How Does Bleach Bleach? What Removes the Color?

When doing the laundry, we ask, what temperature should the water be, how much detergent should I use, will I need fabric softener, will I need bleach? If I use bleach, should I use chlorine bleach or should I use oxygen bleach? Kinds of Bleach There are two kinds of bleach, based on needed strength and fabric sensitivity. Chlorine bleach, historically the older and stronger variety, is based on sodium or calcium hypochlorite, NaOCl or CaOCl. One name brand of laundry bleach is Clorox®. It contains 5.25% NaOCl. How does chlorine bleach remove color? In order to understand that, we need first to ask, what is the chemistry behind the colors used in fabrics? Color in Fabrics When we think of colors applied to fabrics, the chemist usually thinks of…
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Ammonia Plus Bleach – Why a Bad Choice

Chemistry, Health
[caption id="attachment_5877" align="alignright" width="440"] Monochloramine[/caption] Housewives and others running the home are urged not to mix household ammonia plus bleach together. Why? Because the result is a poisonous gas. What gas? What is the chemical reaction that produces it? Bleach There are two varieties of household bleach. There is oxygen bleach. And there is chlorine bleach. It is the chlorine variety that causes the risk. Chlorine bleach is a solution of sodium or calcium hypochlorite in water. Its strength runs 3 to 5 percent in water. Ammonia 100% ammonia is not a liquid. It is a gas. Household "ammonia" is about a 5 percent water solution. Ammonia gas has the formula NH₃. The solution is sometimes written NH₄OH. NH₃ + HOH → NH₄OH In reality, most of the ammonia is…
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