HOW TO DECODE YOUR CLOTHING CARE SYMBOLS
Washing symbols, dryer symbols, hand wash symbols, dry clean symbols —doing laundry can sometimes feel like reading hieroglyphics.
What do those lines and dots mean and how do you use them to keep clothes looking their best? We have some tips to help you decode these washing symbols to make laundry day less complicated.
First, check your clothing label to find your fabric information followed by a series of symbols. Be careful to distinguish between washing symbols, dryer symbols and dry clean symbols.
A bleach symbol and no wash symbol are two important ones as ignoring these symbols can wreck an article of clothing.
To make it easy, the following guide breaks down the most common clothing care symbols — from washing to drying, dry cleaning and even ironing.
If there are no underlined horizontal lines, then you can wash using the normal cycle.
A single underlined horizontal line indicates a Permanent Press Cycle.
A gentle cycle or delicate wash will be indicated by two to three underlined horizontal lines.
You should not machine wash your garment if it has an X across it.
One dot signifies cold water at 30°C/85°F.
Two dots indicate that you can use warm water at 40°C/105°F.
Three dots mean that you should use warm-to-hot water at 50°C/120°F.
Four dots indicate that you should use hot water at 60°C/140°F.
Five dots depict near-boiling water, which sanitizes the load at 70°C/160°F.
A plain triangle indicates that bleaching is okay.
A black triangle indicates you shouldn't bleach.
A blank triangle with two diagonal lines indicates that non-chlorine bleach can be used.
The icon of a washtub with a hand indicates handwashing only.
A horizontal line indicates to flat-dry your garment.
A semi-circle on the upper side instructs you to hang your item to dry.
Three vertical lines indicate that your garment should be drip-dried.
Two diagonal lines in the upper left corner of the square indicate that your garment should be dried in the shade.
Blank circle indicating tumble drying is allowed.
Blank circle and an X indicating "Do Not Tumble Dry."
Black circle indicating "Tumble Dry with No Heat/Air."
Circle and one dot indicating "Dry on Normal Cycle/Low Heat."
Circle and two dots, indicating "Dry on Normal Cycle/Medium Heat."
Circle and three dots, indicating "Dry on Normal Cycle/High Heat."
An underscored line and a black circle indicate Permanent Press/No Heat.
A blank circle with one dot and one horizontal underscored line indicates Permanent Press/Low Heat.
A blank circle with two dots and one horizontal underscored line indicates Permanent Press/Medium Heat.
A circle with two horizontal underscores indicates Gentle Cycle/No Heat.
Gentle Cycle/Low Heat is indicated by a blank circle with a dot and two horizontal underscored lines.
A blank circle with two dots and two horizontal underscored lines indicates Gentle Cycle/Medium Heat.
One dot represents a cool temperature of 110°C/230°F.
Two dots indicate a warm temperature of 150°C/300°F.
Three dots indicate a hot temperature of 200°C/390°F.
An X and two or three outwardly protruding diagonal lines indicate that you shouldn't iron with steam.
An X across it indicates "Do Not Iron."
The plain circle icon indicates that dry cleaning is safe.
X across a circle indicates Do Not Dry Clean.
An 'A' inside a circle means that any solvent can be used to clean the item at a dry cleaner. Soaking the clothing in solvent thoroughly removes stains.
A circled 'F' indicates that only petroleum solvents can be used to dry clean the garment. Solvents are used instead of water to clean.
If the circle contains a 'P', your dry cleaner cannot use trichloroethylene during any stage of the cleaning process. Colourless trichloroethylene can damage delicate clothing items.
LAUNDRY SYMBOLS & LAUNDRY CYCLES
Now that you know what a “do not dry symbol” means and what not to do when you see a “no wash symbol”, you should check out the features that can help you tackle load after load. Maytag® washers and dryers come with a variety of cycles and options for different load types. When you pair your new laundry-symbol knowledge with these cycles, you've got one powerful way to take on laundry day.
And for even more ways to get the most out of laundry day, read about the types of detergent that are best for your loads.