Have you ever noticed those little symbols on the back of your clothing tags? Believe it or not, those tiny pictures are actually meant to help you take better care of your clothes. If you’ve ever needed laundry symbols explained, this post is for you.
Laundry Symbols Explained
Some people don’t put a lot of thought into how they get their laundry done. They open up the washer, throw their clothes in, and hit the start button. Then they’re surprised when their clothes come out dingy, ripped, or discolored. What happened?
More likely than not, these people are not aware of the importance of laundry symbols. Laundry symbols are shorthand for clothing care instructions, and they can typically be found on the tag of the garment. Learning how to decode laundry symbols and follow their advice is the best way to keep your clothing looking fresh for years to come.
Washing symbols are the symbols that tell you how to safely wash certain items of clothing. A washing symbol will look like a tub of water, with a wavy line on top. Dots inside the tub symbol indicate temperature settings, and lines underneath indicate different cycle settings:
- Empty tub: machine washable garment
- Hand symbol: hand-wash only
- Tub with an X over it: do not wash garment
- Circle, no tub: dry-clean only
- Circle with an X over it: do not dry-clean garment
- Tub with one dot: wash at cold temperatures (between 65 and 85°F)
- Tub with two dots: wash at warm temperatures (between 85 and 105°F)
- Tub with three dots: wash at hot temperatures (105°F and up)
- Tub with one line under it: permanent press cycle
- Tub with two lines under it: delicate or gentle cycle
Dryer symbols have the same purpose as washing symbols, but they tell you what to do with your dryer instead of your washer. A dryer symbol is usually a box with a circle in it. As with washing symbols, the lines and dots across the symbol give you the clothing care instructions you need:
- Box with a circle in it: tumble dryer-safe garment
- Dryer symbol with an X over it: do not tumble dry
- Dryer symbol with one dot: dry on low heat
- Dryer symbol with two dots: dry on medium heat
- Dryer symbol with three dots: dry on high heat
- Dryer symbol with a completely filled-in circle: dry with no heat/air only
- Box with a horizontal line in the middle: dry flat
- Box with a horizontal line across the top: hang to dry
- Dryer symbol with a line under it: use permanent press cycle
- Dryer symbol with two lines under it: use delicate cycle
Understanding the washing and dryer symbols will get you pretty far when it comes to taking care of your clothes. However, washing and drying isn’t the only way we take care of our laundry. Be sure to keep an eye out for these other symbols that provide guidance on clothing care:
- Triangle: Bleach will not damage garment
- Triangle with an X over it: do not bleach garment
- Triangle with three diagonal lines inside: use chlorine-safe bleach only
- Iron with one dot inside: iron on low temperature
- Iron with two dots inside: iron on medium temperature
- Iron with three dots inside: iron on high temperature
- Iron with X over it: do not iron garment
Once you have laundry symbols explained to you, it’s easy to figure them out when you need them. Learn it for yourself, or bookmark this post so if a customer has a question about how to care for their garment at your laundromat, they’ll get the assistance they need.
Be sure to check out Laundry Solutions Company, a full-service provider of premium vended, on-premises, and multi-housing commercial laundry equipment. Since 1976, we have been providing exceptional sales support, laundry design services, commercial laundry equipment (and leasing options), and laundry equipment service and parts. To learn more about our products and services, please give us a call at 800-383-9274 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!