Laundry & Washing symbols and instructions


The washing symbols tell you how to wash your clothes so it still holds the shape, color and quality. – Therefore read the instructions in your clothes carefully. has an explanation of what the different washing symbols means and which ones that can be divided into different categories.

Let's start with the temperature symbols

The number in the bowl of water tells you at which temperature you can wash your laundry. If there is 30 in the bowl of water, the clothes can withstand washing at 30 degrees celsius. Same goes with 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90-95.

30°C/80°F  –  40°C/105°F  –  50°C/120°F  –  60°C/140°F  –  70°C/160°F  –  95°C/200°F

One line under the bowl of water means that the laundry needs to be washed on a gentle program in the washing machine.

Two lines under the symbol mean that the clothes need to be washed extra gently – for example on a wool program.

A hand down in the bowl means that the clothes need to be hand washed.

A cross over the bowl with water means that the clothes must not be washed at all.

A bowl with water mean that the clothes are washable.

Now the symbols for drying

The symbols associated with drying clothes are typically square.

A square with a circle means it can be tumble dried.

A square with a circle and cross over means it can not be tumble dried.

A dot in the circle means the clothes can be tumble dried – but at low temperatures.

Two dots in the circle means the clothes can be tumble dried at normal to high temperature.

A horizontal line means that the clothes must be left lying to dry. – The clothes can optionally be dried over a towel.

Vertical lines mean the clothes need to drip-dry.

If there is a diagonal line in the corner, the drying should be done in the shade.

So if there are a horizontal line and a diagonal line in the corner, the clothes should be lying to dry in the shades.

Chemical cleaning

A circle with a letter is an instruction for the dry cleaning. The letter indicates which liquid the dry cleaner needs to get, example getting your coat clean. – Let it be handled by professionals.


Occasionally it may be necessary to bleach clothes slightly. The triangle is the symbol that is used when a wash instruction tells you about bleaching.

A triangle with a cross over means that you must completely avoid bleaching your clothes.

A triangle means that all bleaches are allowed.

A triangle with two diagonal lines means you can bleach your clothes – just not with chlorine.

A triangle with “cl” means you can use chlorine-based bleaching

When ironing your clothes

The iron reveals that the symbols are about ironing.

A cross over the iron means no ironing.

Just a iron means ironing is allowed.

One dot in the iron means that the temperature of the iron must not exceed 110 degrees. Ironing with steam may degrade the quality of the clothing or damage the fabric.

Two dots – ironing with up to 150 degrees is perfectly fine.

Three dots allow for ironing up to 200 degrees.

A cross over the steam means that steam treatment should be avoided.

See all the washing symbols in an easy layout right here Washing Symbols easy layout

See 10 tips for washing your clothes right here 10 Tips for washing clothes