Laundry 101: Essential Symbols And Their Meaning

By Martin B

Laundry symbols are a set of universal symbols that help us understand how to take care of our clothes when washing, drying, ironing or bleaching them. These symbols can be found on the care label of clothing items and provide us with important information about the proper care and maintenance of our garments.

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Understanding these symbols can help extend the life of our clothes and prevent damage.

The symbols are designed to be easy to understand and follow, regardless of language barriers. Some of the most common symbols include the washing machine symbol, which depicts a tub filled with water, and the ironing symbol, which is a simple outline of an iron.

The washing machine symbol is divided into different categories based on the maximum temperature and type of cycle that the clothing can be washed in. A symbol with a single line underneath it represents a gentle or delicate cycle, while a symbol with two lines underneath it represents a more intense cycle.

Similarly, the ironing symbol is divided into different categories based on the temperature and steam settings of the iron.


Other common laundry symbols include those for tumble drying, dry cleaning, and bleaching. The tumble drying symbol is depicted as a circle with a dot in the center, and the number of dots inside the circle indicates the recommended drying temperature.

The dry cleaning symbol looks like a circle with the letters “P” and “F” inside it, indicating the type of solvent that should be used for dry cleaning. The bleaching symbol looks like a triangle and may have different lines or symbols inside it to indicate whether the garment can be bleached or not.

It is important to follow these laundry symbols to ensure that our clothes remain in good condition. For example, washing a garment that is meant to be dry cleaned can cause irreparable damage to the fabric, while bleaching a garment that cannot be bleached can cause discoloration or weakening of the fibers.

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In conclusion, understanding laundry symbols is an essential part of taking care of our clothes. By following these symbols, we can ensure that our garments remain in good condition and can be worn for a long time.