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Grade: 12
Bleaching action of Chlorine is permanent while that of sulphur di oxide is temporary. Justify.
2 years ago

Answers : (2)

23773 Points

Dear Student

The bleaching action by chlorine is based on Oxidation means it requires nascent oxygen for
Bleaching action. While sulphur dioxide bleaching is based upon the reduction (Use of the 
nascent hydrogen)
Another difference is the bleaching action of sulphur dioxide is temporary while bleaching 
Action of chlorine is permanent. 
Basically bleaching action by chlorine is strong-Used for bleaching cotton, jute,It also
Damages delicate fibres by vigorous reaction. 
While SO2 is Mild bleaching agent..Used to bleach delicate fibres like silk,wool..Does not 
damage fabric as its not strong.

We hope that clarifies your query.


Arun (askIITians forum expert)

2 years ago
40 Points

Sulphur dioxide is a temporary bleaching agent, unlike Chlorine, which is a permanent bleaching agent! This is because the mechanism for bleaching is different:

  • SO2-Reduction => TEMPORARY
  • Cl2-Oxidation => PERMANENT

Sulphur dioxide removes oxygen from the coloured substance and makes it colourless. But atmospheric oxygen slowly takes place of the removed oxygen and because of which the material regains the colour.

chlorine reacts with water and produce nascent oxygen, which is the reason for its bleaching action
2 years ago
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