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What Do Laundry Symbols Mean?

What Do Laundry Symbols Mean?

When you take a look at the tags on your clothing, you will notice that there are a number of symbols. Each of which has its own meaning. Understanding the meaning of each symbol is important if you want to safely wash each item.

Not all items can be treated the same since different fabrics have different vulnerabilities. Some are prone to shrinking, for example, so it is important to make sure that you always follow the washing instructions. Here are some of the most common symbols explained.

Washing Symbols

washing symbols

For the most part, these symbols indicate special temperature requirements and they are displayed as follows:

  • Washing bucket with water and no other symbols means you can wash at any temperature.
  • Washing bucket with 40 inside means that you should wash at 40°C.
  • Washing bucket with 50 inside means that you should wash at 50°C.
  • Washing bucket with 60 inside means that you should wash at 60°C.
  • Washing bucket with hand means that you should hand wash.
  • Washing bucket with an X over it means that it should not be machine washed.

Bleaching Instructions

bleaching symbols

Just like washing, there are varying methods that can be used for bleaching clothing and linens. The meanings of these symbols are as listed below:

  • A triangle means that you can use any type of bleach.
  • A triangle with the letters CL inside means that you should use chlorine-based bleach.
  • If the triangle has 2 lines going through it, you should NOT use chlorine-based bleach on this item.
  • If there is an X through the triangle, it means you should not bleach at all.
  • If there is an X going through the triangle and the triangle is colored in, it means that you should not use bleach at all.

Tumble Drying Guidelines

tumble drying symbols

While most items of clothing and linen can be tumble dried, there are those that require certain settings or should not be tumble dried at all. Here’s what those symbols mean:

  • A square with a circle inside means that you can tumble dry without limitations.
  • The drying symbol with a dot in the middle means that you should select a low temperature.
  • If there are two dots in the center, you should select the regular temperature for drying.
  • If there is an X through the tumble drying symbol, you should not tumble dry the item.

Natural Drying Recommendations

natural-drnatural drying symbolsying-symbols

Natural drying is a bit more complex than simply hanging your clothing out on the line. There are different symbols that will help you ensure that your clothes dry properly without compromising the quality of the item of clothing.

  • A square indicates that the item should be air-dried and not tumble dried.
  • If there is a square with a half-circle on the top, the item should be hung and air-dried.
  • If the square has a line going through the center, the clothing should be laid flat while drying.
  • A square with 3 vertical lines indicates that it should be hung up to drip dry.
  • 2 lines crossing through one of the corners of the square indicates that you should dry the item in the shade.
  • 2 lines crossing through the corner with a half-circle on top indicates that you should dry the item on your washing line, in the shade.
  • If there is a line going through the center along with 2 lines crossing through one corner, you should lay the item flat in the shade to dry.
  • If there are 3 vertical lines and 2 lines crossing through one corner, the item should be drip-dried in the shade.

Ironing Symbols

ironing symbols

Ironing can make your clothing look impeccable but it can also cause damage if the right settings are not selected. Here’s what you need to know about ironing symbols:

  • The basic ironing symbol is represented by a shape that resembles an iron. You can see the handle in the shape of an L and the base of the iron resembles a rectangle with a curved side. This symbol means that you can iron without restrictions.
  • If there is a dot on the ironing symbol, you should iron at a low temperature.
  • If there are 2 dots, you can iron at a medium temperature.
  • 3 dots indicate that you should iron at a high temperature.
  • If there is an X through the ironing symbol, this item should not be ironed at all.

Chemical Cleaning Explained

chemical cleaning symbols

Not all textiles can be dry cleaned so it is important to look for this symbol before sending the item in to professionals.

  • A circle indicates that the item should be dry cleaned and there are no restrictions regarding chemicals used.
  • An F in the middle of the circle indicates that it should be cleaned with hydrocarbon solvent.
  • An F with a line underneath it indicates that it should be cleaned gently with hydrocarbon solvent.
  • An F in the middle with 2 lines underneath means that the item should be cleaned very gently using hydrocarbon solvents.
  • If you notice a P in the middle, it should be dry cleaned with tetrachloroethylene.
  • If there is a line under the P in the middle of the circle, it should be dry cleaned gently with tetrachloroethylene.
  • If there are 2 lines under the P in the circle, it should be dry cleaned very gently using tetrachloroethylene.
  • If there is an X through the circle, the item should not be dry cleaned at all.

Wet cleaning guidelines

wet cleaning symbols

Like dry cleaning, there are some restrictions when it comes to wet cleaning too. Here’s what these symbols mean:

  • A circle with a W in the middle indicates that wet cleaning is recommended.
  • If there is a line under the wet cleaning symbol, it should be wet cleaned gently
  • If there are 2 lines under the wet cleaning symbol, the item should be wet cleaned very gently.
  • If there is an X through the wet cleaning symbol, it means that the item should not be wet cleaned.

At Express Appliance Repair, our technicians are trained and experienced in repairing all washer and dryer faults. No matter the make or model, we always arrive equipped to diagnose and fix the problem right away. Contact us at (647) 483-9051 for professional repairs you can trust.