Common washing symbols and what they mean
Time to decode your washing machine’s inscriptions
When it comes to taking care of our garments, we all want to do the right thing and make sure our clothes last as long as possible. A large part of making your favourite clothes last longer is the right washing techniques, and while your fancy washing machine may be capable of handling all kinds of garments, something that can really help make laundry day more productive is effective communication with your clothes and knowing how they like to be washed.
Crucial details around elements like the suitable water temperature and washing style are often a part of the labels on most clothes. However, decoding these symbols can be quite a task. We’ve compiled this quick guide for understanding your clothes and better, so you wash all of them under the right conditions.
Washing symbols and what they mean
1. Wash tub icon: This symbol usually has lines representing water, with a number indicating the maximum temperature (in degrees Celsius) that can be applied when washing.
2. Circle: This symbol means that you can dry clean the garment.
3. Hand icon: This is an indication that you should hand wash the garment, separate from other clothes.
4. Iron with a cross on it: This icon shows that you should not iron the garment but steam or press using low heat instead.
5. Circle with a cross through it: This symbol means “do not dry clean” as dry cleaning is not suitable for this item of clothing.
Check out some more symbols around washing, drying and ironing below
Symbols that indicate temperature
Washing symbols that indicate wash temperature tell you how hot or cold the water should be for a particular item of clothing. These symbols can be found anywhere from the tag inside your garment to the care label on your detergent bottle.
For instance, a triangle in a circle means cold water. This is typically used for specific items like wool and silk, which can shrink and become discoloured when washed in hot water. A diamond in a square, on the other hand, indicates warm water. This is good for everyday items such as cotton t-shirts and jeans. Most other garments that can handle higher temperatures are labelled with an X or S in a circle which means hot water up to 60°C. This is usually for colours and whites.
ALSO READ: Deep cleaning your washing machine: What it is and how to do it
Knowing what the different washing symbols mean is the key to keeping your clothes looking their best and making sure you are taking proper care of them. The next time you see a washing symbol, you should know what it means, but even if you don’t feel free to google it. It still beats incorrectly washing your garments and risking damage.
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