Bleach is a ubiquitous part of modern life, used to clean and disinfect surfaces in almost every home. But you may be wondering why it’s called bleach. Well, wonder no more – this article will explain the science, history, and uses of this well-known product.
We’ll uncover the fascinating and complex story behind why bleach is called bleach and how its use has evolved over the centuries. Through our examination of its name, chemical properties, and everyday uses, we’ll reveal just why it merits its unique moniker.
So let’s dig in and see why bleach is called bleach and why it has become such an essential part of modern cleaning. Let’s get started!
Why Is It Called Bleach?Bleach is an important household cleaner and one of the most widely used cleaning agents in the world. But why is it called bleach?
People have long been curious about this, as the name doesn’t seem to correlate with its purpose. Let’s take a look at the answer.
The Etymology of the Word BleachThe word bleach comes from the Old English word “blaeccan,” which means “to whiten. ” It closely resembles other words, such as the Old English “blæcean,” which means “to make white,” and, even further back, the Proto-Germanic “blaiko,” which means “to yellow.
The History of BleachThe concept of whitening or bleaching fabrics has existed since ancient times. People used lemon juice, vinegar, and other bleaching agents to whiten their clothing and linen. During the Middle Ages, there were also various bleaching treatments available.
The most common involved soaking the fabric in mixture of cow dung, sour milk, and other organic ingredients for two days, and then leaving it in the sun for a few weeks. Other treatments included sprinkling the fabric with water, exposing it to smoke and sunlight, or leaving it in a lime and water solution.
Modern-Day BleachIt wasn’t until the late 18th century that a more consistent bleaching product was created. In 1774, a bleaching powder was developed which could be used on fabrics. This powder is the predecessor of modern-day bleach.
Later, in the mid-19th century, chlorine bleach was introduced. This product is much stronger than its predecessors, which makes it more effective for cleaning and whitening fabrics.