Washing Symbols on Your Clothes: What They Actually Mean

source: Persil

Have you ever wondered what those cryptic symbols on your clothing labels actually mean? They may look like hieroglyphics at first glance, but fear not – we’re here to decipher these laundry enigmas for you. Whether you’re a laundry novice or just looking for a quick refresher, understanding these symbols can save your favorite garments from a tragic fate in the washing machine.

source: VectorStock

Hand Wash Only

Let’s start with a symbol that resembles a little hand in a basin of water. This one is pretty straightforward – it means your garment requires gentle care. Hand wash only! You’ll want to avoid tossing it into the washing machine. Instead, fill a basin with lukewarm water, add a mild detergent, and gently agitate the garment. Rinse thoroughly and press out excess water, being careful not to wring it.

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Do Not Wring

Speaking of wringing, you might come across a symbol that looks like a crossed-out candy. This icon is a clear warning – do not wring out your clothing. After hand washing or even machine washing, gently press the water out without twisting or wringing to preserve the fabric’s integrity.

source: Freepik

Iron or Steam

Now, let’s discuss the symbol that resembles an iron. This one tells you whether or not it’s safe to iron your garment. If you see it, you can confidently use your iron. If there are dots inside the iron symbol, they indicate the temperature setting. Fewer dots mean lower heat, while more dots indicate higher heat. Always check the care label for specific temperature recommendations.

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Hang to Dry

Next up, a symbol that looks like a hanger – a clear indication that your garment should be hung to dry. Avoid using a tumble dryer, as excessive heat can damage delicate fabrics. Instead, find a well-ventilated area, hang your clothes, and let them air dry naturally.

source: Freepik

Do Not Dry Clean

Sometimes, you’ll come across a symbol that is a crossed-out circle. This means you should avoid dry cleaning your garment. Some fabrics are not suitable for dry cleaning and might get damaged in the process. Instead, follow the care instructions provided.

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No Steam Finishing

A symbol that is a circle with a little line next to it, indicates that you should not use steam during the ironing process. Steam can harm certain fabrics, so it’s best to use a dry iron for these garments.

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Machine Wash

Moving on to the classic washing machine symbol. This one is easy to recognize, but remember to check for any additional details. It looks like water in a bucket. And it means that you can wash your garment in a washing machine.

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Wash at Certain Degrees

You might encounter a symbol that looks like a thermometer, indicating a specific temperature for washing. It’s crucial to adhere to these recommendations. Washing at the wrong temperature can cause shrinking or damage to your clothes.

source: Freepik

Do Not Wash, Have It Dry Cleaned Instead

Finally, there’s the symbol that means “Do Not Wash.” Instead, have it professionally dry cleaned. This is common for items like suits or delicate fabrics that may not withstand conventional washing.

Decoding those mysterious clothing care symbols doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a little understanding and attention to detail, you can keep your wardrobe looking fresh and extend the life of your favorite garments. So, the next time you’re faced with a laundry challenge, you’ll be well-prepared to conquer it, armed with the knowledge of these essential symbols.