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Wash symboles?


Care symbols on clothing labels

The care symbols on clothing labels are there to help you clean, dry and iron your clothes effectively, without damaging them. However, they can be confusing; so here is a clear explanation of what they all mean


Wash tub symbols

Care Symbol

Care Symbol

Care Symbol

Cotton wash


Synthetics wash


Wool wash



Other wash symbols


Care Symbol Care Symbol  
Hand wash only Not suitable for machine washing



The temperature in the wash tub symbol is the maximum recommended wash temperature for that garment

WashingA single bar " --  " beneath the wash tub symbol indicates suitable for medium agitation/drum action.

A broken bar " - - " beneath the wash tub symbol indicates suitable for low agitation/drum action, and is specifically designed for machine wash-able wool.

A symbol with a " X " across it means the process CANNOT be performed.

As a general guide you can combine all items without the bar symbol and wash at the lowest recommended temperature. Likewise items with the same bar symbol can be combined and washed at the lowest recommended temperature.

Remember: Always follow any special instructions shown on the care label; particularly ' wash separately ' which means what it says.


Drying symbols

Care Symbol

Care Symbol

Care Symbol

Care Symbol




(Low setting)


(High setting)

Do not tumble-dry


Other drying symbols

Care Symbol Care Symbol Care Symbol  

Dry flat



Ironing symbols

Care Symbol

Care Symbol

  Care Symbol

Care Symbol

Cool - 110°C

Nylon, Acrylic Polyester

Warm - 150°C

Wool Mixtures Polyester

Hot - 200°C

Linen, Cotton

Do not iron

The dots in the Drying and Ironing symbols are the maximum recommended temperature setting for that

 Care Symbol

A circle in a square means the garment may be tumble-dried; the dots contained within the circle indicate the drying temperature.

Care Symbol


A Iron symbol indicates a garment can be ironed; the more dots contained within the symbol, the hotter the iron can be.

A symbol with a " X " across it means the process CANNOT be performed.




Dry-cleaning symbols


Bleaching symbols

Care Symbol

Care Symbol


Care Symbol


Care Symbol

Dry-cleaning allowed

Do not dry-clean

    Any bleach can be used

Bleaching with Oxygen bleach


Care SymbolCare Symbol Care Symbol
Care Symbol
Care Symbol
Letters indicate the type of solvent to be used by the dry-cleaning specialist
Bleaching with   Chlorine bleach

Do not use bleach

Is your washing machine starting to smell?

90°C wash tub symbolIf you always select cool 30°C quick wash programme, and only use Non-boi detergent, Colour detergent, Gel, Gel tablets, Liquid, Liquid tablets or any other detergent that does not contain bleach. This will cause a build up of dirt and grease creating a breeding ground for mould and bacteria, unpleasant smells can form in your washing machine warm weather can make the smell even worse.

Our advice, two to three times a year, simply run your washing machine without any clothes on the hottest 90°C wash with the “extra rinse and the intensive wash” options, (if your machine has those functions) with a Biological detergent that contains Oxygen bleach. Alternatively, you could use your normal detergent with two scoops of Oxygen bleach powder additive, or Soda crystals.

These maintenance washes will keep the machine and the outlet hose clean and free from the build-up of dirt, grease and bacteria. Also, regular maintenance washes can considerably prolong the life of your washing machine. Read more...


Information Also see our advice to . . .

>  Is Fabric softener necessary?

>  The safe way to machine wash Bras

>  Can I use Oxygen bleach in my colour wash?



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