Everyone has felt the pain of taking out a favorite cloth from the washing machine only to discover that it has shrunk, become sagging, changed colour, or suffered other damage. Then you regret not watching the icons present on your garments. By understanding what these little symbols on your clothing mean, you will be able to decipher the washing directions. The labels helps to preserve the quality of your clothing for the longest period. Though they may appear mysterious at first, understanding what the various washing symbols imply will take the trouble out of laundry time and keep you from ruining any more items.
Washing tub icons
Washing tub: A stylised wash tub filled with water indicates that your clothing can be washed in a machine. Additionally, it typically indicates that the garment can be washed and spun regularly (or with the synthetic cycle).
One line beneath the washing tub: It means that a clothing item has undergone several chemical processes to ensure that the fabrics resist wrinkles and maintain their original shape. A single bar appears beneath the regular wash symbol to designate this type of clothing. This also implies that the spin speed needs to be decreased.
Two lines beneath the washing tub: Under the standard wash sign, two lines represent the gentle wash. It is frequently displayed on the labels of fabrics with delicate fibers, such as wool or silk, or for clothing items that can be damaged by a strong wash (such as sequined tops, tights, or lycra). It should be spun on a mild, delicate, or wool cycle while being washed.
The iron symbol simply indicates that you can iron the clothing, but a crossed-out iron icon indicates that you cannot. There are variances, though, just like with the wash bin icons.
Dots: The number of dots inside the icon indicates the appropriate heat setting to use: one dot inside the iron icon signifies a low heat setting, two dots a medium heat setting, and three dots a high heat setting (often appropriate for cotton or linen materials).
No steam: You should look for this icon on the cloth tag, if you want to steam it. The clothing cannot be steamed if these lines are below the iron mark are crossed out.
This icon is most commonly seen on clothes.
Triangle: It signifies that you can apply a cold, diluted bleach solution to the item as needed.
Double-striped triangle: When a triangle is made up entirely of diagonal lines, only non-chlorine bleaches should be applied. To find out if your bleach contains chlorine, look at the ingredient list.
Cross over a triangle: This indicates ‘do not bleach’ and advises against using any form of bleach on the item.
Hand washing icons
Tub with a hand: Your item can be hand washed or put in a delicate washing cycle at 40°C or lower if the care label has a tub with a hand on it. Cashmere and silk should be washed because gentle washing inhibits shrinkage.
Twisted towel: If you see the towel icon on a garment, it means you can securely wring it to remove extra water.
Cross over a twisted towel: Certain items are delicate and can be damaged by wringing; if you see this icon, you should avoid twisting the clothes.
Washing temperature icons
Does your wash icon have a dot? This will let you know the highest temperature at the clothes maker suggests you wash your item.
Dots: The dots inside the bucket for any of the above symbols indicate the highest temperature that the garment can handle. One dot indicates 30 degrees Celsius, two dots mean 40 degrees Celsius, and three dots represent 50 degrees Celsius. Four dots indicate that you can wash at temperatures as high as 60 degrees Celsius, five dots at 70 degrees Celsius, and six dots at 95 degrees Celsius. Instead of dots, some tags include numbers inside the bucket. You can always choose to wash your clothes at a lower temperature than the one shown on your label.