The Guide To The Washing Symbols in Clothing’s Tags So That They’ll Last Longer

Image: hagverdi hajiyev /

Like what an iconic scene in The Kingsmen said.


And clothes make up a huge part of your manners. Dress like a hobo to your best friends’ wedding and you’re considered rude. No manners.

Every time you buy a piece of clothing, this is what you usually look at.

Image: Artpose Adam Borkowski /

The size.

But in order to really take good care of your clothes, and let it last longer? You’d need to look at this too.

Image: Andrey_Popov /

Which can be harder to read than a woman’s mind.

But you’ll need to know how to do that if you want to survive in this world. Both a woman’s mind and the care instructions.

Which is why, we decided to write about this guide that’ll make your clothes last longer, which means, you can save more money.

See, we so nice. So download our free app, okay?

The Ultimate Guide To Symbols on Clothing Labels Almost Every S’porean Missed Out 

Here are all the symbols you need to know to never screw up your laundry again. That favourite T-shirt from Uniqlo? You’d still be wearing it 2 years from now.

All because you understand. Understand the type of TLC these clothes need.


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This is the best symbol you can ever get on the clothing label. It basically means that this particular clothing can be machine-washed.

In other words, you don’t have to worry about it coming apart in the washing machine.

Dots within the Wash Symbol

Now, this dot (or dots) reflect the range of temperatures this particular piece of clothing needs to be washed at.

  • 1 Dot = 30 degrees Celcius
  • 2 Dots = 40 degrees Celcius
  • 3 Dots = 50 degrees Celcius
  • 4 Dots = 60 degrees Celcius
  • 5 Dots = 70 degrees Celcius
  • 6 Dots = 95 degrees Celcius

You’ll see either dots or a number which represents the temperature of water to wash the clothing in.

Yet another symbol, the Permanent Press, that’s a godsend to millennials out there.

This symbol means that the clothing article was treated with chemicals to resist wrinkles. In other words, it shouldn’t be ironed.

But, of course, we still do because wrinkle-resistant clothes is a myth. It didn’t exist. At least not in my life.

(Editor’s note: It does exist. You’re the myth and the joke.)

If you see two lines below the wash symbol, it means this clothing article requires a softer touch (read: Gentle Cycle)

This is typically used for clothing items that will get damaged in a normal washing cycle. And the number within simply shows the range of temperate of the water.

Most mothers wouldn’t want to see this symbol.

Because this means they have to use their hands to wash the clothing instead of putting it in the machine.

Use your hands to make sure cleaning liquid is thoroughly absorbed into the piece of clothing and totally rinsed out.

And finally, the do not wash symbol.

This means you’d have to spend the extra dough and dry-clean that baby of yours.

And since we’re on the topic of dry-cleaning, here are the symbols for dry-cleaning.


If you ever see this circle, it means dry-cleaning is required.

And if you see a P within the circle, it means the clothing article can only be dry-cleaned.

If the piece of clothing should be dry-cleaned under normal conditions, it’ll have an ‘F’ instead. Not sure what F stands for; maybe it’s just a word that can’t be published here.

And if you have this crossed-out circle

It simply means, please do not dry-clean.

Kind of like the no-smoking sign, if you get what I mean.

Image: Pisit Koolplukpol /

Even ironing your clothes has guidelines too

The entire take-care-of-your-clothes shtick isn’t just about washing. It’s the entire package, and that includes ironing your clothes.

Ironing is the simplest thing to understand on this entire list because there’s only 1 factor that is taken into account. The heat.

And similar to the wash section above, the dots represent the range of temperatures a piece of clothing can be ironed at.

Three dots simply means you can iron the piece of clothing at high heat.

Two dots means medium heat.

And one dot? Don’t go any higher than low heat or you’ll end up with a piece of well-iron clothing…plus several burnt patches and the smell of burnt cloth.

And the world where drying is an art form

Similar to wash and ironing, the dots represent the heat setting your clothes should tumble dry at.

One dot means tumble dry low.

And three dots means tumble dry high.

If you see a single line below the dryer symbol

It means you must use a permanent press setting.

And if you see a double line?

It means you have to tumble dry on a delicate setting.

Last, but not least, the do not tumble dry symbol.

If you see this, it’s time to hang it out to dry.

Image: aheiay /

How about bleaching?

What happens if that white shirt of yours yellowed because you sweat in the hot Singapore weather?

Yup, use bleach.

But here’s the thing, can that piece of T-shirt be bleached? Maybe. But don’t do it until you look at the clothing label.

If you see this, feel free to go wild. It means any kind of bleach can be used. When needed, of course.

If you see a triangle with lines within, it means you can only use non-chlorine bleaches.

If you see this

It means do not bleach. Ever.

And there you go, the ultimate guide to clothing label symbols.

With this, we hope your clothes can be like that faithful girlfriend of yours, who’d stay with you for at least a couple of years.

No lah, I’m not saying that she’ll break up with you after. She’ll stop being your girlfriend and become your wife. #RelationshipGoals.

**All images from unless otherwise stated.

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