How To Read Washing Instructions With Our Free Guide!

If you’re anything like me, then you probably use the same setting on your washing machine day in and day out, and you might only recognize a couple of the washing instructions on the care label of each garment. So, what do these intriguing little wash symbols really mean? 

  • How long should you actually be tumble drying your favourite pyjamas for?  
  • Can you put chlorine bleach on your fluffy white towels?  
  • What do those dry-cleaning symbols really mean? 
  • Should you be hand washing your designer knickers? 
  • Can your husband’s favourite jumper go in the tumble dryer? 
  • When should you use the gentle cycle? 

Well, believe it or not, all the answers are right there on your washing instructions!

Now, if we only had a handy little printable guide which simply tells us what each symbol means, and…… as if by magic, that’s what I’ve made for you with my own fair hands!

So, now you’ll know exactly what one dot or two dots mean when you’re ironing a permanent press into those jeans! 

In this post I’ll be revealing the secrets behind all those laundry symbols you wish you knew; you’ll learn how to know if a garment should be dry cleaned or machine washed.

You’ll know what temperature to wash the dog’s bed on.

There will be no more shrunken clothing as you’ll know when to drip dry and line dry your clothes. 

Download your printable laundry symbols PDF for free here and put it up next to your washing machine! 

Washing instructions explained.  

For tips on keeping the laundry mountain under control read this fabulous post!

Frequently asked questions and answers

What does a W in a circle mean on washing instructions?

A W in a circle is for the dry cleaning company to know which chemicals are suitable for cleaning your garment.

Are European washing machine symbols the same as the rest of the world?

American washing symbols and European washing symbols are pretty much the same, they may differ in some areas, however.

Why do I get clothes discoloration after washing? 

You may be using washing powder or laundry tablets which often contain bleach. Liquid detergent, pods and coloured products do not contain bleach and are safer to use on coloureds. See my guide to laundry here.

How do I wash a garment that has a do not dry clean sign? 

I would follow the other instructions on the wash care label.

Why can’t I understand Decathlon washing instructions? 

If you go onto the Decathlon website they have a guide to all their washing instructions.

What does do not bleach mean?  

It means just that; the garment is not suitable to be washed with products that contain bleach such as laundry powders and laundry tablets. 

Can you do a hand wash only in the washing machine? 

There is a cycle for hand washing, it may also be called delicates. 

My son is allergic to washing labels how can will I know how to wash his clothes if I cut them out?

If one of his garment is needed to be washed differently to your normal wash just jot it down on a piece of paper and stick it up next to your washing label instructions chart for future reference.  

What is P on washing instructions? 

P is the instructions for the dry cleaner so they know which chemicals to use to clean the garment.

I need to know how to dry hand washed clothes. 

I would usually put the clothes over a clothes horse in the bath to allow them to drip dry, or if the laundry instructions say it’s ok to spin the clothes I would spin them dry then dry them normally as if you had machine washed separately.  

What does the triangle on washing instructions mean? 

A triangle on the washing instructions is related to all things containing bleach so check the handy guide above to see what exactly your symbol refers too!

What does it mean if there is a no tumble dry sign on my jumper? 

This is the do not tumble dry logo. Do not tumble dry means you need to either hang it on a maiden indoors or line dry outside. 

If you’re in any doubt after reading this post, refer to the instructions on how to use a washing machine in your user manual. 

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I hope you liked your laundry symbols chart, let us know in the comments!  

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