Laundry Symbols 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding

If you want to keep your clothing looking its best, you need to learn how to decipher the laundry symbols that can be found on detergents and other laundry products. No one is immune to the mystery of the symbols on their laundry labels. Many people have trouble understanding laundry symbols and may accidentally ruin their garments as a result.

This piece is meant to serve as an introduction to the language of laundry symbols for the uninitiated. From washing to drying to ironing, we’ll explain what each of the most frequently seen symbols means. There will be advice on how to keep your clothes from getting damaged, how to wash them properly, and how to keep them from shrinking.

With any luck, you’ll finish this essay with a deeper comprehension of laundry symbols and the best ways to care for your garments. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done laundry before or if you’re a seasoned pro, this book will give you the information and advice you need to always have clean, pristine garments. What are we waiting for? Go in and find out everything there is to know about laundry symbols!

Washing Symbols

Knowing how to interpret laundry symbols is essential for giving your garments the thorough cleaning and care they need. There are symbols on the care label of your laundry that will tell you what temperature water should be and what wash cycle should be used.

Washing Machine Symbol

The icon for a washing machine is simple and straightforward. This icon lets you know if your garments can be washed in the washing machine or if you’ll need to hand wash them instead. If a cross appears over the insignia, the article of clothing should never be cleaned.

Water Temperature Symbols

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Dots inside a bathtub stand for various water temperatures. There are dots representing the ideal water temperature for washing, and their number serves as a guide. If there is one dot, cold water should be used; two dots, warm; and three dots, hot.

Wash Cycle Symbols

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Lines within a washtub stand in for the many wash cycles. Washing your garments according to the number of lines suggests. A cycle with one line indicates a sensitive setting, two lines indicate a regular setting, and three lines indicate a heavy setting.

Bleaching Symbols

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Triangles stand for the bleaching symbols. If the triangle is unfilled, then either chlorine or oxygen-based bleach can be used to whiten the garment. There should be no bleaching of the garment if the triangle has diagonal lines through it.

By learning the meanings of these symbols, you can give your clothes the care they need to last as long as possible without being damaged. If you follow the care directions on the laundry tag, you can clean your garments properly and extend their useful life.

Drying Symbols

Knowing how to dry your clothing correctly after washing them will help keep them in good condition and prevent shrinkage. The drying symbols on a garment’s care label will tell you what dryer, dryer temperature, and drying cycle to use.

Tumble Drying Symbols

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A circle within a square is the universal sign for tumble drying. The symbol tells you if and at what temperature your items can be tumble dried.

If there is one dot inside the circle, the tumble dryer can be set to low heat; two dots indicate medium heat; and three dots indicate high heat. When the emblem is covered by a cross, it indicates that the item should never be tumble dried.

Drying Temperature Symbols

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The dots inside the square signify a drying temperature symbol. There are dots representing the optimal drying temperature for various fabrics. If there is only one dot, use a low heat setting; if there are two, use a medium one; and if there are three, use a high one.

Line Drying Symbols

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A line drying symbol is a square with a line drawn horizontally in the middle. The garment should be line dried instead of being tumble dried, as indicated by this sign.

Dry Cleaning Symbols

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As a dry cleaning emblem, you’ll see either a capital letter “P” or “F” inside of a circle. If the label reads “P,” then dry cleaning with perchloroethylene is recommended, and if it reads “F,” then dry cleaning with petroleum solvents is preferred. If the emblem has a cross across it, the item should not be dry cleaned under any circumstances.

Ironing Symbols

It’s vital to understand the ironing symbols on your laundry label to avoid damaging your garments when ironing, which is a quick and effective approach to remove wrinkles. Clothing care labels with ironing symbols tell you how to iron, how hot to set the iron, and how much steam to use.

Photo: Insider

Ironing Symbols

The iron is the universal icon for pressing symbols. Whether or whether your items can be ironed, and at what temperature, is indicated by this sign. Put one dot inside the iron for a low-temperature setting, two for a medium one, and three for a high one. A symbol that is crossed out indicates that the article of clothing should not be ironed.

Ironing Temperature Symbols

The dots inside the iron are indications of the many temperatures that can be set. Clothes should be ironed at the temperature indicated by the number of dots. One dot indicates a low-temperature setting, two a medium one, and three a high one.

Steam Ironing Symbols

The emblem for steam ironing is an image of an iron with water dripping from it. There should be a steam arrow if using steam is an option while ironing. If there’s a dot inside the sign, steam can be utilized; if there’s a cross, steam shouldn’t be.

Ironing Prohibited Symbols

An iron with a cross drawn on it represents a prohibition on ironing certain forbidden symbols. This icon means the article of clothing should not be ironed at all. Clothes with designs or prints that could be damaged by heat may include an ironing prohibition symbol.

Additional Symbols

Several symbols beyond the standard washing, drying, and ironing icons can be seen on a garment’s care label.

Fabric Care Symbols

There are a number of different symbols used to convey information on how to best care for a given fabric. This symbol could mean that the garment needs to be dry cleaned, washed by hand, or treated with a special detergent. If the garment needs to be stretched or reshaped during drying, this may be indicated by the sign.

Environmental Symbols

Several environmental symbols are used to convey information about the ecological footprint of a given garment. These labels may indicate that the garment was made with organic or sustainable materials, or that it was manufactured with minimal impact on the environment.

Special Treatment Symbols

Several different symbols may be used to convey information about the unique care needs of a given article of clothing. These symbols may advise against exposing the garment to certain chemicals or substances, or storing it in a particular manner.

Tips for Proper Care

Taking good care of your clothes is crucial if you want them to last and continue looking fantastic for a long time. The following advice should help you maintain your wardrobe:

Follow the care label

A garment’s care label will tell you everything you need to know about maintaining its condition. Washing temperature, drying technique, and ironing directions should all be adhered to as stated on the care label.

Separate laundry by color and fabric

Colors won’t run into one other, and delicates won’t be ruined if you sort your laundry by colour and fabric. Sort clothing by fabric type and wash whites and light colours separately from dark colours (e.g., cotton, wool, synthetic).

Use the correct detergent

Clothes can retain their best appearance if you wash them with the right detergent. Detergents designed specifically for front-loading machines or detergents designed to be used with dark materials may be necessary.

Don’t overload the washing machine or dryer

Clothes might be damaged and the cleaning process impeded if the washer or dryer is overloaded. Avoid cramming an excessive amount of laundry into the dryer at once, and instead, provide enough room for the garments to tumble freely.

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