Bleach doesn't always work?!
July 12, 2007 6:49 PM Subscribe
I sat in bleach. Why didn't it turn my chair white?
posted by rossmik to Science & Nature (4 answers total)
It turned my jeans white with no problem. It dampened the seat in my wife's truck but didn't change the color. Why not?
The bleach: regular sodium hypochlorite laundry bleach
The jeans: blue cotton denim
The upholstery: course weave, blue and grey, something like polyester.
Guess 1: The dyes or pigments in the truck could be inorganic chemicals that aren't affected by bleach (like cobalt blue instead of indigo).
Guess 2: When you dye cotton, it sticks to dye sites on the outside of the fiber, but when you make polyester you can mix the dye in, all the way through the fiber, where bleach can't get to it.
Guess 3: I know nothing about dying or bleaching fabrics, so it could be something else entirely, and the hivemind here could have a completely brilliant alternative explanation.
I don't know how many dye chemists we have here, but thanks in advance for your answers!