It can be tricky to understand washing symbols because there are so many of them. You might have experienced taking a new dress out of the washing machine, only to find it has shrunk to half its original size.
Don’t worry, avoid those problems by following our simple guide to understanding washing care symbols.
1) Basic Washing Symbols
Bucket Filled with Water
This means a normal machine or hand wash where the garment can be washed at any temperature with detergent or soap.
Bucket with 1 Dot
This indicates that while washing, you must not exceed the specified temperature.
Hand Symbol Inside a Bucket
This means the clothing should be hand washed.
2) Cleaning Symbols for Ironing
This means the clothing can be regularly ironed at any temperature.
Iron Symbol with 1 Dot
This means you can only iron and steam the garment at low settings (110 oC / 200F).
Iron Symbol with 2 Dots
This means you can perform ironing up to a medium temperature (150 oC / 300F).
Iron Symbol with 3 Dots
This means you can iron, dry or steam the item up to a high temperature (200 oC / 350F).
A Crossed-Out Iron
This means ironing shouldn’t be attempted.
3) Tumble Dry Cleaning Symbol
The Tumble Dryer (A Square with a Circle in the Middle)
This means the clothing can be tumble or machine dried at any temperature.
A Tumble Dryer with 1 Dot
This means that a machine dryer must be used at a low heat setting, 2 dots suggests using a machine dryer up to a medium setting and 3 dots is up to a high setting.
A Black Circle in the Middle
This means that regular drying can only be performed on the ‘No Heat’ or ‘Air Only’ settings.
A Crossed-Out Tumble Dryer
This means the clothing can’t be tumble dried.
4) Bleach Washing Instruction Symbols
A Triangle Symbol
This means any type of bleaching product can be used during laundry.
Two Lines Inside the Triangle
This means only a non-chlorine bleach can be used.
A Crossed-Out Triangle
This means the clothing can’t be bleached.
5) Dry Cleaning Washing Symbols
A Circle Symbol
This means that the item can be dry cleaned.
A Crossed-Out Circle
This means that it can’t be dry cleaned.
The next time you do laundry, keep this guide handy for a simplified approach. Checking care labels is only the first step, delicate garments made from silk, wool, and cotton require extra care – using a mild detergent can also do wonders for such fabrics!