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Bleach is the name for a number of chemical substances which can be used to remove colors, or to make things white. Very often, they act through oxidation. Bleaches on the base of sulfur have been in use for thousands of years. Modern bleaches are usually based on chlorine or on oxygen.
Many bleaches can kill bacteria easily. For this reason, they are often used for disinfecting or sterilisation.
Dangers of using bleach
Mixing bleach with some things commonly found at home, like vinegar or even fruit juice can produce chemicals like Chlorine that are irritating or even dangerous. Bleach should also not be mixed with ammonia, because a dangerous chemical reaction will occur. This reaction can kill people.
Examples of bleaches
- Sulfur dioxide, one bleach that is a reducing agent
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Sodium hypochlorite, household bleach
- Bleaching powder
Bleach made from hydrogen peroxide is used to make hair lighter in color, orange, blonde, or even white. It is often used by dark-haired people to make highlights, and most hair dyes contain it.