07/08/2017

UNDERSTANDING CLOTHING CARE LABELS


Still living at home means that I'm pretty much banned from using the washing machine. It's like my mum's pride and joy and only house chore that she does on her own through choice. This means that at 24 years old, I am pretty much clueless when it comes to wash labels. Not only do I not bother looking at the labels inside when buying new clothes, but it's not something I have ever needed to look at.

Don't get me wrong, I know HOW to use a washing machine and put on washes when I really need to or if my mum's busy or away. However, this would be light washes such as my gymwear or some towels and pyjamas.  In terms of washing normal everyday clothes, I steer well clear.


A recent survey conducted by Data Label has reported that 56% of people do not always understand the symbols on clothing care labels. This consequently leads to clothes being damaged as a result.

500 people were surveyed and asked the question "Do you find the symbols on clothing care labels to be confusing?". The results were actually quite shocking. With 56% of these 500 people saying yes to finding them confusing; 24% admitted to not understanding the symbols and a further 32% confessed to sometimes feeling confused about them.


I have a tendency to buy a lot of clothes that require hand washing; something that really bugs my mum. However, with clothes that can be machine washed, there's an awful lot of symbols on wash labels. It's hardly surprising that over half surveyed admitted to not understanding what these symbols mean!

There's a staggering minimum of 22 basic symbols to know. These are split between washing, hand washing, ironing, tumble drying and dry cleaning. Is it to any surprise that a lot of people are actually quite clueless and guess when it comes to cleaning clothes?


Admittedly, I tend to wear 'hand wash only' clothes very rarely, in somewhat fear that they won't be washed again for ages. I even quizzed my mum the washing machine queen if she knew what these symbols on care labels meant and even she was puzzled!

I will without a doubt need to educate myself on all of the symbols when I get around to moving out. However for now, mum's the word

Disclaimer: Information provided in a press release by Data label. 
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29 comments

  1. Great post I'll be sure to let A Pirate's View Blog know about this as he puts delicates on a 60 degree wash ha-ha. x

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  2. Such a useful post, I'm sure it will help lots of other people who are unsure about labels x

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  3. Oh I just throw everything in and hope for the best - I don't wash anything (other than whites) on a really hot wash, and so far it's all been working for me!

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  4. These are great tips- I am always working hard to not mess up my clothes and also not have to spend money taking them to the dry cleaner's.

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  5. This is a very useful post! I think it's been 10 year since I do my own laundry but I have to be honest, I never actually read the label on the clothes.

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  6. Sometimes we don't consider clothing labels but it's important. Thanks for helping us understand those labels!

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  7. I have to admit I totally ignore most labels! I only wash on 30 degree heat and just use the mixed fabric setting tbh

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  8. Hands up I didn't know all of these and I probably do not check my labels enough to see if I am washing them ok.

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  9. I might have to print out this guide! As I was sure I knew how to do laundry, but I got confused by at least 1/3rd of these symbols!

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  10. This is SO useful! I swear the number of clothes my husband has ruined by ignoring the labels is ridiculous, I'm going to send this over to him!

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  11. It is crazy how many label signs there are and while I know some I don't know all of them so I will have to bookmark this post x

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  12. I just admit, I do just throw everything in together and don't take much notice. I should look after my clothes more.

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  13. I always look at clothing labels simply because in the past I demaged my favourite jumper but putting it into a washer at 60C... there was no option to rescue it... wool didn't want to stretch out again... never again.

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  14. This is such a useful post - no one ever teaches you this kind of stuff! I've been doing laundry for so long and still have to stop and think about some of them, LOL!!

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  15. This is a really handy post and perfect for students leaving home in September!

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  16. I'm going to admit that I don't really know what many of them mean, I tend to pop all my clothes on a medium heat cycle and generally things are okay x

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  17. I normally do check everything and wash whites and coloureds separate too. I do tend to check labels if I am not sure.

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  18. I am rubbish at decoding labels and need to take more care, some of my kids lovely Scandi clothes have definitely shrunk as I think they must be a lower heat. Thank you for sharing!

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  19. I've had to do my own washing since I was 11!! I don't mind it and tbh I don't look at the labels. I always remember watching a thing on watchdog years ago and it was de-mything clothes labels. If i ruin something well it's only my own stuff. I do take more care over what can go in the dryer!

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  20. Such a helpful post, my nana and my mum have taught me all of these thankfully for when I moved out

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  21. This post is actually SO helpful - I never properly understand clothing care labels and to be quite honest I rarely even look! I did learn my lesson recently though when I put some new trousers in a hot wash instead of a cool one (like they instructed) and managed to ruin them. Definitely bookmarking this page x

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  22. When I was younger I found it frustrating trying to figure them out but now I am all good but this was a nice refresher

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  23. This is the same as me! Moved back home and now have so little input in the washing department I don't even think I'll know where to start when I move back out again.

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  24. This is so useful I hate tag that do not give wash instruction. I always end of shrinking them.

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  25. I have to be honest and say I rarely look at labels on clothes. I wash most of my stuff on the 'hand wash' setting of my washing machine so it's nice and gentle on them!

    Louise x

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  26. I really don't get how people can't understand the labels, to me they seem easy to understand

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  27. I can't tell you how useful this is for me as I haven't a clue- I was EVERYTHING in exactly the same way and always have done! xxx

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  28. This is very helpful, like you living at home I have my stepdad do most of my washing. I have lived away from home before so i do know how to put on a wash but I'm a nightmare for not even looking at the care label and just doing the standard colour separation, really need to take more time to check them all

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  29. I'm shocking for buying stuff that needs dry cleaning - I need to learn to remember to read the label! The most annoying thing is when the writing on the label fades.

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