How to Read Washing Machine Symbols: A Guide

How to Read Washing Machine Symbols: A Guide

Listen, we’re going to be honest for a second, even we’re not sure what every symbol your clothes actually means. No one does, if we’re honest. Sometimes, there are just too many options to choose from, and with every manufacturer having a different idea of what a symbol should look like, there are always symbols that feel more like hieroglyphics.

That’s ok though; the reality is that the majority of symbols for your washing machine are actually pretty straightforward and, with a bit of experience, can be read easily without needing to study a second language to figure out.

So, if you’ve ever found yourself silently wondering if you have a learning disability because you can’t figure out which symbol on your shirt means “dry clean only,” then don’t be alarmed because we’ve got your back.

In today’s blog, we’re going to cover the fundamentals of washing machine symbols and what they actually mean! So grab your pen and notepad and read below!

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X Marks The Non-Dry Cleaning Item

  • If you have a care label on your shirt that has a circle as a symbol,  that usually means that your clothes must be dry cleaned.
  • If your small circle has a letter in the middle, then that means you’re going to need to use a specific chemical to get the job done.
  •  If your small circle also has some horizontal lines underneath it, then that means you’ve got to be careful with the item. The more lines you have, the more delicate the thing is going to be.
  • Finally, if you have a circle with a big x going through it, then good news! Your clothing should not be dry cleaned. Ever.

Getting Handsy

  • If your label has a picture of a little tub with a hand in it, then you’re all good to hand wash this item or use a delicate washing cycle at a low or lukewarm temperature.
  • If you have a twisted symbol, then this item can be wrung dry.
  • If the twisted symbol is crossed out, then it’s clear that you shouldn’t wring this item.

Heavy Metal

  • If you have an iron-shaped symbol on your label, then, you guessed it, you can iron this item.
  • However, if your label has a dot on the iron symbol, that indicates the material type and the most appropriate temperature to apply. 
    • 1 Dot indicates delicates, such as silk and wool, needing lower temperatures. 
    • 2 Dots indicate a synthetic material requiring medium temperatures. 
    • 3 Dots indicate linen or cotton, requiring standard to high temperatures.
  • As with other symbols, if there’s a cross on your iron symbol, then avoid ironing this item entirely if possible.

Getting Dry

  • If you have an item that features a circle within a square, then this article of clothing can be tumble-dried.
  • Just like the iron, if you have a dot in your symbol, then you’re going to need to be careful about your temperatures. 
    • 1 dot indicates to stick to low temperatures
    • 2 dots indicate medium temperatures
    • 3 dots indicate high temperatures
  • Finally, if you have a cross over your symbol, then avoid tumble drying your clothing.

That’s it for today’s blog, be sure to check out our other blogs from Wash Warriors on the latest tips and tricks for keeping your washing machine clean and operational. Using an effective washer cleaner is crucial to getting the best out of your machine, so if you have any questions about our non-toxic and powerful eco-friendly cleaning products, then feel free to contact us!

How to Read Washing Machine Symbols: A Guide

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