Optical Brighteners

Optical brighteners are dyes that absorb light in the ultraviolet and violet region of the electromagnetic spectrum, and re-emit light in the blue region.
These additives are often used to enhance the appearance of color of fabrics, causing a perceived "whitening" effect, making materials look less yellow by increasing the overall amount of blue.

Brightly coloured clothes folded.

How does this affect the cleaning process?
Since optical brighteners degrade through both wear and common cleaning processes brighteners are commonly added to cleaning agents to replace some lost over time, these additives are unfortunately often unable to restore the original look to the garment.

What does this mean for my garment?
Unfortunately it is impossible to predict the rate of decay of these brighteners due to changes in the chemical makeup needed by manufacturers to create the desired colour effects. This can result in either a gradual fade in the appearance of colour in your garment or in some cases your garment may suffer a sudden change in the appearance of colour and/or texture during the cleaning process, this process cannot be reversed.

If the process cannot be reversed what are my options?
If your garment is new and the colour has been dramatically changed due to the loss of optical brighteners we suggest returning it to the place of purchase or contacting the manufacturer.

In the event that you require imperial evidence that the effect on your garment is as a result of manufacturer error an independent third party analysis from the Canadian Garment Analysis Laboratory at a cost of $45. For more information on the Canadian Garment Analysis Laboratory or to arrange for an analysis you may contact your local Dove Cleaners location or call the laboratory directly at (905) 579-5055.


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