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Why is it so important to read care labels before you load your washing machine? While many fabrics can be washed, dried and ironed at high temperatures, the care label may advise against it. Quite often, it’s because the clothes consist of other materials such as buttons, sequins and inserts that could become damaged after repeated exposure to high temperatures and spin speeds. Another reason could be the colouring and printing on the fabric. At high temperatures, colours can bleed and the material could fade or become discoloured over time.

Because there are a variety of laundry symbols out there, it can get very confusing and it can be difficult to work out what each laundry symbol means without clarification. Luckily we have provided a picture on the left of the most important laundry symbols and an explanation of what they represent, so that you are able to easily recognise them the next time you check the label on your clothing items.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           . Washing instructions for different fabrics

So to help out further, we have provided below images of care labels attached to some of the most common fabrics, and an in-depth explanation of each fabric's specific qualities and how they should be handled. Whilst the washing, ironing and drying instructions may differ slightly between clothing manufacturers, this should give you a general idea about how to sort and wash different fabrics according to these instructional laundry symbols.


Fabric

Washing instructions

Explanation
Jeans

  • Machine wash at 30°C permanent press.
  • Dry clean with any solvent except trichloroethylene.
  • Use non-chlorine bleach.
  • Use a low ironing temperature.
  • Do not tumble dry.
Jeans are a hard-wearing cotton fabric with a particular weave, however they should not be washed in the same way as cottons, because jeans are mostly dark in colour and fade easily. If you want to minimise the amount of dye washing out, you should select a low temperature and a gentle programme and avoid putting a full load in the drum. Filling the drum or spinning at high speeds may cause the material to crease and some colour abrasion.
Viscose

  • Machine wash at 30°C.
  • Dry clean with any solvent except trichloroethylene.
  • Do not bleach.
  • Use a low ironing temperature.
  • Do not tumble dry.
Viscose is a chemical fibre made of the natural raw material cellulose, which is processed into fibres via a chemical process. Viscose is a soft and flowing fabric that is often used for dresses and summer clothes. Viscose has a strong tendency to shrink and crease. Viscose is not very strong and becomes even less so when damp. For this reason, viscose should be washed gently and only spun at a low speed.
Wool

  • Machine wash at 40°C.
  • Do not dry clean.
  • Do not bleach.
  • Use a medium ironing temperature.
  • Do not tumble dry.
  • Dry flat.
Wool fibres are animal hairs, mainly from sheep but also from goats (cashmere), rabbits (angora) or camels (alpaca). Like human hair, the single fibres also have scales that can get caught when washing (matted). The wool should therefore only be washed with very little drum movement. Wool can absorb a lot of moisture without feeling wet. Dirt does not penetrate it easily and it can be removed without difficulty. Spinning does not harm wool since the single fibres do not rub against each other. Only wash wool using the wool programme.
Polyester

  • Machine wash at 30°C.
  • Do not dry clean.
  • Do not bleach.
  • Use a low ironing temperature.
  • Use a low tumble dry temperature.
Synthetic fibres are made from polymer compounds (e.g. polyamide, polyester and ployacrylic) and they are very hard-wearing and durable. By processing and forming the fibre, various properties can be created. One quality that is common to all synthetic fibres is its minimal water absorption which prevents dirt from being firmly deposited. This is why synthetic fibres are described as easy-care. Synthetic fibres can become permanently deformed when subjected to heat, therefore they must not get washed at too high a temperature (with the exception of polyester) and not spun too fast when warm, as this may cause permanent creasing.
Silk

  • Hand wash.
  • Do not bleach.
  • Use a low ironing temperature.
  • Line dry in shade.
  • Do not wring.
Silk is the pupation thread of the mulberry silkworm. It is the finest of all natural fibres and it is also the most delicate. It is very sensitive to chemicals, so therefore only use wool or special detergents. Particularly gentle wash programmes with a very slow spin cycle are required. Reduce the speed if necessary, however do not forego spinning altogether. Hanging up this fabric when dripping wet could ge it as it becomes too heavy for the particularly fine weave. Silk tends to lose colour and should therefore only be washed with similar colours.

Targeted cleaning and descaling

With more of us using non-bio detergent and washing at lower temperatures, effectively cleaning your washing machine regularly is important. Looking after your appliance means it will keep delivering outstanding results week after week.

Residues from washing powders and fabric conditioners can build up over time in your machine, which can leave black marks on your laundry. By using our washing machine cleaner once every three months, you’ll maintain a cleaner, more hygienic interior and really notice the difference where it matters most, on your laundry.

Regularly descaling your washing machine protects it from harmful limescale deposits that can build up over time, especially for those living in hard water areas. Use our washing machine descaler every three to six months to keep your appliance limescale free and working as it should, for longer.

Washing machine cleaner
Single pack
Washing machine descaler
Single pack
  • Suitable for removing deposits from the appliance including detergent.
  • Can help to ensure a cleaner, more hygienic interior of the washing machine.
  • Improves washing results by reducing spots and marks on laundry.
  • Reduces unpleasant odours caused by regular low temperature washes.
  • You can also buy four washing machine cleaners for the price of three by clicking here
  • Protects the appliance in hard water areas by removing harmful limescale from key components.
  • It's easy to use and gets to work quickly. One box equals one dose.
  • In hard water areas, washing machines should be descaled every three to six months.
  • This product can also be used to descale dishwashers as well as washing machines.
  • You can also buy four washing machine descalers for the price of three by clicking here
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