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The Meaning of Washing Machine Symbols

In order to keep your clothes looking new for as long as possible, you need to know the best way to wash them! This means looking at the care label on your garment to follow any special instructions which tells you how to take care of washing, drying, ironing, and bleaching your clothes. So what exactly are all the washing machine symbols meaning? Read on…

Washing symbols

Washing machine laundry sylbols

1. Machine wash, Normal - The clothes may be washed on a maximum wash – the number within the washtub being the maximum wash temperature.

2. Machine wash Mild treatment - Garment may be washed on a medium wash for mild washing conditions.

3. Machine Wash, Gentle or Delicate - Delicate washing conditions for fabrics like wool, silk or other clothing items that might be easily damaged.

4. Hand wash - Items with this label should be hand washed only. The maximum temperature should not go above 40°C, handle with care

5. Do not wash - Washing is not recommended for the specific piece. The item will have to be dry cleaned. Keep reading to find more about dry cleaning symbols.

Bleach symbols

Remember to take all the necessary precautions when bleaching items.

Bleach symbols

1. Bleach when needed - Any bleach including chlorine based bleaching allowed in a cold and dilute solution.

2. Do not bleach - Don't use any kind of bleach.

3. Non-chlorine bleach when needed - Only a non-chlorine (oxygen bleach), color-safe bleach may be used in the laundering process.

Drying symbols

Dry clothes properly to ensure they maintain their shape and size!

Drying symbols

1.Tumble dry, Normal - You can use a machine dryer, even at the hottest available temperature setting.

2. Tumble dry, Normal & Low heat - You can use machine drying but it should be used at a maximum of Low Heat setting.

3. Tumble dry, Normal & Medium heat - You can use your tumble dryer at Medium heat setting.

4. Do Not Tumble Dry - Don't tumble dry items with this label as this will most probably damage them. Drip-dry the clothing on a drying rack, outside or in an airing cupboard.

5. Line dry - Hang damp garment from line or bar, in or out doors, when tumble drying isn’t recommended.

6. Drip dry - You'll find this symbol on clothes that are easily distorted by vertical drying. To avoid this lay them horizontally and leave them to fully dry.

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

Ironing symbols

Ironing symbols

1. Iron, Low - Regular ironing, with a maximum sole plate temperature of 110°C – steam ironing may be a risk

2. Iron, Medium - Regular ironing, steam or dry with maximum sole plate temperature of 150°C

3. Iron, High - Regular ironing, steam or dry with a maximum sole plate temperature of 200°C

4. Do not iron - Steaming or steam treatments not allowed

5. Do not steam - Steam ironing will harm garment, but regular dry ironing at indicated temperature setting is acceptable.

Dry cleaning symbols

Some garments are better off being cleaned by a professional, so check to see if they need to be dry cleaned.

Dry cleaning symbols

1. Dry clean - May be dry cleaned on any heat with any solvent

2. Dry clean, Any solvent except trichloroethylene - May be dry cleaned (the letter inside the circle will indicate to the dry cleaner which process to be used).

3. Do not dry clean - Do not dry clean or remove stains with solvents.

For any other symbols that aren’t listed above you can easily visit a reputable website and print off a copy of the most common washing symbols.