CONCORD, N.C. — The word BLEACH scares most cleaners. It shouldn’t.
Find joy in its uses. Your bleaches are just another chemical tool to impress your clientele or get yourself out of a jam (claim).
Reducing bleaches, also called “dye strippers,” can give you spectacular results. Any bleach should be a last resort. Reducing bleaches have the potential to offer a greater impact than oxidizing bleaches.
There is a time and place for this more aggressive tool. When you are faced with fugitive dye and all other methods fail, there is no better choice than one of these chemical tools.
Titanium Sulfate is the strongest of the reducing bleaches. It is a purple liquid rather than a powder. The best way to apply this chemical tool is with an eye dropper or cotton swab to strictly limit the chemical’s travel after application.
Heat the area with a wisp of steam to accelerate the chemical action. I have found it to be safe for most fabrics, but I limit my use to garments with white or a light pastel background.
When using it in an immersion, begin by using cool tap water, one ounce of titanium to each gallon of water. Stay with the garment and keep the garment moving. Gradually heat the solution until you receive the results you want.
Slowly warming the solution will allow you to notice small changes in the fugitive dye and the garments original base color, so you can stop at the first sign of trouble. Titanium Sulfate is easily available from your distributor, under a variety of trade names.
In addition to the dye strippers, there is an old school chemical tool that is seldom mentioned. Potassium Permanganate still has a place for those that wish to go the extra mile. It is a great tool for those operations doing white cotton and white poly/cotton blend garments such as lab jackets and lab coats.
It is intended for the restoration of whites only. An example is a white lab jacket where there was a glob of ink at the bottom corner of the pocket. After you have exhausted all other options and removed most of the ink by normal methods, you have the option of flushing the area with steam, applying potassium permanganate with an eye dropper or cotton swab, waiting two minutes, flushing the area with steam to remove the chemical and then neutralizing with hydrosulfite or rust remover.
Potassium permanganate will get the last traces of color when all else fails. This is a strong, aggressive, chemical. It works and it is an option.
Finally, take this professional care tip with you all throughout the year: Going the extra mile never goes out of style. Superior service includes technical expertise.
To read Part 1, go HERE.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].