# What makes “Color-Safe Bleach” color safe?

The ability of bleach ($\ce{NaOCl}$) to change the color of garments and introduce "bleach stains" is a well-known issue. In this question: Does bleach turn a substance white or colorless?, the accepted answer says the mechanism is breaking apart long pigment compounds.

As per Clorox's website, Clorox2 color-safe bleach uses hydrogen peroxide ($\ce{H2O2}$) and:

"[a]t the concentration used in the laundry, hydrogen peroxide is a much less aggressive bleach than sodium hypochlorite."

I'm trying to parse this ad-copy statement into GenChem vocabulary. Is the idea that while $\ce{H2O2}$ is also a powerful oxidizing agent, it isn't strong enough to disrupt the pigment molecules in dyes (like $\ce{NaOCl}$), but still powerful enough for general cleaning / stain removal? Or is it simply a result of having a diluted product?

• afaik $\ce{H2O2}$ is not that powerful an oxidizing agent. It can sometimes act as an oxidizer and sometimes even as a reducing agent. I call it double minded. $\ce{NaOCl}$ on the other hand, knows that it'll act like an oxidizing agent. – Berry Holmes May 14 '17 at 7:50
• @BerryHolmes good point, I suppose we aren't filling the washing machine with piranha solution lol – erfink May 14 '17 at 9:24