an initiative of ACCORD
History of Hygiene
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Bleach

A brief history of…BLEACH

Ancient times: The sun has been used for centuries as a means of bleaching.

1000s: Got a few weeks? The Dutch used mixtures of lye – water run through the ashes of a wood fire – and sour milk to bleach fabrics. The process took up to 8 weeks.

1785: Chlorine gas was found to be a powerful bleaching agent. It was, however, impractical to use.

1787: Sodium hypochlorite (liquid chlorine bleach) was first produced by French scientist Claude Berthollet by passing chlorine gas through soda ash (sodium carbonate).

1799: Powdered bleach was first made by Scottish chemist Charles Tennant by reacting chlorine with slaked lime (calcium hydroxide).

1950s: Peroxide bleach was introduced.

Today, in Australia, powder, liquid, direct application and in-wash bleaches are all available, with products to suit both white and coloured wash items.

Sources:

 


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