TGIF- Thank God it’s Friday. And yes welcome to “laundering” Saturday.

Saturdays are for cleaning especially for the busy moms and washing is no exclusion. It can be a hectic activity if not well organized particularly if you have two or more kids. In other to wash “smart” to reduce the stress of washing and make their clothes last long while serving better, I’ll be sharing with you tips on how to survive the laundry time.


Have you ever tried to check what is written on the inner labels of your children’s cloth? What does those signs mean to you?

International care labeling code is based on 5 basic symbols.

Washtub (Washing), Triangle (Bleaching), square (Drying), Iron (Ironing) and circle (Dry cleaning). Modifications to these symbols tell a whole story of how you should care for the cloth in question.

Washing care symbols for Laundry in more detail


  1. This symbol means that you can launder this in a washing machine with water, detergent or soap and maximum agitation.
  2. This means that the cloth should not be machine washed. This usually accompanies symbols for dry-cleaning care
  3. Machine wash in Permanent Press setting. This is intended for Permanent Press fabrics which have been treated with chemicals to ensure they resist wrinkles and retain their original shape. This will have a cold rinse before spinning at a reduced time. If a piece of clothing is permanent press, it usually means that you shouldn’t iron it
  4. The two lines under the bucket denotes that the fabric should be washed in a gentle or delicate setting only. This is usually used for beaded sequined fabrics, wool, silk etc which needs gentle agitation
  5. A hand inside the bucket denotes that the fabric is suitable only for hand washing
  6. Two broken lines under the bucket means that the fabric is to have the minimum agitation. The number inside the bucket denotes the initial maximum temperature setting.
  7. One broken line under the bucket means that the fabric is to have a medium agitation only.
  8. When there are no lines under the bucket it means the maximum agitation is ok

The dots inside the bucket (like the numbers) will be representing initial maximum temperature setting for the fabric

One                                                   Dot                                          –  30ºC
Two                                                   Dots                                         –  40ºC
Three                                                 Dots                                         –  50ºC
Four                                                  Dots                                         –  60ºC
Five                                                   Dots                                         –  70ºC
Six                                                     Dots                                         –  95ºC

Drying care symbols for fabrics


  1.  This symbol indicates Drying
  2. This indicates that you should not use the washing machine for tumble drying the fabric
  3. Drip dry – this indicates that the garment should be hung without wringing, hand shaping or smoothing
  4. Dry in the flat – This is given for clothes/ fabrics which may stretch if hung on a line; they should be laid horizontally in a rack for drying.
  5. Dry in the shade – This is given for clothes which may fade or get damaged in direct sunlight
  6. Line dry – which means that you can hang them on a clothesline to dry.


Ironing Symbols 

  1. This shape of an iron box indicates that the garment is ironable at any suitable temperature
  2. This denotes the garment is not suitable for ironing.
  3. Garment is to be ironed at a low heat setting
  4. Garment is to be ironed at a medium heat setting
  5. Garment is to be ironed at a high heat setting
  6. This symbol indicates that you cannot use steam on this cloth though it can be ironed

Drycleaning symbols 

  1. This indicates that the garment/fabric should be dry-cleaned at any temperature, with any solvent and any moisture
  2. 2,3 & 4 denotes the solvent to be used in dry-cleaning
  3. 5,6,7 Denotes other restrictions

Bleaching Care symbols for laundry

  1. This indicates that you can use any type of bleach on the fabric
  2. This denotes that the garment should not be dry-cleaned
  3. This symbol indicates that you should only use non-chlorine bleach on the garment. The ingredient list of bleach will clearly say whether it contains chlorine or not.

Fabric care labels for different kinds of fabrics




The general guidelines for these clothing care symbols include

  1. If no water temperature or dryer setting is mentioned, it is safe to use any setting, even hot water and hot tumble drying.
  2. If no ironing instructions are given, it should not be necessary to iron the garment. If ironing is needed to preserve the garment’s appearance, instructions must be given. The label need not mention any ironing temperature if the regular use of a hot iron will not harm the garment.
  3. If bleach is not mentioned, any type of bleach may be used, when needed. If bleach is unsafe, then the label must say “no bleach” or “do not bleach.” If non-chlorine bleaches are safe, then the label should say “use only non-chlorine bleach when needed.”
  4. If no warnings are given, no adjustments are needed to the care process listed on the label.
  5. If the label says do not dry-clean, don’t assume you can. The type of dry-cleaning solvent does not have to be specified if all are safe. If not, the particular solvent to be used should be listed. A “Dry-clean” label means you can use a coin-operated machine. “Professionally dry-clean, short cycle, tumble warm” means you cannot since a coin-operated machine could not be adjusted to follow the process

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