Color Loss from Bleach

Have you ever drycleaned an item in a normal process only to notice localized areas of color loss on a certain item? What went wrong? In many cases the color loss was caused by contact with an oxidizing agent - such as a bleach - prior to the cleaning process.

Oxidizing agents are found in hair care products, acne preparations, medicines for the skin, home bleaches, disinfectants, scouring products, and other cleaning agents. The discoloration may not show up until the item is exposed to the heat in the drying cycle or the heat of steam finishing.

Because the drycleaning process is a total immersion process, it cannot cause localized areas of color loss.

Unfortunately, a color loss from an oxidizing agent is permanent. In some cases, it may be masked by the use of a dye pad or dye pencil, or by re-dyeing the entire garment.

More information on this topic can be found in the following bulletins on DLI's Drycleaning Encyclopedia:

Technical Analysis Bulletin Series (TABS) No. 397 - Bleach Causes Fabric Damage

TABS No. 483 - Bleach Causes Color Loss