Decoding laundry symbols

Happy Monday!  

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

This is not a post I usually do, but as Spring is upon us (I am literally counting the days), I do the season clothing switch. I pack all my winter clothing and store them in storage; however, I am always at a loss as to what the laundry symbols mean on apparel. 

Therefore, I am sharing with you how to Decode the Laundry Symbols, so you can properly care for your precious fashion gems.   

Photo credit: Whirpool


The first symbol is usually a tub of water. This will tell you everything about washing, including the water temperature and what cycle to choose on your machine. The hand wash symbol (hand in the tub) and do not wash (‘X’ over tub) are pretty easy to remember, but the dots are where it gets tricky. Just think, the more dots, the more heat. One dot for cold water, two for medium, and three for hot water. I usually wash all my clothing in cold water to avoid any shrinking from happening, but this guide is informative.


If you come across a circle, that’s dry-cleaning. If there’s an ‘X’ on your circle, don’t dry-clean it! Seeing lines under the tub? That’s about the cycle. Here you need to think: more lines, more care.


The square is the next symbol on your clothing care label. If you see a circle in a square, proceed as usual with the dryer. An ‘X’? Don’t put that in the dryer! Once again, if you see dots, remember the rule from the washing instruction: more dots, more heat. As for the lines, they still refer to the cycle you should choose. Again, more lines, more care!


Thinking of using bleach on your clothes? Look for a triangle to tell you what to do. One large ‘X’ means don’t use bleach! A good non-bleach Whitner is Rit. It has saved my white t shirts and a plethora of other whites. For a bleach alternative use one cup of Baking Soda, it makes your whites whiter.


The little iron symbol is pretty self-explanatory; it’s about ironing. Once again, the big ‘X’ means don’t iron the item. More dots? You know the rule by now: more dots, more heat. The only new sign here is an ‘X’ under the iron. That’s telling you not to use steam on your garment.

Do you have any laundry tips and tricks?  

Sending domestic diva vibes! 💋

Feature photo credit: Sigrid Agren by David Vasiljevic for Elle France


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