Household bleaches are chlorine bleach and oxygen bleach

The two most common household bleaches are chlorine bleach and oxygen bleach. Research their advantages and disadvantages. Which would you recommend for home use?

Household bleaches are chlorine bleach and oxygen bleach
The two most common household bleaches are chlorine bleach and oxygen bleach. Research their advantages and disadvantages. Which would you recommend for home use?

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Oxygen Bleach Vs. Chlorine Bleach
For a very long time, the only real laundry bleach on the market was chlorine bleach, popularized by industry leaders, such as Clorox. Bleach is not only used for stain removal in laundry, but to clean and sterilize objects and surfaces. Chlorine bleach is not good for every fabric and has a very harsh smell, so oxygen bleaches were developed that clean as well as chlorine bleaches in most applications, but are safer on fabrics and are less harsh. Both are effective, but one may be preferable over the other depending on the application.

Chlorine Bleach
Chlorine beach is sodium hypochlorite, diluted with water to around a five percent concentration. Manufacturers make it by heating lye (sodium hydroxide) or quicklime (calcium hydroxide) and allowing chlorine gas to bubble up through it. They then add water to the right concentration. Chlorine bleach is highly caustic. It will eat away fabric and skin if left on for an extended period, especially at full strength and take away color. Chlorine bleach is typically diluted even further when used for stain removal or cleaning. It is an unstable product that begins to lose its effectiveness after manufacturing. Also, becomes ineffective over time, and must be stored in a cool, dark place in a plastic container.

Oxygen Bleach
Oxygen bleach is hydrogen peroxide with some sodium and sometimes carbon added to it to form a compound. It releases the hydrogen peroxide when added to water. Oxygen leach is a more highly concentrated product than chlorine bleach. Many times, it is found in powdered form, which is then added to water to activate it. Oxygen bleach is known as “color-safe” or “all fabric” bleach, since it does not degrade most fabric or strip most color if used correctly, though you must still test colorfastness before using. It is very stable and can be kept for over a year with no loss of effectiveness. However, it should never be stored in metal or organic containers.

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