Checking the label on your laundry can tell you a lot about how to properly care for it. Should you use bleach and what type? How should your clothing be washed, at what temperature, and what method of drying should be used? The tiny symbols on the label can look like some secret code or new language. Here are the most common laundry symbols explained.

Wash Symbols

The general wash symbol looks like a bucket filled with water. The number of dots tell you what temperature to wash the item at. One dot means 30°C, or 86°F and two dots means 40°C, or 104°F; there may be up to six dots, which indicates a wash temperature of 95°C, or 203°F. Other wash symbols you may see include:

  • Machine Wash: A bucket full of water, with no markings inside the solid lines.
  • Hand Wash: The same symbol, with a shaded hand and a line under the bucket added.
  • Machine Wash: Gentle or Delicate: Two lines under the water bucket.
  • Machine Wash: Permanent Press: One line under the bucket.
  • Do Not Wash: The water bucket has an “X” running through it.
  • Dry Clean Only: An empty circle.
  • Do Not Dry Clean: A circle with an “X”

An empty triangle tells you bleach can be used, while a shaded triangle with lines going through it means do not bleach the item. If the non-shaded triangle has two parallel lines inside it, non-chlorine bleach can be used if needed.

Dryer Symbols

The label will also tell you how to dry your laundry. Here are the most common dryer symbols:

  • Tumble Dry: A square with a circle inside it.
  • Do Not Tumble Dry: The circle and square are superimposed with an “X”.
  • Hang Dry: A square with a curved line within the upper portion.
  • Dry Flat: A square with a straight line inside that does not touch the sides.
  • Do Not Wring: A bowtie shape, representing a twisted item, with an “X” in the middle.
  • Permanent Press Cycle: The square/circle features one underscore line.
  • Delicate/Gentle Cycle: Two underscore lines below the square/circle.

Dryer Heat

A clear circle tells you an item can be dried at any heat. Three dots in the circle mean dry at high heat, two dots at medium heat, and one dot at low heat. If the circle is completely shaded, air dry the laundry with no heat applied.

Ironing Symbols

Modern dryers have mostly eliminated the need for ironing, but if you choose to do so, there are symbols to guide you along here as well. Each ironing symbol resembles the outline of a traditional iron. Dots inside it indicate the temperature range to use. A single dot tells you not to exceed 230°F, two dots means a maximum temperature of 300°F, and three dots means you can iron at up to 390°F.

An iron symbol with legs and crossing lines below it means do not use any steam. If an “X” runs through the iron outline, do not iron that item.

By understanding what these symbols on your laundry label mean, you can better care for your clothing, so it gets cleaner and lasts longer.

Wilshire Refrigeration & Appliance

At Wilshire Refrigeration & Appliance, we sell, install, and repair the latest ASKO washers and dryers that are less prone to leaks, require less cleaning, and are energy efficient. Our high standards and certified professionals ensure you receive the best quality of service. For information, call 800-427-3653, or feel free to request service online.