Our washing symbols guide

We've all been there - pulling a much-treasured item from the washing machine only to discover it's now the perfect size to fit the cat. Lucky Mittens. Fortunately, keeping your fabrics in tip-top condition is easy as long as you check the care label first. And while these puzzling squiggles and dots may have your head in a spin, we've got them explained to make your life easier!

The purpose of laundry symbols is to give you instructions on how to wash and dry your garments, while also providing additional pointers on things like bleaching and ironing. In general, the 'tub of water' icon informs you how to wash the item, the square with a circle inside refers to tumble drying, the circle on its own is for dry cleaning, the triangle is for bleaching and the iron tells you what temperature is safest to prevent sizzling a hole in your bed linen.

Regular machine wash

hand wash

do not wash

cold wash

wash up to 30º

wash up to 40º

wash up to 60º

wash up to 95º

use bleach if needed

do not bleach

tumble dry low heat

tumble dry high heat

tumble dry no heat

do not tumble dry

dry clean

do not dry clean

cool iron

hot iron

do not steam

do not iron

To help you see at a glance what's what, we’ve created a helpful downloadable washing symbols guide that explains the meaning of each icon. Print it, share it, frame it, gaze at it adoringly and thank your lucky stars the cat won't be getting any more hand-me-downs. Sorry Mittens.

We hope this helps wash away your fears and irons out any doubts but do get in touch if you have a laundry query or tips to share… we love a good laundry natter!