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What do the laundry symbols mean?

Laundry symbols, or care symbols, are icons which represent a wide variety of washing, drying and ironing methods, which are commonly found on clothing labels and tags. Their purpose is to instruct consumers on how a particular item of clothing should be cleaned, dried and ironed so as to avoid damage being caused to the fabric.

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 below a picture of the most important European 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.

Laundry symbol


Machine wash normal

Machine wash permanent press

Machine wash gentle or delicate

Wash at or below 30°C

Wash at or below 40°C

Wash at or below 50°C

Wash at or below 60°C

Wash at or below 70°C

Wash at or below 95°C

Hand wash only

Do not wash

Iron at any temperature

Iron at a low temperature

Iron at a medium temperature

Iron at a high temperature

Do not iron

Chlorine and non-chlorine bleach allowed

Use non-chlorine bleach

Do not bleach

May be tumble dried

Tumble dry at a low temperature or delicate setting

Tumble dry at a normal temperature or setting

Tumble dry at a high temperature or setting

Line dry

Dry flat

Drip dry

Do not tumble dry

May be dry cleaned

Do not dry clean

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