Washing Machine Symbols And What They Mean

washing machine graphic

Washing or care symbols are small images that represent a method of washing, drying, and ironing laundry to keep garments as new. The symbols must comply with current license conditions. And wrong labelling is banned. If your read the instructions on the care label carefully you should eliminate any damage from washing incorrectly. See washing symbols and what they mean here…

Tubs, Numbers, and Dots

So, what do washing machine symbols mean? The wash tub icon will show either a maximum temperature setting. Or a number of dots that convert to a temperature indication. For example, 30C will be written inside the wash symbol. Or one dot.
tub iconTemperatures increase with the number of dots as follows:

  • Two dots or 40C
  • Three dots or 50C
  • Four dots or 60C
  • Five dots or 70C
  • Six dots or 95C


tub with lines icon

The bars underneath the tub icon refer to rinsing and spinning guidelines. If there aren’t any bars this means a normal spin and rinse.

  • One bar denotes that the spin speed needs to be reduced
  • Two bars specify a mild wash action with a normal spin and rinse


triangle icon

Wash care labels may have a triangle symbol that specifies the bleaching conditions. Triangle icons include:

  • An empty triangle denotes that any kind of bleach can be used when needed
  • Diagonal lines across the triangle indicate non-chlorine bleaches may be used
  • A crossed line over a black triangle warns that no bleach is acceptable


square icon

Drying guidelines on care labels are squares with an interior circle. This represents the tumble dryer. The number of dots inside the circle indicate the heat setting:

  • One dot relates to a low tumble dry setting
  • Two dots mean a medium tumble dry
  • Three dots indicate you can choose a high tumble dry setting
  • A cross through the drying symbol means you shouldn’t tumble dry at all. If you do this could cause fabrics to shrink. Or fibres to fur. Suitable tumble-drying items have been treated to ensure these conditions don’t happen.


circle icon

Dry cleaning symbols are circles. And some clothes must be dry cleaned only. If garments need to be professional cleaned the circle may contain the letters P or F. This tells the dry cleaner which chemical method thttps://mixrepairs.co.uko use. An empty circle is the dry-cleaning icon. A crossed out circle means you shouldn’t dry-clean at all.


handwash icon

This laundry symbols meaning is hand wash only. You should choose a temperature of 40C or lower if your physically wash the item by hand. Choose a detergent suitable for hand washing. And gently rub and rinse to make sure no residue is left.
Often washing machines have a handwash programme for you to select. And this ensures delicate garments will be washed gently to avoid damage or shrinkage.


iron icon

The ironing symbol actually looks like a traditional iron. The number of dots relate to assigned temperatures:

  • No dots indicate the garment can be ironed at any temperature
  • One dot means you should iron at a low temperature
  • Two dots equal a medium temperature
  • Three dots sat a high temperature can be selected
  • Two lined below the iron crossed through warns you must dry iron not steam iron
  • A cross through the iron symbol means do not iron

Washing Machine Repairs

If your washing machine refuses to wash your clothes clean when you’re following instructions you may need to call in the professionals! Make sure you get repairs that come with a six-month parts and labour guarantee. And a service that’s carried out by qualified and experienced engineers. You’ll get a quick fix at a great price.

Washing Machine Symbols And What They Mean was last modified: May 31st, 2023 by Mix Repairs