Laundry Symbols Guide for You
Whether you’re a washing whiz or just a complete laundry novice, you need to know your clothes’ washing symbols, otherwise you’re at risk of doing some serious damage to your go to garments! If you need a bit of a refresher or just want to get to know your dot from your dash, read our failsafe guide on laundry care symbols.
Tip 1: Machine Wash Normal
This washing machine sign means the item can be laundered in up to the hottest water possible, using any type of detergent or soap, with the regular agitation and spin speed. (When this symbol includes a hand, it indicates hand wash only.) Numerals inside the icon indicate the highest recommended water temperature.
Tip 2: Bleach When Needed
This little triangle is the bleach sign on clothes and means the item can be treated with any commercially available bleach product.
Tip 3: Tumble Dry Normal
Who knew a circle in a square is one of the dryer symbols?! This means you can dry the item in a machine dryer up to the hottest setting. A system of dots might appear on the label which will indicate the recommended temperature range, from low to high. Less dots, less heat. More dots… more heat!
Tip 4: Line Dry
This line dry symbol means you should hang the item or garment from a line or bar, indoors or out. Tumbling dry could damage this item.
Tip 5: Iron, at any temperature
The ironing symbol means that the item or garment may need ironing, and you can iron it at any available temperature, with or without steam. An iron symbol with an “X” through it means the fabric should not be ironed at all. A system of dots indicates the recommended temperature range, from low to high.
Tip 6: Dry-Clean
This means you should dry-clean the garment only—do not machine wash or dry. A letter inside the circle indicates the type of chemical that can be used.
Tip 7: Dots
The more dots you see on the tag means the more heat the clothes can take. One dot means cool or low heat, two dots for warm or medium heat, and three dots for hot or high temperature.
Tip 8: Dashes
As for bars, the more bars you see, the gentler a cycle you should use. One bar means permanent press cycle, two bars means gentle/delicate cycle, and bars in the shape of an “X” mean do not wash.
Tip 9: Symbols on Washing Machine Detergent Drawers
And it’s not just worth knowing the clothing symbols. There are also symbols on your washing machine that are waiting to be discovered! Your washing machine detergent drawer is usually divided into three sections and each is marked with a different symbol to tell you where to put which detergent. Knowing what the symbols are on your washing machine will help you to avoid potential pitfalls when washing your clothes.
Fabric Conditioner Symbol - The flower is the fabric softener symbol. Do not exceed the max mark when you’re pouring in your fabric conditioner.
One-Line Symbol– The one-line symbol indicates the pre-wash, where you pop in some detergent when you’re going to do a ‘pre-wash’ cycle. You would use this option before a main wash cycle, to help remove tough dirt and stains from your items. This drawer needs to be filled up if you plan on giving your clothes an extra thorough wash. If it’s not filled, your washing machine will just go through a main wash and your clothes might not come out as clean and fresh as you’d like them to! Note that not all washing machines have this function.
Two-Line Symbol – The two-line symbol represents the main wash compartment and is the slot you’ll put the detergent into and use most of the time to wash your clothes.