Meanings of Laundry Symbols on your Clothing

Many consumers pay little or no attention to the laundry symbols on their clothing even when by law, cloth makers are mandated to display them. Laundry symbols are symbols that are often displayed on labels sewed into our clothing that tells us the maker’s recommended method of washing and ironing for the clothing that will ensure that its fabric provide us with lasting value.

The reason why some of our clothing do not last is because we simply do know value or follow the instructions and warning these symbols try to pass across.

Professional launderers have no excuse not to know what these symbols stand for and so look out for them. We know however that in our environment, not many would be able to pass this test. We presume too much and so deprive ourselves of the full benefit of what we spend our hard earned money on.

Even though these symbols are diverse and may differ in design and details based on region and countries, the ideas behind them are basically the same.

Washing Laundry Symbols

These symbols cover 5 broad laundry steps/processes namely

  1. Washing
  2. Bleaching
  3. Drying
  4. Ironing
  5. Professional Cleaning (e.g. Dry Cleaning)

 

Washing

The symbol used is most generally that of a washtub or bucket filled with water. The standard laundry symbols and their meanings are contained in the table below.

 

Machine Wash

Machine Wash, Normal (no bar underneath)

This means the clothing can be washed with a machine. Inside the normal symbol will be other symbols indicating the temperature or machine setting for the clothing

Machine Wash with Temperature

Machine Wash, Normal (no bar underneath) with Temperature indicator

Inside the ‘Normal Wash’ symbol, there will either be a temperature value or 1 to 6 dots signifying temperature ranges.

Machine Wash, Permanent Press (single bar underneath)

Machine Wash, Permanent Press (single bar underneath)

Permanent Press fabrics have been treated with chemicals to ensure they resist wrinkles and retain their original shape. If a piece of clothing is permanent press, it usually means that you shouldn’t iron it.

Machine Wash, Gentle or Delicate (double bars underneath)

Machine Wash, Gentle or Delicate (double bars underneath)

The gentle cycle is for delicate fibres like wool or silk, or for items of clothing that could be damaged by a vigorous washing (like sequined tops, tights, or Lycra).

Hand Wash

Hand Wash

Means do not use a washing machine. Instead wash garments in a sink or small tub using water, detergent or soap and gentle hand manipulation

Do Not Wash

Do Not Wash

Garment may not be safely laundered by any process. Normally accompanied by Dry Clean instructions.

 

Bleaching

The symbol used is most generally that of a triangle. The standard laundry symbols and their meanings are contained in the table below.

 

Bleach When Needed

A triangle without anything in the middle means that any kind of bleach can be used on the clothing when needed.

Non-chlorine Bleach Only

This symbol means that only non-chlorine bleaches should be used.

Do Not Bleach

This symbol means you should not attempt to use any kind of bleach on this garment.

 

Drying (Tumble and Natural)

The symbol used is most generally that of a square. The standard laundry symbols and their meanings are contained in the table below.

 

Tumble Dry

A machine dryer may be regularly used at the hottest available temperature setting.

Tumble Dry Low

A machine dryer may be regularly used at a maximum of Low Heat setting.

Tumble Dry Medium

A machine dryer may be regularly used at a maximum of Medium Heat setting.

Do Not Tumble Dry

A machine dryer should not be used. Usually accompanied by an alternate drying method symbol.

Line Dry Symbol

Line Dry

Hang damp garment from line or bar, in or out doors.

Drip Dry

Hang dripping wet garment from line or bar, in or out doors, without hand shaping or smoothing.

Dry Flat

Lay out horizontally for drying.

Dry in Shade

Usually added to Line or Drip Dry. Dry away from direct sunlight.

 

Ironing

The symbol used is most generally that of a pressing iron which means the clothing can be ironed. The standard laundry symbols and their meanings are contained in the table  below.

 

Iron Low

Regular ironing, steam or dry, may be performed at Low setting (not exceeding 110C).

Iron Medium

Regular ironing, steam or dry, may be performed at Medium setting (not exceeding 150C).

Iron High

Regular ironing, steam or dry, may be performed at High setting (not exceeding 200C).

Do Not Iron

Clothing should not be smoothed or finished with an iron.

 

Dry Cleaning

The symbol used is most generally that of a circle with or without letters inside. The laundry standard symbols and their meanings are contained in the table below.

 

Dry Clean

Dry Clean, any solvent, any cycle any moisture, any heat.

Dryclean, Any Solvent Except Trichloroethylene

Any dry cleaning solvent other than trichloroethylene may be safely used.

Dryclean, Petroleum/Hydrocarbon Solvent Only

Dryclean with hydrocarbon solvent only.

Do Not Dryclean

Clothing should not be drycleaned or stains remove with solvents.

 

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REFERENCES : http://www.cleanipedia.co.za/http://www.textileaffairs.com/c-common.htm

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