Laundry Label Symbols Explained

If you’re clueless when it comes to laundry symbols, we’re here to help. Use our infographic to help figure out the best way to wash, dry, iron and bleach your clothes, as well as when to make a trip to the dry cleaners.

Have you ever wondered what those laundry symbols on the tag inside your clothes actually mean? While they’re supposed to provide helpful tips about the best way to wash, dry, iron or bleach your clothes, they can be as difficult to decipher as hieroglyphics.

The symbol that looks like an envelope? It’s telling you to hang dry that item. And the one that seems like it’s saying, “no candy” or “bow ties not allowed” is actually warning you not to wring out that article of clothing.

Due to the confusion the symbols cause, many people ignore them entirely. After all, who has time to figure out what a circle inside of a square with two lines underneath means? (Gentle cycle, since you were wondering.)

But that’s not the smartest move. Just ask anyone who has ever shrunk a favorite sweater.

To help keep your clothes looking as good as the day you bought them, become fluent in laundry lingo. You don’t have to memorize each and every icon — that’s what our infographic is for — but knowing the basics will help immensely.

You’ll start to detect themes. One dot means cold or low heat. Two dots means medium heat. And three dots means high heat. Get the gist?

Here’s a primer on all of those laundry symbols you should start paying attention to ASAP.

Laundry Labels Explained