turning out black and white with this developer, but I have a few questions about how it all works.

Do you stop and fix using the regular chemicals or can you make those at home yourself too?
Can you develop it to turn out with colour?
Can you then develop the same way or a using normal checmicals?
would it be okay to use in a shared university facility or am I better off just doing it at home?

SELFe · March 28, 2018 at 4:02 pm

I think I’m gonna give it a try.

Marianne · February 26, 2020 at 1:12 pm

Hi Tina,
I’m new to pinhole camera. I use direct positive paper and I find your result quite nice. Especially, the third photo with the beautiful noisy look. How did you manage to do that? Is it the paper, the time of the day or the development process.

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