Laundry Care Symbols Explained

Washing instructions on clothing labels are mostly composed in user-friendly sentences; however, sometimes when you look at a care label, all you see are hieroglyphics—boxes with dots and lines; a hand giving a water container a high-five; and the very curious hovering, UFO-styled iron graphic.

Your customers will more than likely prefer to read their washing instructions in plain English sentences (after all, they’ve been reading this way since the first grade). However, we know sometimes this isn’t appropriate. Your clothing label may be too small to accommodate large amounts of text, or perhaps you’re going for a minimalist look and feel. Thankfully, we’ve put together this handy cheat sheet.

What do all these symbols mean? The last thing you want is for your customer to reach into the dryer and pull out that argyle sweater her Auntie Clo gave her, only to find that it’s now a perfect fit for her long-haired Chihuahua. Rather than your customer holding her breath, throwing the garment in with the colors, and hoping for the best, you and she now know that the hovering UFO iron is alerting you to iron the clothing with no steam.

laundry care symbols debugged

Feel free to print out the following guide and mail it to your customers! Simply click on the thumbnail for the full-sized image.