reading laundry labels

The Ultimate Laundry Symbols Guide — reading laundry labels:update 2022

reading laundry labels

What is a reading laundry labels ?

A laundry symbol, also called a care symbol, is a pictogram indicating the manufacturer’s suggestions as to methods of washing, drying, dry-cleaning and ironing clothing. Such symbols are written on labels, known as care labels or care tags, attached to clothing to indicate how a particular item should best be cleaned.

What is the importance of care labels? — reading laundry labels

reading laundry labels
reading laundry labels

Care labels are essential when making the decision to purchase items, especially clothing. Without the guidance of an accurate care label; it would not be known how to properly care for a particular garment which in the long run could ruin the fabric. 

Why are reading laundry labelssymbols important?

Laundry symbols provide important information on how to best take care of our clothes and linens.They tell us how to wash, dry, bleach, and iron in the proper way. If you want your garments to last long, you better be familiar with how to take care of all of them! 

To avoid ruining your article of clothing, shrinking it or overstretching it, it’s important to follow the laundry symbols on the care labels for each garment. Every type of fabric should be washed a certain way and in order to get the longest life from your clothing and fabrics, it’s wise to follow the care labels. 

Where did these laundry care labels come from? 

Laundry care labels are a universally used guideline for clothing and other fabrics as the best way to wash and care for that particular article. Every laundry care label is required to have the care symbols on how to wash, bleach, iron and dry (or dry clean) the article itself.

Should clothes be sorted by label or color?

The standard method of washing and cleaning clothes is usually based on color, but to get the best out of your clothes, it is recommended that you wash the color and fabric together as they require the same wash care.

About care label

  • know how to care for clothing and textile products
  • have prior knowledge of costs such as dry cleaning in the ongoing care of clothing and textile products
  • understand how to clean clothing and textile products properly (e.g. cold hand wash only)
  • maximise the useful life of clothing and textile products
  • avoid damage such as dyes running (e.g. wash separately).

Care label provides the public with enough information to:

The mandatory standard requires that textile products including clothing, textiles, furnishing and suede skins, leathers and furs must have adequate care label instructions in English attached to the item.

The mandatory standard for care label for clothing and textiles applies to:

  • clothing
  • household textiles
  • furnishings
  • piece goods made from textiles
  • plastic coated fabrics
  • suede skins
  • leathers
  • furs.

what are the washing machine symbols?

On every garment like clothing or jerseys as well as other household fabric items like cushion covers and curtains, you’ll find a care label on the inside of the item. The care label will list the washing symbols that are required to keep that specific garment or fabric look it’s best. There are several universal washing machine symbols which indicate what kind of cycle and at what temperature that garment can be washed at, if at all. 

Laundry symbols for how to machine wash clothes

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The washbasin symbol indicates every step of the washing process, whether you are using a traditional or HE washing machine. If the clothes are machine washable, you’ll see dots or numbers inside that indicate the recommended maximum water temperature.

Bathtub with numbers: Because the temperature is expressed in degrees Celsius, the number 30 means cold, 40 means warm, and 50 means hot.

Dot tub: The dots inside the tub represent the same number: water temperature. The more dots there are (up to six), the higher the temperature. So if you see a spot, wash your clothes in cold water. If you see three spots, wash them in hot water.

The lines under the tub indicate that the clothes need to be washed at a particular cycle.

Wireless: normal washing cycle

One line: permanent imprint cycle

Two lines: gentle loop

“Just remember, the more wrinkles you have under the tub, the more careful you should be,” Assuleman said. Finally, if your tub has an X running through it, stay away from the washing machine. It means “Don’t wash.”

Laundry symbols for how to iron clothes 

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With plenty of wrinkle-free clothes to choose from, you probably won’t spend too much time thinking about how to remove wrinkles from your clothes. But sometimes your clothes really need ironing. Of all the symbols for washing clothes, the iron is the most self-evident. Again, the number of points indicates the highest temperature that can be used.

  • One dot: Cool
  • Two dots: Warm
  • Three dots: Hot

Of course, X means no ironing at all. When it comes to wrinkles, the steamer versus iron debate boils down to the fabric — hence the laundry logo you see on clothing labels. The following symbols relate to whether steam should be used on clothing.

Steam three times under the iron sign: steam ironing is safe.

Draw a cross on the iron and steam it three times: Avoid steaming.

Laundry symbols for dry cleaning clothes

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You can try dry cleaning at home, but you may want to leave it to the professionals, so pay attention to the label. The dry cleaning sign is a circle, and if it doesn’t have an X through it, that means you can take it to the dry cleaner. If the label says “dry cleaning only,” make sure you take it to the dry cleaner. Clothes with this label should never be in the washing machine.

Sometimes circles have letters inside them, but don’t worry. They identify the kinds of chemicals that can be used on clothing and are intended for professionals. Your dry cleaner will understand.

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