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Decoding your clothes: do you really know what laundry symbols mean?

Master the art of clothing care and save your favorite garments from common laundry disasters!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been puzzled by those mysterious icons on the tags of your clothes.

Fear not, because we’re about to embark on a fun and informative journey to crack the code of these laundry symbols.

These little signs are the international language of clothing care, standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

From washing to drying, ironing, and bleaching, these symbols provide essential directions to keep our garments looking their best.

Ignoring or misinterpreting these symbols can result in disasters like shrinking sweaters or faded colors.

However, with a little knowledge, we can confidently decipher these symbols and ensure our clothes are treated with the care they deserve.

So, are you ready to become fluent in the language of laundry?

Whether you’re a laundry novice or a seasoned pro, this comprehensive breakdown will surely help you master the art of clothing care.

Your clothes (and your wallet) will thank you!

Understanding laundry symbols

If you’ve ever looked at the tag on your favorite shirt or dress, you’ve probably noticed a series of seemingly cryptic symbols. These, my friends, are laundry symbols.

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They are essentially the ‘language’ of laundry, providing crucial information on how to clean and care for your garments properly.

But what do these symbols really mean? Let’s break it down.

The basics of laundry symbols

Laundry symbols, also known as care symbols, are icons created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Their purpose is to provide standardized, easy-to-understand washing, drying, ironing, and bleaching instructions.

Think of them as the universal language of garment care.

Decoding washing symbols

First up, washing symbols. These are typically represented by a bucket filled with water.

If you see a hand in the bucket, it means hand wash only.

A number inside the bucket indicates the maximum temperature you should wash at. For instance, ‘30′ means wash at 30 degrees Celsius.

Dots inside the bucket also represent temperature: one dot for cold, two for warm, and three for hot.

Crossed out symbols mean you should not wash the item.

Understanding drying symbols

Next, we have drying symbols, usually depicted by a square with a circle inside.

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If the circle has one dot, it can be tumble dried on a low heat setting.

Two dots mean it can be tumble dried on a high heat setting. If the square is filled with lines, it means you should dry the garment flat.

A crossed out symbol signifies that you should not tumble dry the item.

Navigating ironing and bleaching symbols

Ironing and bleaching symbols are also essential to grasp.

An iron symbol with dots represents the recommended ironing heat: one dot for low, two for medium, and three for high.

A crossed out iron means do not iron.

The bleaching symbol, a triangle, will either be empty, advising any bleach can be used, or filled with lines, suggesting only non-chlorine bleach is suitable.

A crossed out triangle means do not bleach.

Why laundry symbols matter

Without understanding these symbols, you run the risk of ruining your clothes by washing, drying or ironing them incorrectly.

For example, a friend of mine once ignored the ‘do not tumble drysymbol on his new wool sweater.

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The result? A sweater that now fits his teddy bear perfectly, but is decidedly too small for him.

Decoding laundry symbols: a handy skill

Mastering the language of laundry symbols might not seem like a life-changing skill, but it’s more important than you might think.

It can make the difference between a wardrobe that lasts and clothing that quickly loses its shape, color, or even its structural integrity.

So, next time you’re about to toss that new shirt into the wash, take a moment to check out its laundry symbols. You (and your shirt) will be glad you did.

Did this ultimate guide to laundry symbols help you understand what those little icons on your clothes really mean?

If so, please share it on your social networks, and help your friends and family navigate the world of laundry care too!

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Kimberly Almond
Written by: Kimberly Almond