What do the symbols on care labels mean? Find out here. (Part 1)

(image: Coats Industrial)

To wash in cold or warm water? To tumble dry or simply send to the dry cleaners? Those codes on your beddings' care labels can be confusing, so break the code here.

The wash symbol refers to the temperature and cycle that should be used to machine-wash the item. If the symbol includes a hand, it means that handwashing is recommended.

The triangle symbol tells you whether or not to use bleach. A plain white triangle means any kind of bleach may be used, but if it has two diagonal lines inside, use only non-chlorine bleach.

The square represents drying methods. A circle inside it means the item is suitable for tumble-drying. A curved line indicates line- or hand-drying, whereas three vertical lines indicates drip-drying. A single horizontal line means you should dry it flat.

(images/symbols by: Maryfons)

This indicates whether or not the item needs to be dry-cleaned. Some include an uppercase letter which referts to the type of dry-cleaning solvent required. Typically, A means "any solvent", P means any solvent except "tetrachlorethylene", F means "petroleum solvents only" and W means "wet cleaning".

Read here for part two.