Garment Care Symbols

Trying to decipher a care label might seem like an expert’s task – the symbols can seem cryptic and overwhelmingly complex. However, there’s no room to toe the line when it comes to following the nitty-gritties of the washing, drying, ironing, and dry-cleaning instructions specified in each label. 

Do not let laundry symbols confuse you anymore. Read on below to learn about the different garment care symbols and take the guesswork out of laundry day.

Washing Symbols

The wash symbol includes three elements; The tub icon informs how to wash the garment, with underscored lines indicating the recommended wash cycle (a single line indicating perm press wash and two lines recommending a delicate or gentle cycle), and black dots denoting the suggested temperature. The number of dots ranges from 1 – 6 indicating temperature ranges from 80 F to 200 F.

Additionally, a tub icon with a cross is used to indicate that the garment should not be washed at all, and a hand in the water in tub is displayed to say it’s safe to hand wash.

Ironing symbols

The iron symbol is pretty straightforward and lays out suitable ironing practices for the garment. Similar to the washing symbol, the dots inside the iron icon is used to denote temperature, while a crossed-out iron means that the clothing should not be ironed. The dots run from 1- 3 in number, indicating 230F, 300F, and 390F respectively. 

Drying Symbols

Drying symbols are not so obvious, and can be broadly divided into two groups; machine-dried and air-dried. A squared with a circle inside is used to symbolize the tumble dry method while a square with various lines inside it is utilized to differentiate between various air-dry recommendations. For instance, a square with a small horizontal line in its center means the garment should be dried on a flat surface, while a square with two vertical lines inside it is used to represent drip-drying. 

In the case of garments that must be machine-washed, small dots are placed inside the square-circle icon to denote temperature recommendations. If the circle inside the square is completely darkened, it must be understood that clothing should be tumbled dried without heat. 

A tumble dry icon can also have lines underscoring it – with one line indicating that perm press and two lines meaning delicates. Finally, a crossed-out square is used to convey that garment must not be dried at home. 

Dry Cleaning symbols

Comparatively, dry cleaning instructions are easier to understand. A small circle is used to represent dry cleaning – with few variations. Letters are placed inside the circle to indicate detergent directions; ‘A’ – any solvent, ‘P’ – all solvent except petroleum-based solvents, ‘F’ – Petroleum solvents. A circle with the letter ‘W’ enclosed meant the fabric must be wet cleaned. 

It is equally important to remember what not to do. A simple crossed out circle says the garment cannot be dry cleaned, but if the icon is darkened with the circle filled in, it means that the item must not be wet washed. 

Bleaching symbols

Bleaching instructions are denoted by the triangle in the care label. A plain triangle indicates that the garment can be bleached when needed while stripped one specifies the use of the non-chlorine bleach for the wash. A darkened crossed-out triangle indicates no bleaching.

On the day today, deciphering, sorting and setting separate washes can be onerous and exhausting. Pressed for time? Leave it to us to take the right care of your clothes. With Urban Cleaners, it is a guarantee that your clothes will stay brighter for longer.