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If you’re like us, laundry symbols on clothing tags might as well be written in hieroglyphics. It can be almost impossible to guess their meanings without a guide. Our previous laundry experience might have resulted in shrunken jeans, faded t-shirts and stained whites, but after a little research, we’ve cracked the code on those confusing symbols and translated them into plain English.

Basically, laundry symbols can be broken out into four groups:

1. Washing symbols

2. Drying symbols

3. Bleaching symbols

4. Ironing symbols

Washing Symbols

Hand wash. Dry clean. Warm water. Cold water. Sure, we all know to separate our lights and darks (well, most of us), but not everyone knows that the type of wash cycle and water temperature makes a huge difference when it comes to taking care of your clothes. Washing symbols make it easy!




Drying Symbols

Unless you’re going for that high water jeans look to show off your ankles, you’re probably better off following the drying symbols on the tag. There are even symbols for “don’t wring this out” and “let this dry flat” to make it foolproof.




Bleaching Symbols

Some people like to live dangerously. For some, it’s skydiving. For others, it’s a casual swim with sharks. But if bleach is your preferred form of adrenaline, these laundry symbols are sure to be your best friend.


Ironing Symbols

There’s really no way out of it: some pieces of clothing absolutely have to be ironed. And it’s super important to have the right temperature setting, especially for synthetic fabrics. You don’t want to melt your favorite shirt. Thankfully, ironing symbols are pretty straightforward.


Choosing Your Washer and Dryer

Sometimes you follow the directions just right, but your old washer or dryer still causes trouble. It might be time for a new one, but choosing a washer and dryer can be tough. We’ve broken the process down to make things a little easier on you. Learn how to pick the right size and more with our washer and dryer buying guide.