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Laundry Symbols Made Easy

The first thing that many people do when they buy a new piece of garment is to cut off the tag attached to the inner seams. This tag is called the Care Label / Tag. Are you aware that this is actually the manufacturer's instructions on how to best care for and laundry your new garment? Do you know what those little symbols on those annoying tags on your clothes mean? No worries! Just read on and see what laundry service providers look at when they see your care labels.

The Wash Symbol

This little bucket filled with water tells you exactly how to wash your clothes at home or in a laundry service shop: what temperature to use, the setting for your washing machine or even if you shouldn’t wash your clothes.

If there is a temperature in the bucket, that’s the recommended temperature for your washing. If there are dots, here’s a quick guide:

- One Dot: 30 degrees C

- Two Dots: 40 degrees C

- Three Dots: 50 degrees C

- Four Dots: 60 degrees C

- Five Dots: 70 degrees C

- Six Dots: 95 degrees C

If there is one line under the bucket, it means synthetic wash or Permanent Press. Permanent Press fabrics have been treated with chemicals to ensure they resist wrinkles and retain their original shape even after a full laundry service. If a piece of clothing is Permanent Press, it usually means that you shouldn’t iron it. If there are two, your clothing item is meant for the gentle/wool cycle. This is for delicate fibres like wool or silk, or for items of clothing that could be damaged by vigorous washing (such as sequined tops, tights, or lycra). Some delicate fabrics are also recommended for dry cleaning service.

When there’s a hand above the bucket, you should probably hand wash it. In the case that there’s a big giant X right on the bucket, that means that it shouldn’t be washed, as strange as that sounds. It’s also a sign to seek professional care or laundry service.

Do Not Wring

This symbol means do not wring, which means you shouldn’t twist it to wring out any water during laundry service so your options are to hang it for lay it down for drying.

Bleaching Symbols

What about bleach, you ask? Well here are the standard bleaching symbols:

An empty triangle means that you’re free to use any kind of bleach on this fabric when home washing or in a laundry service shop. However, if it has lines, only non-chlorine bleaches should be used. So be sure to check your bleach’s ingredients to ensure there is no chlorine in it prior to washing this clothing item. That scary triangle with an X on it means exactly what you think, no bleach should be used at all.

Now that your clothes have been properly washed with the right bleach, how should you dry them?

Drying Symbols

The box with the circle means that this can be tumble-dried at home or in a laundry service shop, without taking into account any particular temperature setting. If there’s a dot in the middle, it should be dried at a low temperature, and if there are two? Use medium heat. The one with that giant X? You guessed it, do not tumble dry.

Dry Cleaning Symbols

Now if your tag has these symbols, it means that your fabric needs to be professionally cleaned by dry cleaning. The empty circle means it must be dry cleaned using all types of solvents. If there’s a P, any solvent except Trichloroethylene needs to be used and if there’s an F, it must be dry cleaned with only a petroleum solvent. That X is the same always, do not dry clean.

Ironing or Pressing Symbols

Everything is clean and dry now, should you iron it? Here’s what you should know:

- One dot: Use a cool iron, no more than 110oC

- Two dots: Medium heat, no more than 150oC

- Three dots: Crank it up to high, but no more than 200oC

An iron with an X? Do not iron. If it’s that second one that looks a bit different? Do not steam.

Now that you’ve gotten all that knowledge done, you’re ready to start washing, drying and ironing your fabrics to perfection (unless you do not want the hassle and prefer dropping your laundry off a laundry service and dry cleaning service shop, that’s okay as well)!

The thing about letting professional laundry service providers and dry cleaners handle your clothes is that they know each symbol by heart, which means you can entrust your clothes to them, worry-free! They're not cheap but you get quality but affordable laundry service in Singapore today.


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