In a garden in front of a hedge hanging cloths and clothes on a clothesline

Understand washing symbols and become a laundry pro

The tips below tell you all about proper washing, drying and ironing.

We've all seen them many times, and yet we're never quite sure what exactly the different laundry care symbols on the textile labels mean.

The explanations of the different symbols below will help you care for your textiles properly in the future so that you can enjoy them for a long time:

How do I wash my laundry properly?

icon handwash
Clothes with this laundry care symbol should only be washed in cold or lukewarm water (up to 40 °C) and by hand.
icon mashinewash 30
Here the recommendation is to choose a normal cycle of 30, 40, 60 or 95 °C.
icon mashinewash 60
These symbols recommend a moderate cycle and temperatures of 30, 40 or 60 °C.
icon mashinewash 40
Two stripes mean delicates. Choose a special delicates cycle with a maximum temperature of 30 or 40 °C.
icon do not wash
A crossed-out tub means caution: These textiles should not be washed in the washing machine or by hand.
icon bleach allowed
This little triangle tells you that your laundry can be bleach-treated with chlorine, bleach or oxygen. However, for the sake of the environment, it's best not to use chlorine or bleach. If the triangle is crossed out, the item must not be bleach-treated.

How do I dry my laundry properly?

Many households have a tumble dryer that dries laundry quickly and easily. Do keep in mind that dryers consume electricity and therefore not only weigh heavy on the purse, but also on the environment.

Whenever possible, dry your laundry in the fresh air. This saves electricity and is almost as quick, at least in the summer. If you do want to use the dryer, pay attention to these three symbols:

icon dry mediumheat
Two dots means you can dry your clothes in the dryer at medium temperature.
icon dry lowheat
This symbol recommends that you dry your laundry at low temperature.
icon do not tumble dry
If your laundry care label contains this symbol, the item must not be tumble dried. And that's great: Just dry it in the fresh air.

What is the correct iron heat setting for my laundry?

Ironing is hard work and requires your utmost attention. Fortunately, with modern irons it's easy to find the right setting for the different materials. To be on the safe side, you should still follow the instructions on the laundry care labels. The symbols tell you at what temperature you should iron your clothes.

icon iron 3
The symbol with three dots means that you can use a high temperature setting. You can iron the item on a hot setting. This setting is generally particularly suitable for natural fabrics such as cotton or linen.
icon iron 2
Two dots tell you that the material can withstand moderate temperatures. Select one of the low to medium temperature settings, such as the wool and silk setting.
icon iron 1
If there is one dot, you should iron the item on the lowest setting. This setting is suitable for man-made fibres and items with prints, for example. To preserve fibres and prints, you can use a kitchen towel. Turn the item inside out and place the towel between the iron and the textile.
icon do not iron
If you see this symbol on a laundry label, it means that the sensitive fabric should not be ironed at all.

A suggestion:

For wrinkle-free laundry without ironing, shake the items vigorously after washing and then hang them to dry on a clothes hanger, clothes rack or clothesline with clothes pegs. A little tip: If you hang the clothes upside down by the hem they will be extra smooth. To prevent creases already during washing, choose a low spin cycle.