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Laundry Symbols

Laundry Symbols

How To Read Laundry Symbols

Laundry symbols can look pretty confusing at first glance, but decoding them can help you keep your clothes looking awesome—for a pretty long time. Each symbol represents part of the cleaning process, from washing to drying to ironing. Pro tip: Bookmark this page so you have it ready to go on laundry day.

Group 1: Find the right temperature

Washing at the correct temperature can be the difference between long-lasting and "so long!" As a general rule, the more dots, the higher the temperature can be.
empty wash basin icon

Machine wash normal

Wash at any temperature—You’re in the clear.

wash basin icon with one dot

Machine wash cold

Wash at any temperature below 85 °F.

wash basin icon with two dots

Machine wash warm

Wash at any temperature below 105 °F.

wash basin icon with three dots

Machine wash hot

Wash at any temperature below 120 °F.

wash basin icon with four dots

Machine wash hot

Wash at any temperature below 140 °F.

wash basin icon with five dots

Machine wash hot

Wash at any temperature below 160 °F.

wash basin icon with six dots

Machine wash hot

Wash at any temperature below 200 °F.

Group 2: The how’s, when’s & where’s of washing

Is there anything better than the feeling of fresh laundry? These symbols will help you find the right washer settings—or point you towards an alternative method.
wash basin icon with one line underneath

Machine wash permanent press

Machine wash only on the permanent press setting—it’s a cooler temperature & slower spin level.

wash basin icon with two lines underneath

Machine wash, gentle or delicate

Machine wash only on delicate—this will reduce washing time & slow down spin.

wash basin icon with hand

Hand wash

The machine washer is a no-go. Wash this item by hand.

wash basin icon with X overlay

Do not wash

When it needs a wash, make a trip to the dry cleaners.

Group 3: The best way to bleach

Bleaching an item will return it to that white, bright hue. But bleacher beware—your clothing may get ruined if it’s used incorrectly. Here are the icons that decode the bleaching process.
empty triangle icon

Bleach when needed

Use any commercially available bleach.

triangle icon with two diagonal lines through it

Non-Chlorine bleach when needed

Use a color-safe bleach that doesn’t rely on chlorine.

triangle icon with X overlay

Do not bleach

Don’t ever use bleach on this item. Try different stain-removing techniques instead.

Group 4: Drying tips & tricks

The way you dry is just as important as the way you wash your clothing. From machine settings to natural methods, these drying symbols can help you find best technique.
square icon with circle inlay

Tumble dry normal

Dry at any temp—this is super-safe material.

square icon with circle inlay and one dot

Tumble dry normal, low heat

Machine drying is ok on a low-heat setting.

square icon with circle inlay and two dots

Tumble dry normal, medium heat

Machine drying is ok on a medium-heat setting.

square icon with circle inlay and three dots

Tumble dry normal, high

Machine drying is ok on a high-heat setting.

square icon with filled circle inlay

Tumble dry normal, no heat

Machine drying is ok, but only if no heat is applied.

square icon with circle inlay and one line beneath

Tumble dry, permanent press

A drying machine may be used, but only at the permanent press setting.

square icon with circle inlay and two lines beneath

Tumble dry, gentle

A drying machine may be used, but only at the permanent press setting.

square icon with circle inlay X overlay

Do not tumble dry

A machine dryer may not be used. This symbol is usually accompanied by another drying method.

square icon with X overlay

Do not dry

A machine dryer may not be used. This symbol is usually accompanied by another drying method.

square icon with round shape at top

Line dry

Hang from a line or bar when damp, then let it dry naturally.

square icon with three vertical lines

Drip dry

Hang in or outdoors to let the water slowly drip away.

square icon with one horizontal line

Dry flat

Let the piece of clothing lie horizontally to dry. Usually, this means that hanging could damage the clothing.

square icon with two diagonal lines in upper left

Dry in shade

Hang in or outdoors to let the water slowly drip away, making sure it stays away from direct sunlight.

Group 5: When (and when not) to iron

A great ironing job can make your outfit clean, crisp & wow-worthy. Before you warm up your iron, make sure your clothes can take the heat.
empty iron icon

Iron at any temp

Regular ironing may be needed and may be performed at any available temperature, with or without steam.

iron icon with one dot

Iron low

Regular ironing, steam, or dry may be performed at a low setting only.

iron icon with two dots

Iron medium

Regular ironing, steam, or dry may be performed at a medium setting.

iron icon with three dots

Iron high

Regular ironing, steam, or dry may be performed at a high setting.

steaming iron icon with X overlay

Do not steam

Steaming iron will harm the garment but normal dry ironing is alright.

iron icon with X overlay

Do not iron

Clothing should not be ironed. Usually this means the item can be easily damaged by an iron or steamer.

Laundry day essentials


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