How to Scour & Bleach Acrylic


Typically, acrylic will only have a small amount of processing oils leftover from manufacture and is easily removed with warm water.  The goods, however, may get soiled through transportation, handling and storage requiring scouring and possibly bleaching.


Scouring of Acrylic

Enter acrylic goods in a bath containing:

  • 1.0% owg                         Orconol CHSA Conc™
  • 0.5 oz/gal(0.4 g/L)      Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate(TSPP)


Run goods for 20 minutes at 160°F(71°C), cool to 120°F(49°C), and rinse well.  For heavily soiled goods, the addition of 0.7-1.5 oz/gal(5-10g/L) of Orco CitriSolve DL-AAS-2™ may be helpful.


Bleaching of Acrylic

The main goal of bleaching is to attain the cleanest, brightest white possible without losing fiber strength.  Typically, this is not necessary for acrylic but can be performed using Sodium Chlorite and a suitable optical whitener such as Orco Synthrowite AMA 100™ which may or may not be tinted, depending on the desired cast.  A scouring process should be performed first to rid goods of any sizes, waxes, oils, or general soil.

In a bath at 104°F(40°C), with 0.25 to 2.0%owg Orco Synthrowite AMA 100™, add:

0.03 oz/gal(0.2 g/L)          Anionic Wetting Agent

0.13-.26 oz/gal(1-2 g/L)    Sodium Chlorite 80%

0.27-.54 oz/gal(2-4 g/L)    Sodium Nitrate

0.13-.26 oz/gal(1-2 g/L)    Oxalic, Formic, or Acetic Acid to pH of 3-4


Enter goods and slowly bring temperature to 200°F(93°C) and run for 20 minutes. Adjust pH to 2 with diluted sulfuric acid and boil an additional 10 minutes.  Cool to 160°F(71°C) and rinse until clear.  In a fresh bath at 100°F(38°C) add:

0.133 oz/gal(1 g/L)      Sodium Bicarbonate

0.133 oz/gal(1 g/L)      Sodium Bisulfite

Bring temperature up to 140°F(60°C) and run for 20 minutes.  Rinse until clear.  Give the goods a final scour as follows:

In a bath containing 1-1.5 % owg  Orconol CHSA Conc™ and 0.03-0.07 oz/gal(0.2-0.5 g/L) Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate(TSPP),  run goods for 20 minutes at 160°F(71°C).  Cool to 120°F(49°C) and rinse well.

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