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You may recognize them as an array of hieroglyphics on garment tags that they often represent laundry symbols which are a shorthand for care instructions. They are very important to keep clothing in good quality. This guide helps to unravel this mystery and learn proper laundry care.

The Basics of Care Labels

The care labels act as directives and guide in washing, drying, and ironing your fabrics without damaging it. These symbols are divided into several categories:


If you need to know how to wash the garment, look for a tub icon. The maximum temperature in Celsius is indicated by the number, which is inside the tub. The dots in the tube are marked as one for low, two for medium and three for high. A softer wash has been indicated by lower lines under the tub.


It also includes a triangle symbol which specifies bleaching instructions. Plaintriangle – may be bleached; crossed out triangle – no bleaching.


This is indicated by a square icon. Tumble drying is indicated by a circle in the square. Low, medium and high are indicated by dots inside the circle. Three vertical lines at the corner of the square signify hang dry, while one line in the middle of the square symbolizes drip dry.


The number of dots in an iron icon determines if it is safe to iron the garment and the heat intensity.

Dry Cleaning

The circle shows that clothes are dry cleanable. The dry cleaner is also instructed on the solvents that can be used through letters within the circle.

Interpreting the Symbols

Here’s how to interpret some common laundry symbols:

● A tub with 30 inside and a hand: Hand wash at 30°C.

● A tub with a cross: Hand wash only, may not use bleach.

● A triangle with CL: Use chlorine bleach if needed.

● A square with a circle inside and a P: Tumble dry normal, dry clean using perchloroethylene.

Laundry Tips for Garment Care

● Whenever you need to wash a piece of clothing that you have just bought, make sure to
first read the care label.

● To avoid shrinking and fading, wash garments in cold water when in doubt.

● Sort clothes according to color and fabric type. Separately wash delicates and heavier

● Use the correct detergent. Others are meant for delicates or cold washes.

● Always wash a full load. Clothes should move freely.

Special Fabrics and Treatments

Some fabrics may have special washing needs:

● Wool: Needed for cold water with delicate cycle. Some modern wool can be washed in a
washing machine, but make sure you always check the label.

● Silk: Sometimes dry-cleaned or hand-washed so that its texture is preserved.

● Rayon: For machine washing may stretch or shrink and so handwashing is preferable.
Maintaining Your Washing Machine

Taking care of your washing machine is also part of laundry care:

● It’s important to clean your washer frequently to avoid the accumulation of detergent and
fabric softener.

● Balance the machine so as to prevent excessive vibrations.

● Perform a limescale and detergent build-up clean occasionally, by running an empty
wash with a descaling agent.

Finally, the purpose of laundry symbols is to extend a garment’s lifespan. Knowing these icons will save your heartbreak from a shrunken sweater or a color-bleed debacle. Make sure you always read the label and if it is necessary, choose a mild washing regime. Note again, laundry care, good for the environment through saving on clothing replacement.

Get in contact with Soapy Splash UAE for professional laundry services, dry cleaning and shoecare, however urgent with collection and delivery provided.


Author soapysplash

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