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Q & A: Bleaching colored objects

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
What happens to color when you add bleach to a colored solution?
- Cynthia Bateman
Lynden, WA, USA
A:
Chlorine bleach and other bleaches are strong oxidizing agents. Dyes are colorful because they have electrons in them which can absorb some colors of light and not others. When dyes are oxidized, some of the chemical bonds in the molecules are broken, ruining the light-absorption properties, turning the dye white.

Tom

(published on 10/22/2007)

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