A SHORT GUIDE TO LAUNDRY SYMBOLS
Wash care symbols are signs that need to be included on the care label of your garments or home furnishing products. These symbols may seem complicated at first but once you get to know the basics you realize that they are self-explanatory.
It's important to note that many countries have mandatory standards for Laundry care label instructions and you will need to follow your country guidelines to create your care label.
Some common countries are:
- Australia: Textiles - Care Labeling
- Canada: Care Labeling of Textiles (voluntary system and based on the industry best practice)
- China: Chinese Textile - Care Labeling Code Using Symbols
- European Union: Textiles - Care Labeling Code Using Symbols
- Japan: Care Labeling of Textile Goods
- USA: Care Labeling of Textile Wearing Apparel and Certain Piece Goods as amended - 16 CFR 423
Overall Laundry symbols cover a range of small icons that explain requirements for washing, drying, ironing, dry cleaning and bleaching.
Let’s find out more about each of these subsets.
Here are some of the most common and basic washing symbols:
1) BUCKET FILLED WITH WATER
This means a normal machine or hand wash where the garment can be washed at any temperature with detergent or soap.
2) BUCKET FILLED WITH WATER AND TEMPERATURE
The 30°C specifies the maximum recommended temperature the garment should be washed at.
3) HAND SYMBOL INSIDE THE BUCKET
This indicates you should hand wash the item with a gentle detergent and water.
4) CROSSED BUCKED
You shouldn’t machine wash the garment.
Here are some basic ironing symbols and what they mean:
1) EMPTY IRON
You can iron at any temperature, with or without steam.
2) IRON WITH ONE DOT
An iron with one dot indicates a low setting, 110°C or 230°F, with or without steam.
3) IRON WITH TWO DOTS
Two dots inside the iron indicate a medium setting, 150°C or 300°F, with or without steam.
4) IRON WITH THREE DOTS
Three dots inside the iron indicate a high setting, 200°C or 390°F, with or without steam.
5) CROSSED OUT IRON
Do not iron!
Drying is a very important part of clothing care. The heat from the dryer can cause garments to fade. So, it is important to clearly specify the drying symbols on your care labels. A square symbol indicates the drying method for the item be it hand dry or tumble dry.
1) SQUARE WITH CIRCLE
This indicates tumble dry normal.
2) CROSSE SQUARE WITH CIRCLE
Do not tumble dry.
3) SQUARE WITH CIRCLE AND DOT (S)
This means that a machine dryer must be used at a low heat setting. Other varions may include two or three dots. Two dots suggests using a machine dryer up to a medium setting, and Three dots is up to a high setting.
DRY CLEANING SYMBOLS
Some garments should be washed only by professional dry cleaners. Here how to specify those informaiton on yout care label.
1) CROSSED CIRCLE
The garment cannot be dry cleaned.
The garment can be dry cleaned.
The triangle symbol indicates whether a garment can be cleaned using bleach. Here’s how to read bleaching symbols:
1) A TRIANGLE
This means that bleaching the garment is allowed
2) CROSSED TRIANGLE
This means that the garment is not colour safe, or the material is unable to hold up to bleach. Do not bleach the garment.
3) TRIANGLE WITH DIAGONAL LINES
This indicates to use colour safe, non-chlorine bleach only.