A Laundry Symbol Guide Because We’re All Honestly Confused
I know I can't be the only one that gets confused when doing laundry. Should I use hot or cold water? What the heck is viscose? How much detergent is too much detergent? Each time I do laundry, it's like taking the SATs all over again. But once for and all, I'm determined to master the annoying chore, starting with figuring out what all of those laundry symbols mean.
If you've ever purchased anything from Zara, I'm sure you've probably noticed that their tags have just as many pages as a Harry Potter book. But there's no need to feel intimidated anymore. We've broken down the most important laundry instruction symbols really mean, so that you can feel like a pro.
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Iron on low heat.
Let's start with the easy ones. If you had to guess, what would you say this looks like? An iron, right? But what about the dot? You can think of the dot as an indicator telling you how much heat is enough. One dot means keep the temperature low.
Iron with high heat.
Three dots means you can turn up the heat. Hate waiting for cheap irons to warm up? This Maytag iron has seriously, good reviews on Amazon, and it's only 40 bucks.
Do not iron.
If you see the iron sign crossed out with an x on a clothing label, keep that item far away from the iron.
Tumble dry on low.
Here's where things get a little bit more confusing. When you see a circle within a square, that represents tumble dry. Again, the dot tells you the temperature. If you only see one dot, keep it low. Two means medium. And three let's you know that a high temperature is best.
Do not tumble dry.
Again, the x is a sign to slow your roll.
Tumble dry gentle.
Now, it's time to introduce a new symbol: the horizontal parallel lines. Those are a cue to select a gentle cycle.
This one, looks like a bucket filled with water, and it represents the washing process. When you see it alone, you can wash the item on a normal cycle.
Wash on gentle.
If those two horizontal lines appear underneath it, remember to use a gentle cycle.
I know it's always confusing to remember the conversions for Fahrenheit and Celsius. But that's why you've got the dots to guide you. Remember, one dot is an indicator to keep the temperature low and cool.
Three dots means hot water will work best.
Now that you know what the washing machine laundry symbol looks like, this one is pretty easy to figure out.
I honestly don't know how this one makes any sense. But triangles equal bleach in the laundry world. We recommend sticking to a non-chlorine bleach ($10; amazon.com) that's also safe on colors for beginners.
Do not bleach.
And crossed out triangles are a warning to avoid using bleach.
Somehow, circles are a symbol for dry cleaning.
Do not dry clean.
I'm sure you're getting the hang of this now and can figure this one out.