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Laundry symbols, aka the hieroglyphic equivalent of attempting to tell you how to look after your clothes.

With spring races and summer in general fast approaching, we thought it was about time to demystify these not-so-clear symbols that became an international standard in the 1960s.

These symbols are often the last thing we look at (if at all) when buying new clothes, yet it’s also the one thing that can ruin said clothes the quickest.

According to our Trivia Tuesday quiz on Instagram, there was only 3 out of 568 of you that got a solid A+. To the three of you, you probably don’t need to read the following.

To everyone else? Buckle up, you’re about to become skilled up on your laundry symbols aka the handiest thing you never realised you needed.

To break down the above graph, they come into 6 categories:

  1. Bleaching
  2. Ironing
  3. Washing
  4. Tumble Drying
  5. Natural drying
Dots
  • 1 dot =  cool
  • 2 dots =  warm
  • 3 dots = Hot hot hot.

Crosses - just don’t do it, nope.

In case you are feeling inspired to become a real washing nerd, here’s all of the details we have personally just ignored.

  1. Bleaching
    • Any bleach allowed
    • Triangle with stripes through it? Only oxygen bleach/non-chlorine bleach allowed.
    • X through it? Do not bleach.
  1. Ironing
    • Two dots? Max temp of 150 degrees.
    • Three dots? Hot hot hot, max temp of 200 degrees.
    • Iron with a X through it? Do not iron.
  1. Washing
    • no bar underneath? Cotton wash.
    • 1 bar underneath? Synthetic (medium wash).
    • 2 bars underneath? Wool wash (delicate wash).
    • Hands in the wash? Handwash.
    • X? To the dry cleaners this goes. 
  1. Drying
    • One dot in the middle? Low heat.
    • Two dots? High heat.
    • Big X through it? Nope, do not tumble dry. 

5. Dry Cleaning

    • Any letters inside? They are for your dry cleaner.
    • X through it? Cannot be dry cleaned.

And there you go folks.
Design symbols demystified.


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