Laundry symbols: Decoding your clothing care tags Posted on February 6, 2024 under Blog, Garment Care. | no comments.

Laundry symbols appear on all the labels or care tags that you can find somewhere on every piece of clothing you purchase. These symbols are important as they tell you the best way to care for your garments without damaging them. However, they can be confusing. You will often find directions as well as the symbols to help you determine what you’re supposed to do. Below is a breakdown of some of the most common ones.

Washing & Drying Symbols:

Clothing care label chartMachine Wash: A symbol depicting a bucket filled with water indicates that the garment is safe for machine washing. The number inside the bucket represents the maximum temperature at which you should wash the item.
Hand Wash: The item should only be hand-washed if you see a hand in the bucket symbol. Avoid using a washing machine as it may leave that piece of clothing damaged or faded.
Do Not Wash: Do not wash outfits with a crossed-out washing symbol or something that says Dry Clean Only. 
Tumble Dry: A square symbol with a circle inside indicates that the outfit is safe for machine drying. The dots inside the circle specify the appropriate heat setting.
Line Dry: Air dry items if you see a straight line. Hang it on a clothesline or a drying rack to let it dry slowly.
Do Not Tumble Dry: A square with a circle crossed out means you should avoid machine drying. Look for alternative drying methods like line drying or flat drying.

Bleaching Symbols:

Bleach When Needed: A triangle symbol indicates that you can use bleach on the fabric when necessary. You may need to check for additional instructions to ensure you’re using the correct type of bleach.
Non-Chlorine Bleach Only: If you notice a triangle filled with diagonal lines, you can use non-chlorine bleach, like hydrogen peroxide, but avoid chlorine bleach.
Do not bleach: Do not use bleach when the symbol is crossed out.

Bleach is tricky and can easily damage clothing, not only the clothes you are washing but others that get splashed with bleach, so be careful. If you are looking to get your white clothes brighter, a better idea is to take them to the dry cleaner.

Other Symbols

Iron: An iron symbol signifies you can safely iron that item. The dots inside the iron indicate the appropriate temperature setting to avoid damage.
Do Not Iron: Avoid ironing the clothing with a crossed-out iron symbol. The heat from an iron can damage delicate fabrics and some fabric textures.
Dry Clean Only: A circle indicates that the garment must be dry cleaned. Avoid washing it with water.
Do Not Dry Clean: A crossed-out circle suggests that the item should not be dry cleaned. It may be sensitive to the solvents used in the dry-cleaning process.

There are more laundry symbols that you may find on your outfits that tell you to wash with similar colors, inside out and more. If you need help understanding them, a dry-cleaning expert can help.

At Champion Cleaners, we know how to keep your clothes protected. We can launder and dry clean your outfits so they look their best. Get free pickup and delivery when you contact us or call (239) 598-1555.

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