The Five Steps to Reading a Care Label

Have you looked at the tag inside your clothes and felt like you were reading another language? Care labels are a great tool to explain the best method for taking care of your clothing. Breaking down what they mean can be tough!

  1. Wash Bucket

This little bucket with water in it lets you know if you can wash your garment. If there is a number inside the bucket this tells you what temperature you can use. The more dots there are, the higher the temperature you can use. If there’s a hand in the bucket, it means hand wash and if there’s an X over the bucket, it means don’t wash.

  1. Dryer

Next is how to dry the garment. The more dots in the dryer mean the hotter the dryer can be. If there is a half circle at the top of the box, it means hang to dry and a line in the box means to lay flat to dry. An X through the dryer means, do not dry. I think you can start to see where I’m going with these!

  1. Bleach

This triangle means it’s safe to bleach. If the triangle is black it means do not use chlorine bleach. (There are many other types bleaches out there!) An X through the triangle means do not bleach.

  1. Iron

The iron is similar to the other symbols. More dots mean you can put the iron at a higher temperature and an X means do not iron. If there is steam coming from the bottom of the iron, it’s referring to steaming the garment rather than putting an iron directly on it.

  1. Dry Clean

Last is the dry clean symbol. An empty circle means dry clean. Sometimes there is a letter in the circle. The letter helps your dry cleaner determine which type of solvent to use to dry clean the item. An X through the circle means do not dry clean.

In Canada, clothing manufacturers are required to label your clothes with a way to safely clean them. Every garment sold must be cleanable. There is the odd time something is labeled incorrectly or an item may not turn out if it’s cleaned using the recommended method. If you are ever unsure, we are happy to help determine the best cleaning method for your favorite garment!