Brightening agent

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A chemical agent used to brighten or lighten the appearance of another material. Unfortunately, in the past, acids were used to brighten dye colors, particularly in leathers, which accelerated the substrates degradation. Currently many fluorescent agents are added to detergents and textile finishes to give a brighter, more reflective appearance to fabrics.

See Fluorescent whitening agent.

Synonyms and Related Terms

brightener; whitening agent; abrillantador (Esp.); agente blanqueante (Esp.); optisch wit (Ned.)

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998