[Laundry Symbols] List and How to Figure them out
This post is also available in 日本語
You can find the rules for doing the laundry on the laundry symbols for clothes. Previously, original Japanese laundry symbols were used, but since December 2016, they have become almost identical to the world common ISO (international standard) symbols. As they are no longer described in Japanese, they may be easier to understand for foreigners.
Basic five marks
First, let us understand the meaning of the basic 5 marks in laundry symbols.
Washing (washing by hand)
The “laundry tub” mark shows the method of washing things at home.
- If the “x” mark is displayed, you cannot wash this at home.
- The “numbers” shown inside the laundry tub indicate the maximum temperature of the water that can be used when washing.
- The “line” at the bottom of the laundry tub indicates the intensity of the wash.
No line: This can be washed with any course, such as “Powerful” of the washing machine.
One line: Wash at “Standard” course or below on the washing machine.
Two lines: Wash with a gentle course, such as “Weak” or “Soft” on the washing machine.
- If it states “Hand”, please wash by hand.
In case there are courses for hand washing, such as “Dry”, “Handwash”, or “Ouchi-Cleaning (Cleaning at home)” etc., these can also be washed using the washing machine. However, as it is possible that your clothes may lose shape or shrink, wash by hand if you have any concerns.
The “triangle” mark indicates the bleaching method. Note the type of bleach that you should use.
- In case “x” is attached, neither chlorine bleach nor oxygen bleach can be used.
Note that you are also prohibited from using laundry detergent where bleach is mixed into the detergent.
- In case there is a “diagonal line” in the triangle, it is only possible to use oxygen bleach.
The “square” mark indicates the method of drying.
- If there is a “circle” in the square, this indicates the tumble drying method.
If an “x” is indicated, you cannot use tumble drying.
A “dot” within the circle indicates the drying temperature.
- A “line” within the square shows the method of drying.
Vertical line: Line dry (dry on a hanger etc.)
Horizontal line: Lay flat to dry (dry by spreading on a flat location)
Diagonal line: Shade drying (dry in the shade, away from direct sunlight)
Double line: Drip dry (gently apply a towel etc. and do not spin dry, dry after removing moisture)
The “Iron” mark indicates the method of ironing.
- If an “x” mark is indicated, you cannot use an iron.
- If there is a “dot” in the iron, this indicates the temperature on the bottom of the iron.
The “circle” mark shows the method of cleaning. This is basically only checked by dry cleaner stores.
- If there is a “P” or “F” in the circle, this indicates the method of dry cleaning.
P and F indicate the type of detergent that can be used for cleaning.
If there are no letters but an “x” in the circle, this cannot be dry-cleaned.
- If there is a “W” in the circle, this indicates the method of wet cleaning.
If there is a “W” and an “x” in the circle, this cannot be wet-cleaned.
- The “line” below the circle indicates the strength of the cleaning.
Even when washing at home
If there is a mark that states that cleaning is possible and there is also a mark that states home washing is possible, it can be washed at home. However, as it is possible that your clothes may lose shape or shrink, take it to a dry cleaner if you have any concerns.
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