Laundry Symbols: You’re Welcome

posted in: Tips 1
Tape it up in your laundry room and promptly forget you did that. Photo: Reddit
Tape it up in your laundry room and promptly forget you did that. Photo: Internet. Please contact me if this is your image.

I attended a lecture this evening where a couple universal fabric care symbols were shown on a slide. Everyone laughed because though a number of them live on many of the garments in our lives, no one knows what those laundry instruction icons mean.

The ones that should be self-explanatory aren’t. The “Hand Wash” icon looks like it could mean “Hand Burning”, as though the tub of liquid you’re washing your clothes in might be hydrochloric acid. And gym clothes need that, sometimes. The tubs with temperatures on them look like they might be pretty straightforward, but those temperatures are in Celsius. They don’t always say that.

Other icons are unknowable without help. The dots in the washbasins: apples? Bleach is a triangle, okay — but why? As for the last row up there, I just get angry. It’s hula hoops and sticks! What is this, Norman Rockwell’s sketchbook?? The whole thing looks like the language of a people who use a pictorial system to communicate with each other in writing.

You do have to respect that people for their language, though. There are no dirty words!

I kill me!


  1. […] We encounter signs and symbols everyday, and while most are easy to recognize, some we have no clue what they might mean.  Have you ever looked at the tag in your clothing?  Aside from having information about the materials the garment is made from and where it was manufactured, there are also some basic washing instructions and sometimes assorted symbols, but what do they mean?  Today’s infographic is a chart of those symbols.  It can be a great addition to a lesson on symbolic language, deciphering code, or general household/life skills information. [VIA] […]

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