Cracking modern washing symbols on your clothes

Mar 20, 2022

With decades of experience in the laundry, no one has to tell and over-60 how to wash their clothes to get a long life out of them. But the new symbols that have taken over clothing labels are increasingly codified and may not be widely understood.  So we’ve got to it and broken the main ones down for you today so you can be in the know about modern laundry care symbols.

Dry cleaning symbols

If your care label has a circle, this means this item of clothing must be dry cleaned. The little letter inside the circle tells the dry cleaners which type of chemical to use, while the bars beneath show the level of precaution needed from the dry cleaner. If the circle has a cross over it, this means do not dry clean the item.

Ironing symbols

If the iron symbol has no dots this means your garment can be ironed at any temperature, the more dots on the iron suggest the heat that can be applied.

  • 1 dot: delicates i.e, silk and wool.
  • 2 dots: synthetics.
  • 3 dots: linen and cotton.


Drying symbols

A circle inside a square means your garment can be tumble dried. And just like the dots found on the iron symbol more dots on the iron symbol suggests the temperature of heat that can be applied:

  • 1 dot: low temperature
  • 2 dots: medium temperature
  • 3 dots: high temperature

Handwashing symbols

The symbol for hand wash only is a hand in. tub of water.  When handwashing you should wash the item at 40°C or lower by hand.  You can also use he handwash setting in the washing machine if it has one.

Rinse and spin intensity symbols

A plain tub with water  – this indicates wash, rinse and spin intensity. Garments carrying this symbol should not be wrung out by hand.

A bar under a plain tub with water – this means use a low spin speed.

Two bars under the tub – this means the garment needs a gentle wash action but can be spun and rinsed normally.

If you see an X or cross through the tub, it means the garment should not be washed and may need dry cleaning instead.

Wringing symbols

A twisted knot with a cross through it indicates that an item of clothing should not be wrung out.  Wringing out your clothes with this symbol on them can damage the fibres in them.

Happy washing!

Do you have any laundry hacks?

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