Laundry Care Symbols - A Guide To the Laundry Symbols On The Washing Care Label

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This symbol shows you if the item can be machine washed or if it has to be hand washed. It also tells you what the maximum washing temperature is and what cycle to use when machine washing.

The symbol can also indicate that the clothing item must not be washed. If that's the case it is usually accompanied with an appropriate dry clean symbol.

Can I Wash This Garment?

Some garments, usually the finer ones, needs some extra care when they get dirty. Some of them should not be machine washed while others must be taken to the dry-cleaners for a chemical treatment.

These symbols tells you what extra precautions need to be taken when cleaning the garment.


Machine wash. This symbol is combined with the temperature and cycle marks below.


Hand wash


Do not wash. Usually there is a dry clean symbol with this one.

Washing Temperature

Using the right temperature is essential for getting the best washing result. Too high water temperature will often destroy the textile or make the colors bleed or fade. Too low temperature may leave the clothing item with stains still on it.

Machine wash cold, 65F-85F (30C)

Machine wash warm, 105F (40C)

Machine wash hot, 120F (50C)

Machine wash hot, 140F (60C)

Machine wash hot, 160F (70C)

Machine wash hot, 200F (95C)

Wash Cycle

Wash you delicate items using the delicate cycle on your washing machine and separate from other clothing. You can try putting delicates inside a pillow case and close with a knot to protect them from the washing machine.

Machine wach using a delicate cycle


Bleaching makes the clothing more white and is useful when white textiles have become dull and grey.

There are only three symbols connected to bleching. Bleach, do not bleach and no chlorine bleach. If no symbol is present it usually menans that bleaching is ok.

Bleach: You may bleach this garment with any laundry bleach. Just follow the instructions carefully as too much chlorine based bleach can destroy you garments.

Do not bleach: Do not use any kind of bleaching agents on this garment.

Non-chlorine bleach only: On this garment, use only bleaches that do not contain chlorine. They are not hard to find, search for a bleach marked no chlorine or color safe in the supermarket.


There is four ways you can dry what you have washed. The two most common is in the tumbler and on the line. Some clothing demand more serious drying, like dripping wet hanging on a line or flat drying.

If your clothes demand special drying this is the symbol to search for on the care label. If it's not present you can use line drying and in most cases the tumbler will work as well.

Tumble Dry

Tumble dry using low heat


The ironing symbols tells you what the best temperature is for ironing your laundry. If you use a higher temperature than the one indicated on the label you could destroy both the clothing and the iron. If the fabric contains syntetic fibres it can even melt and make a sticky mess of the iron and board.

Some garments must not be steam ironed and there's a special symbol for that. Some garments you are not allowed to iron at all, they will have the do not iron symbol on the label.

Do Not Iron Symbol

Do Not Iron! When you see this symbol, do not iron that item!

Dry Clean

If one or several of the dry-cleaning symbols are present it is usually accompanied with a do-not-wash symbol.

Most of the time you don't need to understand the different symbols for dry-cleaning as a professional dry-cleaner will know what they mean when you take the garment there.

Do Not Dryclean Symbol

Do not dryclean! Don't put this item in drycleaning solvents

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