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When you stare blankly at the laundry symbols on your most prized possessions does your head spin? Have you ever bought a beautiful garment, worn it, looked at the care label symbols and thrown it in the laundry basket promising a hand wash that never happens? We’re all guilty of speed reading the label and hurriedly throwing our favourite items in the wash at 30 in the hope that it will come out of the wash just fine, right?
We know the feeling when you pull out your favourite piece and find it shrunken, shapeless, discoloured or damaged and kick yourself for not reading the label more carefully.
All of those laundry symbols have a specific meaning and we have put together a downloadable essential guide you can put to use today to ensure you are doing everything to maximise the lifetime of your most prized threads.
Each label should state the fabric type and as a minimum include, in order, four symbols: washing, bleaching, drying and ironing. The water temperatures suggested are provided as a guideline.
• If the care label has a small circle the manufacture is stating you must dry clean this item.
• If there is a little letter inside the circle it’s indicating to the dry cleaner what chemical to use.
• The more bars underneath the circle indicate the level of precaution the dry cleaner must take.
• If there is a cross over the circle symbol you should not dry clean the item.
• Your item can be ironed at any temperature If the care label iron symbol has no dots
• The more dots on the iron symbol suggests the temperature of heat that can be applied:
• 1 dot: delicates i.e, silk and wool.
• 2 dots: synthetics.
• 3 dots: linen and cotton.
• If there is a cross over the iron symbol you should not iron the item.
• If the care label has a circle inside a square your item can be tumble dried.
• The more dots on the iron symbol suggests the temperature of heat that can be applied.
• If there is a cross over the tumble dry symbol you should not tumble dry the item.
• If the care label has a tub with a hand your item can be hand washed or put in a delicate washing cycle of 40°C/104°F or lower.
• Hand washing is better suited for delicate items like cashmere or silk as the wash is gentle preventing shrinking or snagging.
• If the care label has a twisted symbol your item can be wrung.
• If the care label has a cross over the twisted symbol you should not wring the item.
• If your care label has a tub symbol your item can be washed in the washing machine.
• A number on the tub symbol indicates the maximum temperature that can be applied.
• The more bars underneath the tub indicates a reduction of spinning and rinsing:
No bars: The item can be spun and rinsed as normal.
1 bar: Spin speed should be reduced.
2 bars: Mild wash but can be spun and rinsed as normal.
• If there is a cross over the tub symbol you should not wash the item.