Laundry Symbols Explained: Ultimate Guide To Care Labels

Laundry Symbols Explained: Ultimate Guide To Care Labels

Understanding laundry symbols is crucial for maintaining the longevity and quality of your clothes. These small icons on care labels provide essential information about washing, drying, bleaching, and ironing. This is your comprehensive guide, lets learn how to read laundry care symbols and instructions.

Deciphering Washing Symbols

When it comes to doing laundry, those little symbols on clothing tags can feel like a secret code. Laundry symbols on clothing tags are a standard way to communicate care instructions for the proper washing and drying of your garments. Fear not! We're here to decode those laundry symbols for you. 

Washing Temperature Symbols: the number of dots

Different materials can handle different temperatures, Cold Water will always be the safest option, plus it will save you money on your power bill.

  1. Cold Water Wash (30°C): This symbol looks like a wash tub with a single dot. It means you should wash the garment in cold water. Great for delicate fabrics or colours that might bleed.
  2. Warm Water Wash (40°C): A wash tub with two dots symbol indicates a warm water wash. Most everyday clothes can handle this temperature.
  3. Hot Water Wash (60°C): A wash tub with three dots means hot water. Use this for items like towels, sheets, and underwear to kill germs and remove tough stains.

Washing Machine Symbols

Washing Machine Symbols
  1. Machine Wash: A simple bucket of water means you can toss the item in the washing machine. Check the temperature symbol alongside it for the right setting.
  2. Hand Wash: A hand in a tub tells you to be gentle. Hand wash delicate fabrics like silk or wool. These materials require a little extra love and care.
  3. Don’t Wash: If you see a crossed-out bucket, keep this item away from water. Dry clean only!
  4. Dry Clean Only: It looks like a little circle with a letter inside. When you see this symbol, it means your garment is too delicate to be washed in water. Instead, take it to a professional dry cleaner who knows how to handle those fancy fabrics.
  5. Do Not Dry Clean: When you spot a circle with a cross over it, it means this garment shouldn’t be dry-cleaned. Perhaps it’s too delicate or has specific fabric requirement.

Drying Symbols

Standard Dry Cleaning Symbols

Alright, let's break down those drying symbols step by step, 

Standard Dry Cleaning Symbols

  1. Square with a Circle: Imagine a square giving a cozy hug to a circle. This means you can toss your item into the dryer. But wait! Check the temperature symbol inside. It will tell you how hot it wants to party without damaging your clothes.
  2. Square with Line in the center: Ah, the line dance! This symbol means, “Hey, skip the dryer, my friend.” Lay that garment flat to dry. No wringing it out!
  3. Square with Three Lines: Picture a mini clothesline. Yep, you guessed it—drip-dry time! Hang this piece up and let it air out like a sunbathing lizard.

Drying Temperature Symbols

Drying temperature laundry symbol
  1. Low Heat (Tumble Low): A single dot inside the square means gentle warmth. Perfect for sweaters, knits, and anything that needs a cozy cuddle.
  2. Medium Heat (Tumble Dry Medium): Two dots say, “Let’s party, but not too wild!” Use this for most everyday clothes. They’ll thank you with wrinkle-free smiles.
  3. High Heat (Tumble Dry High): Three dots? That’s the dryer cranking up the heat. Towels, sheets, and jeans love this sauna session. Be warned, heat can shrink or warp your clothes though!

Tumble Dry Symbols

Tumble Dry Symbols
  1. Normal Tumble Dry: A simple circle inside the square. Pop your item in, select the right heat, and lets dance.
  2. Gentle Tumble Dry: Two lines under the circle—it’s the slow dance version. Delicate fabrics, step right up. No wild spins, please.
  3. No Tumble Dry: When the circle has a cross over it, its a hard no. Keep this piece away from the dryer. Air-dry vibes only.

Navigating Bleaching Symbols

Those little symbols on shirts care tag? Yep, they hold the key to keeping your whites whiter and your colors brighter.

When to Use Bleach

No Bleach symbols

Bleach is a strong chemical has a huge impact on the environment, your skin and your items, we recommend avoiding bleach completely with sustainable products like Lucent Globe Laundry Sheets which are completely bleach and phosphate free. If you do use bleach, decode the symbols below to avoid damage.

  1. Triangle with Lines: Inside that triangle, you’ll find lines. These mean you can use a non-chlorine or oxygenated bleach. It might also just say 'no chlorine bleach'
  2. Triangle with Cross: A triangle with an "X" over the top of it means no bleach! Keep it au naturel.

Ironing Made Easy

Ironing symbols
The art of ironing. Those wrinkled clothes? We’re about to smooth them out like peanut butter on toast. No more creases, my friend!

Ironing Symbols

  1. Iron with no dots: If you see an iron icon this means you can unleash your ironing prowess. But wait! Check if there are any dots inside...if there are check out the below.
  2. Iron with dots: Ah, the dots! 1, 2 or 3 dots inside the iron icon will tell you if the item likes it with low, medium or high heat.
  3. Iron with spray: To steam or not to steam, that is the question. An iron symbol with steam coming from the bottom means you're good to steam that baby up. If you see an X through the icon though, put the steamer down!

Quick Tips for Effortless Ironing Your Garment

  1. Steam Power: If you have a steam iron, unleash its magic. Or spritz your clothes with water and add a dash of starch. Wrinkles, meet your match!
  2. First-timers, Take It Slow: If this is your ironing debut, no worries. Follow these four simple steps: unfold, press, glide, and repeat. Your clothes will thank you.
  3. Back-and-Forth Motion: Imagine you’re painting a canvas. Smooth strokes, my friend. Left, right, left, right. Voilà! Wrinkles vanish.

Special Care Label Instructions

You know, those garments that whisper, “Handle me with love.” Fear not—I’ve got your back, and we’re diving into the delicate realm of laundry magic.

Hand Washing

  1. Gentle Soak: Imagine a serene pool for your clothes. Fill a basin with cool water, add one of our eco-friendly laundry detergent sheets, and let your delicate darlings soak. Gently swish them around like autumn leaves in a calm breeze.
  2. Soft Massage: Pretend you’re kneading dough. Gently rub the fabric between your fingertips. Pay extra attention to stains or sweat patches—they’ll surrender to your tender touch.
  3. Rinse and Pat Dry: Rinse your treasures under cool water until they sing with freshness. Then, pat them dry with a soft towel. No wringing, please! We’re not wrestling octopuses.

Synthetic Washing

  1. Cool Machine Wash: Picture a snowflake on your washing machine. Yep, that’s the cool setting. Synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon adore this chilly bath.
  2. Delicate Cycle: A gentle twirl in the machine. It’s like a waltz for your clothes. Use this for lacy wonders or silky dreams.
  3. Air Dry: Imagine your clothes sunbathing. Hang them up, let the breeze kiss their fibers, and watch them bloom. No tumble-dry disco for these beauties.


Q: Can all clothing items be machine washed?

A: Not all clothing items can be machine washed. Some delicate items may require hand washing or professional cleaning to avoid damage.

Q: Is non-chlorine bleach safe to use on all clothing?

A: Non-chlorine bleach is gentler than chlorine bleach and is usually safe for more delicate fabrics. However, always check the care instructions on the garment before using any type of bleach.