The present invention is a process wherein bleaching oxidants are used to digest explosive nitro compounds. The process has an excellent reaction rate for digesting explosives and operates under multivariate conditions. Reaction solutions may be aqueous, non-aqueous or a combination thereof, and can also be any pH, but preferably have a pH between 2 and 9. The temperature may be ambient as well as any temperature above which freezing of the solution would occur and below which any degradation of the bleaching oxidant would occur or below which any explosive reaction would be initiated. The pressure may be any pressure, but is preferably ambient or atmospheric, or a pressure above a vapor pressure of the aqueous solution to avoid boiling of the solution. Because the bleaching oxidant molecules are small, much smaller than an enzyme molecule for example, they can penetrate the microstructure of plastic explosives faster. The bleaching oxidants generate reactive hydroxyl radicals, which can destroy other organic contaminants, if necessary, along with digesting the explosive nitro compound.