Different types of bleach are made from different chemical compounds. The most common bleaches are chlorine bleach, which is made from sodium hypochlorite, and oxygen bleach, which is made from hydrogen peroxide. Standard household bleach is chlorine bleach diluted to 5.25 percent.
A variety of oxidizing and reducing compounds are used as chemical bleaches. Oxidizing bleaches work by breaking the chemical bonds in the stain, changing the molecular structure enough to render it colorless. Reducing bleaches achieve the same result by changing the double bonds in the stain to single bonds. Ultraviolet light bleaches out color by the same process of breaking chemical bonds.