Aluminum hydroxide can be used as a mordant in dyeing. In most cases, the compound is precipitated out of a water solution onto the fibers to be dyed. The material is then immersed into the dye bath. The color of the final product depends on the combination of dye and mordant used in the process. A similar process is used in the manufacture of certain paint pigments. A given dye and aluminum hydroxide are precipitated together in a reaction vessel and the insoluble compound thus formed is then filtered off.
Additional uses of aluminum hydroxide include the manufacture of aluminosilicate glass, a high melting point glass used in cooking utensils, the waterproofing of fabrics, and the production of fire clay, paper, pottery, and printing inks.
A close chemical relative of aluminum hydroxide, aluminum hydroxy chloride Al2(OH)5Cl, is an ingredient in many commercial antiperspirants. The compound acts as an astringent, a substance that closes pores and stops the flow of perspiration.