One Cleaners

Couture Dry Cleaner for New Orleans

Tips + FAQ

Bleach: Part One: Truths about brightening and removing colored stains

Most people believe that “bleach” holds the answer to stain removal, discolorations and dulling, but it’s complicated!

Facts:

Bleach should only be used once detergent and spot removers have done their job! Bleaching is a process and a science that drycleaners employ to remove stains and to brighten fabrics. Bleaching should not be confused with what comes out of a bottle of Clorox. Most of what follows here is somewhat technical, but will help you better understand what your drycleaner can do for you and what you should not do!

  • Drycleaners utilize oxidizing bleaches and reducing bleaches to brighten fabrics and to remove stains and dyes.
  • Oxidizing bleaches work by adding oxygen to stained areas. Examples of oxidizing bleaches are chlorine, sodium hypochlorite (Clorox), hydrogen peroxide, sodium perborate — and to some degree, sunlight and artificial light.
  • Oxidizing bleaches can brighten fabrics and help to remove the “last trace” of color from organic stains such as coffee, chocolate, mustard and other colored foods.
  • Reducing bleaches work by reducing oxygen, and help to remove dye stains and man-made stains. Examples of reducing bleaches are sodium bisulfite, sodium hydrosulfite and Titanium dye strippers.

** Part 2 will describe how and when to use bleaches safely.

This tip is © The Clothing Doctor and used with permission. May not be reproduced in any form without written permission.

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