How to Read the Care Instructions on Your Clothes

When taking your clothes to any of the commercial laundry services in Singapore, you might notice that the personnel checks the labels on the clothes first. These are usually found on the wrong side of the clothes.

Laundry service can do everything for you easily, but you should also know which clothes you can wash at home instead of having them dry-cleaned. Dry-cleaning is the most common method in all commercial laundry services, but it’s not a method for all types of fabric.

Reading the Care Labels
Care labels sometimes vary, but generally most branded clothing sold in Singapore follow the same labels. If you don’t understand the symbols, there is usually a text near it to tell you what it means. Some symbols vary depending on where the clothing was made.

Washing
The washing label looks like an over-sized crown with 2 to 4 peaks. In other guides, the symbol is called a “bucket filled with water,” but we’ll use “crown” for this guide. Most clothes including uniforms use a mix of cotton and polyester for safe machine-washing. Uniform laundry can be safely hand-washed, machine-washed or dry-cleaned.

If there is one dot in the crown, it means “machine wash in cold water.” Two dots mean “machine wash in warm water.” Three dots mean “machine wash in hot water.” Towel washing needs to be done in warm water for example.

If there is one dot and one horizontal line below, it means ‘wash in cold and set to permanent-press.” Two dots and one line mean “warm wash in permanent dress,” while three dots and one line mean “hot wash and permanent press.” Permanent-press at unique cleanz laundry for spa in Singapore is used for shirts that need to retain their shape like uniform laundry.

Two horizontal lines mean the garment should be washed in gentle cycle. If there is a hand icon above, it means the clothing can only be hand-washed. An X over the crown means you should not wash with water and detergent.

To understand what temperature you should use, the following is a quick list:
1 dot = 30 degrees C
2 dots = 40 degrees C
3 dots = 50 degrees C
4 dots = 60 degrees C
5 dots = 70 degrees C
6 dots = 95 degrees C

Bleaching
Bleaching is indicated by a triangle symbol. If it’s a plain white triangle, it means that any type of bleach can be used. If there are two diagonal lines inside the triangle, it means that you should use only a color-safe, oxygen or non-chlorine bleach. A colored triangle with superimposed X means that you should not use any chlorine and color-safe bleach.

Drying
Drying is indicated by a square or box shape. If the square has a white circle inside and a superimposed X, it means that you should not tumble-dry the clothing. An icon that looks like an envelope means that it should be line-dried instead. A square with three vertical lines inside means that the drip-dry method should be used. While dry flat, usually for woolens, is indicated by a square with one horizontal line inside it.

1. No Heat. A square with a colored circle inside means that it should be tumble-dried in a no-heat setting. A square with a colored circle inside and a horizontal line beneath it means it should be tumble-dried, permanent-pressed in no-heat. A square with a colored circle inside and three horizontal lines below mean that you should set it at gentle cycle and no-heat.
2. Low Heat. A square with a circle and one dot inside means it should be tumble-dried in low heat. If the square has a circle and one dot inside, plus one horizontal line under the box, it means that it should be tumble-dried, permanent-pressed in low heat. If the same symbol has two horizontal lines instead, it should be tumble-dried in a gentle cycle at a low heat setting.
3. Medium Heat. A square with a circle and two dots inside means that the clothing is tumble-dried. in medium heat. If it’s a square with a circle and two dots inside and one horizontal line below the box, the garment should be tumble-dried in permanent-press and medium heat. Two dots inside the circle and two horizontal lines below the box mean it should be tumble-dried in a gentle cycle at medium heat.
4. High Heat. High heat drying is indicated by a square with a circle and three dots inside.

Dry-Cleaning
Dry-cleaning instructions are indicated by a white circle or a circle with an X. The former means that it should be dry-cleaned, while the latter means you’re not supposed to use a dry cleaning solvent.

A circle with a “p” inside it means it should be dry-cleaned only. If the circle has an “f” instead, it means it can be dry-cleaned under normal conditions

If there is a text that says “dry clean” instead of “dry clean only,” it means that dry-cleaning in commercial laundry services is only an option. Laundry service can still wash the clothes in water and detergent. The decision is still up to you, however. If the clothing is expensive, don’t take chances and use traditional washing methods. It’s still better to take it to any of the commercial laundry services in Singapore.

Ironing
The ironing instruction is indicated by a symbol that looks like a standard home iron. If the iron has one dot inside, it means that the clothing is ironed in steam or dry heat, with a low heat setting. If the iron has two dots inside, the garment is ironed in steam or dry heat with medium heat. Three dots indicate that high heat in steam or dry iron is used.

If you see an X superimposed on the iron symbol, it means that you should not press the clothing. If the iron symbol has two short diagonal lines going in opposite directions below and an X superimposed above the diagonal lines, it means that you should not iron with steam.

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