With every article of clothing comes a tag, labeled with symbols that seem like another language! Don’t worry, these are just clothing care symbols commonly known as ‘washing’ or ‘laundry’ symbols. They give you information about washing, drying, ironing and bleaching of the garments.
These symbols are really important as they tell you exactly how to care for the garment. Many people end up ruining their clothing by not paying attention to these details. So please, do pay attention to the care symbols!
If you feel lost reading them or you are just tired googling every single symbol you see on the tag, you have landed on the perfect spot! We will go through every Washing/Laundry symbol thoroughly, so you start recognizing them.
Machine Washing Symbols
This symbol means that the item can be machine-washed; rinsing and spinning normally.
A single bar below the tub means that the speed of the spin should be reduced.
Two bars below the tub mean that they clothing needs a mild washing action.
The cross on the tub means that the item cannot be machine-washed and most probably would need to be dry-cleaned.
Clothes that are machine-washable then you will see a tub icon with a number in it. This symbol represents that the maximum temperature that the clothing can be washed at. This can easily range from 30˚C to 95˚C.
This symbol means that the item can only be hand washed.
Natural Drying Symbols
A drooping line on a square means that you can dry your item outside on a washing line.
Three vertical lines in a square means that you need to drip-dry your item indoors on a rack.
A square with a horizontal line in it means that you need to dry the item flat so that it retains its shape.
The item is suitable for wringing.
The item should not be wringed.
Tumble Drying Symbols
A square that has a circle in it means that you can tumble dry the item.
The dot in the tumble-drying icon means that you have to tumble dry the item on low heat.
The Two Dots in the icon mean that you have to tumble dry the item on medium heat.
The three dots in the icon mean that you have to tumble dry the item on high heat.
The Cross on the icon means that you cannot tumble dry the item.
Dry Cleaning Symbols
The circle represents Dry Cleaning. Any tag with this symbol means that the item is suitable for dry cleaning.
A letter inside the circle is the chemical wash and the method that is to be used by the dry-cleaner.
A cross on the circle means that the item should not be dry-cleaned.
A line on the circle’s bottom left means short cycle.
A line on the circle’s bottom right means low heat.
The simple iron symbol means that the item can be ironed at any temperature.
The one dot in the iron icon represents delicate garments (silk and etc). The One dot means that the item should be ironed with very low heat with care.
The two dots in the iron icon represent synthetics. The Two dots mean that the item should be ironed with medium heat.
The Three dots in the iron icon represent linen or cotton. The three dots mean that the item can be ironed with high heat.
The cross on the iron symbol means that the item cannot be ironed.
The crossed iron symbol with two/three lines coming out of the bottom means that the item cannot be steamed-iron. Only dry iron.
Triangle represents that the item is suitable for bleaching. This symbol means that you can use a cold, dilute solution of bleach.
A triangle with stripes (particularly two) means that a colour-safe and non-chlorine bleach can be used for the item.
A triangle that has a cross on it means that the item cannot be bleached.
From washing to all the way to bleaching, we have covered all of the essential laundry symbols. These icons are put by the manufacturers so that you can keep your clothing with care. Please, always pay attention to these little details because, a single laundering mistake can ruin up your favourite item! Just follow the instructions and you will be good to go!
A little reminder! Even if the fabrics look similar know that, that does not mean that they can be washed, dried, ironed or bleached just the same. It’s always “to each their own” when it comes to clothing and its care.
We hope that you can now recognize if not all, but some symbols when you next see them!