How To Read Washing and Bleaching Icons On Your Garments

You know those symbols printed on the tag of your clothes? They may seem like they’re in a foreign language, but they actually serve a pretty important purpose – to help you keep your clothes looking newer for longer! These washing icons tell you everything you need to know about how to wash and dry specific garments, depending on their fabric, as well as how to go about bleaching and ironing.

The Different Wash Cycles

The washtub symbols tell you how to go about the different steps of the washing process. If there are lines under the washtub, your garment should get washed on a specific cycle. 

If there are no lines under the washtub symbol, your garment can be machine washed in a normal wash cycle. If there’s one line under the washtub symbol, your garment is machine washable in a permanent press cycle. If there are two lines under the washtub symbol, you can machine wash the garment in a delicate wash cycle, and if there’s a washtub symbol with a hand reaching into it, the garment should be hand-washed.

The Perfect Temperature

Using the perfect water temperature for your wash cycle is vital to prevent damage to your clothes. 


The dot inside the washing symbol on your clothing items tells you what maximum temperature you should use to wash your garment. Usually, this ranges from 30°C to 95°C.


One dot: 30°C

Two dots: 40°C

Three dots: 50°C

Four dots: 60°C

Five dots: 70°C

Six dots: 95°C


Some labels will, alternatively, indicate the maximum recommended temperature by showing the tub icon with the temperature number in it. 

These recommended temperatures aren’t set in stone, as you can always choose to wash your clothes at a lower temperature than recommended. 


Understanding Your Bleaching Icons

If you opt for using bleach when washing, you’ll definitely want to look at your clothes’ washing labels to see if there’s a bleach symbol. If there is, follow the instructions to protect your clothes from being ruined.


Bleach symbols come in the form of triangles. If you see a triangle with a cross over it, this simply means “do not bleach.” Attempting to use any products that contain bleach on your garment with this symbol will cause damage to the fabric.

A triangle filled with two stripes means that you can only use non-chlorine bleach on the garment. Some labels will indicate non-chlorine bleach by having a triangle filled with the letters CL and with a cross over it. Because of this, it’s vital to read through the ingredients to ensure that it doesn’t contain chlorine. 

If you see an empty triangle, it means that when needed, you can use a cold, diluted solution of bleach on the garment. 

By referring to our decoded washing and bleaching symbols blog, washing can never go wrong with your KIC washing machine! Keep an eye out for our December blog to gain better insights into drying icons on your clothing symbols.