If you want to be independent…
Many men, when they want to take matters in their own hand, want to become independent and able to do everything by themselves. However, one of the things they find most puzzling is doing laundry according to the symbols on the clothes’ labels. These symbols might look alien, but once you make sense of them and decode their logic, they make sense and you won’t have a problem washing your clothes.
They are divided into a few main categories: Washing, bleaching, drying, ironing, etc.
In this guide, we look together at these clothing care symbols, their names and meanings:
Machine Wash, Normal – This symbol means that the piece may be laundered through the use of very hot water, detergent or soap, agitation, and a machine designed with this purpose in mind
Machine Wash, Cold – If you see this sign, you must make sure that the initial water temperature does not exceed 30 degrees C or 65 to 85 degrees F
Machine Wash, Warm – On the other hand, if you see this sign you must make sure that the initial washing water temperature does not exceed 40 degrees C or 105 degrees F
Machine Wash, Hot – This symbol means that the initial water temperature must not be warmer than 50 degrees C or 120 degrees F
Note: The number inside the symbol can go up to 90, respectively 6 bullets, if the temperature is not marked numerically. Also note that the system of dots that indicates the temperature range is the same for all washing procedures.
Machine Wash, Permanent Press – If you see this symbol, you should know that it means that the garment can be machine laundered only on the setting specially designed to preserve Permanent Press with cool down or cold rinse prior to reduced spin
Machine Wash, Gentle or Delicate – Garments that feature this sign may be machine laundered only on the setting specially designed for gentle agitation and/or reduced time for delicate items
Hand Wash – Sorry guys, but this symbol warns you that the piece may be laundered only through the use of water, detergent or soap and gentle hand manipulation
Do Not Wash – This symbol means that the garment might get damaged if washed. Usually, garment that feature this symbol also come with dry cleaning instructions
Note: Almost all washable textiles are safe in one type of bleach or another. In case bleach is not mentioned or represented by a symbol, you can make use of any type of bleach.
Bleach When Needed – This symbol means that you can bleach the garments when it needs to be bleached and that you can make use of any commercial bleaching product
Non-Chlorine Bleach When Needed – This symbol indicates that you can use only a non-chlorine, color-safe bleach in the laundering process. Do not use any kind of chlorine-bleach
Do Not Bleach – This symbol means that no bleach product may be used in the washing of the piece. The reason is that the garment is either not colorfast or structurally able to withstand any bleach.
Tumble Dry, Normal – This symbol indicates that a machine dryer may be regularly used at the hottest temperature setting
Tumble Dry, Normal, Low Heat – This sign symbolizes that you can use machine dryer regularly used at the maximum of Low Heat setting
Tumble Dry, Normal, Medium Heat – This symbol means that you can use a machine dryer at a maximum of Medium Heat setting
Tumble Dry, Normal, High Heat – This symbol lets you know that you can use a machine dryer at a High Heat setting
Tumble Dry, Normal, No Heat – If you see this symbol, you can only use a machine dryer only at No Heat or Air Only setting
Note: The dots system indicating temperature range is the same for all dry procedures.
Tumble Dry, Permanent Press – This symbol indicates that you can use a machine dryer only at the Permanent Press setting
Tumble Dry, Gentle – The meaning of this symbol is that you can use a machine dryer regularly, but only at the Gentle setting
Do Not Tumble Dry – This symbol indicates that you cannot use a machine dryer, otherwise your garment might get ruined. This symbol is generally accompanied by an alternate drying method symbol
Do Not Dry – This symbol means that you may not use a machine dryer. It is usually accompanied by another symbol that indicates the drying method
Line Dry – This symbol indicates that you should hang damp the garment from line or bar, in- or outdoors
Drip Dry – If you see this symbol, you should not shape or smooth the garment by hand, but let it hang dripping when wet from a line or bar, in- or outdoors
Dry Flat – This symbol indicates that you should lay out garment flat for drying. you will find it mostly on sweaters
Dry In Shade – This symbol tells you that you should dry the garment away from direct sunlight. It is mostly added to the Line or Drip Dry symbols
Do Not Wring – Just do not wring the piece
Iron, Any Temperature, Steam or Dry – This sign lets you know that regular ironing may be needed and may be performed at any temperature with or without steam
Iron, Low – This symbol indicates that you can iron the garment regularly, with steam or dry, but only at the Low setting (110 degrees C, 230 degrees F)
Iron, Medium – If you see this picture, you may iron the garment regularly, seam or dry at the Medium setting (150 degrees C, 300 degrees F)
Iron, High – This image indicates that ironing may be performed, both steam or dry, at the High setting (200 degrees C, 290 degrees F)
Note: Once again, the dots system indicating temperature range is the same for all ironing procedures.
Do Not Steam – This sign let you know that you should dry iron the garment at the indicated temperature and avoid steam ironing, as it may harm the piece
Do Not Iron – This symbol indicates that the garment may not be finished or smoothed with an iron
Dry Clean – This symbol indicates that you can dry clean the garment and use any cycle, any moisture, any heat and any solvent
Dry Clean, Any Solvent – This image indicates that you may dry clean the garment with any solvent and is usually used with other restrictions
Dry Clean, Petroleum Solvent Only – This symbol lets you know that you can dry clean the garment using only petroleum solvent and is usually used with other restrictions
Dry Clean, Any Solvent Except Trichloroethylene – This picture means that you may use any solvent when dry cleaning the garment, besides trichloroethylene
Dry Clean, Short Cycle – A short dry clean cycle should be used for garments that feature this picture. This may image be used with A, F or other restrictions
Dry Clean, Reduced Moisture – This symbol indicates that the garment should be dry cleaned with reduced moisture
Dry Clean, Low Heat – This picture indicates that the garment may be dry cleaned, but only at low heat levels. This symbol may come together with A, F or P restrictions
Dry Clean, No Steam – This symbol indicates that you should dry clean the item, but without steam. This symbol may come together with A, F or P restrictions
Do Not Dry Clean – This image indicates that the garment may not be commercially dry cleaned
Note: Dry cleaning symbols are usually read by professional dry cleaners. You ca still memorize them though, to make sure your clothes get proper treatment.
There you have it! Now you know what these weird symbols mean and know how to take proper care of your clothes. Clothes that are well maintained last longer and are stronger. If you have any doubts, come back to the guide and check what a symbol means – you don’t want to get it wrong!
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. Do you use these symbols? How many of them did you know? Share your thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook or Twitter!