Laundry Symbols – UK Washing Symbols Explained

What are Washing Symbols…?

Washing symbols explainedWashing symbols, or Laundry symbols as they are also known, are pictograms found on tags attached to almost every item made of fabric. Clothing, curtains, cushion covers and bedding all have these labels. Even leather items like jackets and trousers carry these laundry symbols. Possible exceptions would be things like bags or shoes. These washing symbols are there to show you the best way to handle the laundry process for that particular item.

Yes… But what do the symbols mean?

Well, that would depend on where you live.

Washing symbols vary in different regions of the world. In this section we’ll concentrate on those used in the UK and Europe.

Basic Laundry Symbols

Laundry Symbol for Machine WashableWashing Symbol for BleachLaundry Symbol for Drying MethodLaundry Symbol for Dry-CleanLaundry Symbol for Iron

In the UK and Europe there are five different types of laundry symbol used. The basic shapes of these are shown above. However, each symbol has a different version depending on the laundry process required for that peticular item.

The list below contains the most common washing symbols found, along with a breif discription of their meaning.

Washing Symbols

Washing symbol for Machine Washable This washing symbol means the item is machine washable.

Washing symbol for Maximum Wash Temperature Machine washable ~ Maximum wash temperature 40 degrees centigrade. (may be higher or lower than 40°c.)

Washing symbol for Machine Washable on Synthetic Cycle1 bar below – Machine washable ~ Wash on a synthetic cycle.

Washing symbol for Machine washable ~ Requires delicate wash cycle2 bars below – Machine washable ~ Requires delicate wash cycle.

Washing symbol for Hand Wash at Warm TemperatureItem should be Hand Washed at a warm temperature.

Washing symbol for DO NOT wash with water ~ Dry Clean OnlyNot to be washed with water.(requires Dry-cleaning).

 Washing Symbols for Bleach

Washing symbol for Bleach in wash is acceptableThe use of bleach in the wash is acceptable.

Washing symbol for use of Chlorine Bleach is acceptableThe use of chlorine bleach is acceptable.

Washing symbol for DO NOT use BleachDO NOT use bleach.

Drying Symbols

Laundry symbol for Item can be Tumble driedItems showing this symbol can be tumble dried.

Laundry symbol for Tumble dry on a Low heat setting onlyTumble dry on a Low heat setting only.

Laundry symbol for Tumble dry on a Medium heat setting onlyTumble dry on a Medium heat setting only.

Laundry symbol for DO NOT tumble dryDO NOT tumble dry items with this symbol.

Laundry symbol for Drip drying is recommendedDrip drying is recommended for this item.

Laundry symbol for Line drying or Hanging is recommendedItem requires Line drying or Hanging.

Laundry symbol for Lay items flat to dryFor items with this laundry symbol it is recommended that you lay them flat to dry.

Ironing Symbols

Laundry symbol for Cool Iron ~ 1 dot - upto 110°c1 dot – Cool Iron. (upto 110°c) –  Generally used for acrylics, acetates and nylons.

Laundry symbol for Warm Iron ~ 1 dot - upto 150°c2 dots – Warm Iron. (upto 150°c) –  Generally used for polyester mixes, and wool.

Laundry symbol for Hot Iron ~ 1 dot - upto 200°c3 dots – Hot Iron. (upto 200°c) –  Generally used for linens and cottons.

Laundry symbol for DO NOT IronDO NOT Iron items with this symbol. Ironing may cause serious damage to the fabric. E.g. Melt it!

Dry-Cleaning Symbols

Laundry symbol for Item is suitable for Dry-CleaningItem is suitable for Dry-Cleaning.

Laundry symbol for Any solvent may be used during dry-cleaningThe ‘A’ symbol indicates that Any solvent may be used during the dry-cleaning process.

Laundry symbol for Solvents R113 & Hydrocarbon should be used for Dry CleaningAn ‘F’ indicates that solvents R113 & Hydrocarbon should be used for dry cleaning.

Laundry symbol for Any solvent except trichloroethylene may be used for Dry CleaningThe ‘P’ indicates that any solvent except trichloroethylene may be used.

Laundry symbol for DO NOT Dry-cleanDO NOT Dry-clean items with this symbol. The solvents used during the dry claening process may cause damage to the fabric.

One thought on “Laundry Symbols – UK Washing Symbols Explained

  1. Thank you for your assistance. The symbols helped me greatly. Now washing my new flannette set ready for the coming cold nights.

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