an initiative of ACCORD
History of Hygiene
Graphs and Statistics


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.



useful stuff...

How Australian pandemics have changed! The 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic caused over 10,000 deaths in Australia,14 whereas the 2009-10 H1N1 pandemic ("Swine Flu") caused 191 deaths.15 English knights were required to bathe at least once in their lives - during the ritual of their knighthood ceremony. Because of this tradition, during the reign of King Henry IV there originated an order called "Knights of the Bath".16 The term "shampoo" came from Indian language and originally meant "massage".17 English society ladies held vacuuming parties after invention of the horse-drawn electric vacuum in 1901.18
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