Laundry Symbols

Perhaps you have already noticed the signs on clothing tags but just simply ignore them for the lack of time to investigate them? These signs are called laundry symbols, which are also known as care symbols. The purpose of these symbols is to display instructions on how to care for a specific type of laundry. The signs do not only include washing instruction symbols, but also signs in bleaching, tumble drying, ironing, and dry-cleaning. Familiarity of these varied laundry symbols and what they mean is important so as not to damage a good piece of clothing.

Laundry symbols

laundry symbols

The use of international laundry symbols was started by GINETEX. They are an international association for textile care labelling based in France that was formed in the year 1963. GINETEX states that the care label illustrates the allowed treatment that a garment can have without ruining the fabric. Therefore, a milder treatment than what was allowed is also tolerable. Any member of GINETEX is required to follow the laundry symbols in strict compliance with the conditions stated in the license. Hence, inaccurate labelling is not permitted.

what do the symbols for laundry mean?

laundry symbols

Below are some of the laundry symbols, which are followed internationally.

The Washtub Symbol – The washtub symbol indicates washing directions. The symbol looks like a cup or a tub with waves on top. The washtub symbol also includes additional symbols for other details in washing. The dots indicate the temperature of water that one should use. One, two and three dots correspond to cold, warm, and hot respectively. A single line below the tub symbol indicates that one should use the permanent press setting on the washing machine symbols. Double lines below the washtub symbol indicate that one should use the washing machines gentle setting. A washtub with an X mark indicates that clothing can be washed using a machine. A hand inside the washtub indicates strictly hand washing only.

What does each laundry symbol mean?

laundry symbolsWhat does the triangle laundry symbol mean?

The Triangle – The triangle symbolizes bleaching instructions. However, in Japan, it is represented by a chemical flask. Along with the bleaching symbol, additional signs are used to indicate additional instructions when bleaching. An open triangle indicates that one should use any bleach when needed. A triangle with two bars parallel to the left side indicates that one should use only non-chlorine bleach. A triangle or a flask with an X means that no bleach of any type should be used.

laundry symbols

The Square – The square symbolizes drying directions. Additional symbols are added to the square to indicate additional details in drying. A large circle inside the square means machine drying. Solid black circle indicates tumble drying without heat. The single, double, triple dots inside the circle refer to the various heat frequencies to use when drying – the low, medium and high heat frequencies. Lines below the square indicate the press setting of the dryer. One line indicates permanent press setting and two lines indicate gentle press setting. An X marked rectangle means that tumble drying is not allowed.

These are just some of the common laundry symbols that one should become familiar with in order to prevent the ruining of fine clothing during and after washing.

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