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I was trying to think of the mechanism of bleach at work in the laundry. I know the hypochlorite ion is hard at work but I am not sure how.
Question Date: 2004-12-06
Answer 1:

The hypoclorite ion breaks down water to create hydrochloric acid (HCL), Sodium Hydroxide and a small amount of atomic oxygen (O). This oxygen reacts vigorously with conjugated double bonds of aromatic and chromophoric organic chemicals -- rendering them colorless and scentless. The oxygen can dissociate the molecules or bind the free electrons which gave the color and scent properties to the original chemicals.

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