Usage Tips \ Washers \ Laundry Symbols Guide

Laundry Symbols Guide

Are laundry tag symbols confusing to you?
Laundry symbols on fabric care labels can be challenging to decode and could lead to guesswork on laundry day, possibly damaging your most expensive clothing.
This laundry care symbols guide makes things much more manageable. If you want to know when to wash on cold or warm, if your sweater can be machine-dried, or if your garment needs ironing, this guide answers all these questions and more.
Read more on what laundry care symbols mean to help you do your laundry better and keep your clothes in tip-top shape for longer.

Washing Symbols

The washtub icon explains how to wash garments in washing machines.
A washtub icon with:

No underscored horizontal lines mean you can wash on a Normal Wash Cycle.

One underscored horizontal line indicates the use of a Permanent Press Cycle.

Two to three underscored horizontal lines indicate using a Delicate Wash or Gentle Cycle.

An X across it means you should not machine wash your garment.

If the washtub icon has dots inside it, the number of dots denotes the heat levels during the wash cycle.

One dot indicates cold water at 30°C/85°F.

Two dots means you can use warm water at 40°C/105°F.

Three dots indicate you should use warm-to-hot water at 50°C/120°F.

Four dots mean you should use hot water at 60°C/140°F.

Five dots indicate the use of near-boiling water, which sanitizes the load at 70°C/160°F.

Washing symbols also show bleaching instructions for heavily soiled garments, especially whites.

A plain triangle means it’s OK to bleach.

A black triangle means it’s not OK to bleach.

A blank triangle with two diagonal lines means it is OK to bleach using non-chlorine bleach.

Handwashing Symbols

Some symbols refer to handwashing your garment or putting it through a delicate machine wash cycle.

A washtub icon with a hand in the washtub indicates Handwashing Only.

Drying Symbols

Drying symbols give instructions on how your garments should be air-dried or instructions for machine drying.
They are denoted as circles, dots, or lines inside squares. The lines explain how an item should be air-dried or tumble-dried, and the dots represent the permissible drying temperature.
If the symbol has an X, you shouldn’t machine dry your garment at all.
A square icon with:

A horizontal line indicates to dry your garment flat.

A semi-circle on the upper side indicates to hang-dry your item.

Three vertical lines indicates you should drip-dry your garment.

Two diagonal lines in the upper left corner of the square means you should dry your garment in the shade.

A square with a circle icon denotes Dryer Cycles. These variations feature a square with a:

Blank circle denoting that Tumble Drying is allowed.

Blank circle and an X denoting "Do Not Tumble Dry."

Black circle denoting "Tumble Dry with No Heat/Air."

Circle and one dot denoting "Dry on Normal Cycle/Low Heat."

Circle and two dots, denoting "Dry on Normal Cycle/Medium Heat."

Circle and three dots, denoting "Dry on Normal Cycle/High Heat."

Squares with circles can also denote Permanent Press and Gentle Drying Cycles.
A square icon with a:

Black circle and one horizontal underscored line denotes Permanent Press/No Heat.

Blank circle with one dot and one horizontal underscored line denotes Permanent Press/Low Heat.

Blank circle with two dots and one horizontal underscored line denotes Permanent Press/Medium Heat.

Black-coloured circle with two horizontal underscored lines denotes Gentle Cycle/No Heat.

Blank circle with one dot and two horizontal underscored lines denotes Gentle Cycle/Low Heat.

Blank circle with two dots and two horizontal underscored lines denotes Gentle Cycle/Medium Heat.

Ironing Symbols

Dryer innovations have come a long way, with features like Permanent Press rendering ironing almost obsolete. However, If your garment requires it, these ironing symbols, denoted by an old-fashioned iron, will explain how to do it.
An iron symbol with:

One dot denotes a cool temperature of 110°C/230°F.

Two dots denotes a warm temperature of 150°C/300°F.

Three dots denotes a hot temperature of 200°C/390°F.

Two or three outwardly protruding diagonal lines beneath it and an added X indicates that you should not use steam when ironing.

An X across it means "Do Not Iron."

Dry Cleaning Symbols

Some garments cannot be laundered at home and are best left to the professionals. A simple circle will tell you whether a garment should be dry cleaned or not.
Dry cleaning symbols are denoted as follows:

A plain circle icon denotes it's OK to Dry Clean.

A plain circle with an X across it means Do Not Dry Clean.

Dry-cleaning symbols with letters inside them explain to the dry cleaner how to clean the garment:

We hope this guide to laundry symbols will help you take the best care of your clothes by preventing colour fading, damage, shrinkage, and pilling.
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