I still cringe at the mistake I made six years ago.
I’d just bought a chunky knit sweater with an amazing cabled pattern from Gap, and unlike most things from Gap, it fit my perfectly. The color was beautiful, the material was comfortable. Let’s just say I’ve yet to score something as perfect as that chunky knit sweater was.
But six years ago, I was still an overall newbie to style, fashion, and taking care of myself. I didn’t know about the nuances of laundry and how different articles of clothing and different materials have different needs when they’re washed. So, I threw that chunky knit sweater in the washing machine with some hoodies. It shrank. I couldn’t salvage it. I tossed it.
People are bound to learn that lesson the hard way so I don’t beat myself up over it anymore, but if you can help it, learn from my mistake and avoid it for yourself. Learn to read the labels on your clothing, learn what the icons means, and treat your wardrobe right!
Laundry Label Icons for Dry Cleaning
|Do not dry clean|
|Dry clean only|
Laundry Label Icons for Washing
|Do not wash|
|Hand wash only|
|Machine wash on cold|
|Machine wash on cold (permanent press)|
|Machine wash on cold (gentle)|
|Machine wash on warm|
|Machine wash on warm (permanent press)|
|Machine wash on warm (gentle)|
|Machine wash on hot|
|Machine wash on hot (permanent press)|
|Machine wash on hot (gentle)|
Laundry Label Icons for Bleach
|Do not bleach|
|Non-chlorine bleach acceptable|
Laundry Label Icons for Drying
|Line dry only|
|Drip dry only|
|Flat dry only|
|Do not tumble dry|
|Tumble dry without heat|
|Tumble dry without heat (permanent press)|
|Tumble dry without heat (gentle)|
|Tumble dry on low heat|
|Tumble dry on low heat (permanent press)|
|Tumble dry on low heat (gentle)|
|Tumble dry on medium heat|
|Tumble dry on medium heat (permanent press)|
|Tumble dry on medium heat (gentle)|
|Tumble dry on high heat|
Laundry Label Icons for Ironing
|Do not iron|
|Do not iron with steam|
|Iron on low heat (steam acceptable)|
|Iron on medium heat (steam acceptable)|
|Iron on high heat (steam acceptable)|
There are only five things you really need to remember:
- Circle is for dry cleaning
- Cup is for washing
- Triangle is for bleaching
- Square is for drying
- Iron is for ironing
If you know those by heart, then everything else is pretty self-explanatory and you can figure it out from the context of each icon.
Now that you know how to read specific laundry label icons, it’s time to learn the general guidelines when it comes washing common clothing types. To save time when doing laundry, use these general guidelines except when dealing with expensive or favorite items.
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