How Do You Read Garment Care Labels?


Quick Answer

To read garment care labels, determine what the images or symbols represent on the tag. If a garment is machine washable, it has a symbol that looks like a cup with a wavy line. If there is a specific temperature for the wash, look for dots under the image. One dot indicate cold water, while two means warm, and three means hot. Any time an X appears over a symbol, it means that action is not recommended.

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How Do You Read Garment Care Labels?
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Full Answer

If the machine wash symbol has a line under the cup, it indicates using the permanent press cycle. Two lines underneath indicates the gentle cycle. If there is a hand on the symbol, it means to wash the garment by hand. To determine if bleach is allowed for a garment, look for a white triangle or the outline of a triangle on the tag while lines or shading mean non-chlorine bleach. A black triangle means bleach is not allowed in the wash.

A square with a circle inside indicates drying is allowed, while a black circle indicates the use of a no-heat tumble dry. Low heat is indicated by one small dot, while two dots means medium heat and three means high heat. Permanent press and gentle cycle are indicated in the same manner as the machine wash symbol. Three lines or a curved line over the square indicates that the garment is line dried. A horizontal dash indicates that the garment is dried flat.

An image of an iron represents ironing. Heat levels are determined with dots, like the machine wash symbol. If the symbol has two lines under it with an X over it, do not use the steam setting.

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