There are many stains that may require the use of bleaching agents to remove the last traces of the stain. In many cases, sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) bleach can be used.
The use of chlorine bleach in stain removal procedures may be effective, however there are several precautions that need to be taken. Before the bleach is applied to the stain, colorfastness testing should be performed to ensure that the bleaching agent does not remove the original color of the item. If colorfastness testing shows that it is safe to use chlorine bleach, the bleaching agent should be applied sparingly to the stain.
When attempting to remove a stain with chlorine bleach, we recommend that you start with a diluted solution (two percent) of the bleaching agent. This should be attempted a few times before five percent chlorine bleach is used.
After you have finished spotting with bleach, the area should be neutralized with an anti-chlor solution. Anti-chlor solutions contain two ounces of 28 percent acetic acid and two teaspoons of sodium bisulfite per gallon of water. This should be applied to the area and then thoroughly flushed from the item.
If an anti-chlor is not used, the chlorine bleach can deteriorate the fabric. Remember, chlorine bleach should never be used on silk or wool fibers.