What action does chlorine have on stains?What happens at the molecular level so stains are removed?
In the presence of moisture, chlorine acts as an oxidising and bleaching agent.
To remove stains, chlorine reacts with water forming HCl and HClO. HClO is not so stable and decomposes giving nascent oxygen which is responsible for oxidisng and bleaching properties of chlorine. Thus, the stains are removed.
Cl2 + H2O HCl + HClO
HClO HCl + O
Cl2 + H2O 2 HCl + O
Coloured matter ( stains) + Nascent oxygen Colourless matter (stains removed)
This bleaching action is permanent.
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