Guide to Apparel and Textile Care Symbols

Apparel and Textile Care Symbols


A revised Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) standard providing new and improved industry symbols to help consumers clean and launder clothing safely was hot off the press in December 2003. The new standard (CAN/CGSB-86.1-2003) reflects the labelling practices being discussed by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and is also harmonized with the American and international standard on care labelling.

In the new edition, five basic symbols identify care treatments for washing, bleaching, drying, ironing and professional cleaning. The symbols are in black and white, replacing the previous edition's “traffic-light” colours of green, amber and red.

The temperature of a treatment appears either in degrees Celsius or is defined by a series of dots (a hand iron symbol with one dot means the garment can be safely ironed at a temperature of 110°C). And bars help illustrate the severity of the treatment (one bar below a wash tub means the garment should be machine washed using a mild treatment).

Other symbols define techniques for professional cleaning, hand washing, and natural drying – dry flat, line dry, drip dry, dry in the shade.

Index of basic symbols


Washing Symbols
Symbol Description
Washing symbol: Wash in commercial machine in water not exceeding 95°C, at normal setting Wash in commercial machine in water not exceeding 95°C, at normal setting.
Washing symbol: Wash in commercial machine in water not exceeding 95°C, at permanent press setting Wash in commercial machine in water not exceeding 95°C, at permanent press setting.
Washing symbol: Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 70°C, at normal setting Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 70°C, at normal setting.
Washing symbol: Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 60°C, at normal setting Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 60°C, at normal setting.
Washing symbol: Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 60°C, at permanent press setting Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 60°C, at permanent press setting.
Washing symbol: Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 50°C, at normal setting Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 50°C, at normal setting.
Washing symbol: Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 50°C, at permanent press setting Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 50°C, at permanent press setting.
Washing symbol: Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 50°C, at delicate/gentle setting Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 50°C, at delicate/gentle setting.
Washing symbol: Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 40°C, at normal setting Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 40°C, at normal setting.
Washing symbol: Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 40°C, at permanent press setting Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 40°C, at permanent press setting.
Washing symbol: Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 40°C, at delicate/gentle setting Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 40°C, at delicate/gentle setting.
Washing symbol: Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 30°C, at normal setting Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 30°C, at normal setting.
Washing symbol: Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 30°C, at permanent press setting Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 30°C, at permanent press setting.
Washing symbol: Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 30°C, at delicate/gentle setting Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 30°C, at delicate/gentle setting.
Washing symbol: Wash gently by hand in water not exceeding 40°C Wash gently by hand in water not exceeding 40°C.
Washing symbol: Wash gently by hand in water not exceeding 30°C Wash gently by hand in water not exceeding 30°C.
Washing symbol: Wash in domestic or commercial machine at any temperature, at normal setting Wash in domestic or commercial machine at any temperature, at normal setting.
Washing symbol: Do not wash Do not wash.
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Bleaching Symbols
Symbol Description
Bleaching symbol: Use any bleach when needed Use any bleach when needed.
Bleaching symbol: Use only non-chlorine bleach when needed Use only non-chlorine bleach when needed.
Bleaching symbol: Do not bleach Do not bleach.
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Drying Symbols
Symbol Description
Drying symbol: Tumble dry at high heat (not exceeding 75°C) at normal setting Tumble dry at high heat (not exceeding 75°C) at normal setting.
Drying symbol: Tumble dry at medium heat (not exceeding 65°C) at normal setting Tumble dry at medium heat (not exceeding 65°C) at normal setting.
Drying symbol: Tumble dry at medium heat (not exceeding 65°C) at permanent press setting Tumble dry at medium heat (not exceeding 65°C) at permanent press setting.
Drying symbol: Tumble dry at low heat (not exceeding 55°C) at permanent press setting Tumble dry at low heat (not exceeding 55°C) at permanent press setting.
Drying symbol: Tumble dry at a low heat (not exceeding 55°C) at delicate cycle Tumble dry at a low heat (not exceeding 55°C) at delicate cycle.
Drying symbol: Tumble dry any heat Tumble dry any heat.
Drying symbol: Tumble dry no heat/air dry Tumble dry no heat/air dry.
Drying symbol: Do not tumble dry Do not tumble dry.
Drying symbol: After extraction of excess water, line dry/hang to dry After extraction of excess water, line dry/hang to dry.
Drying symbol: Hang up the soaking wet article to "drip" dry Hang up the soaking wet article to “drip” dry.
Drying symbol: After extraction of excess water, dry the article on a suitable flat surface After extraction of excess water, dry the article on a suitable flat surface.
Drying symbol: Dry in the shade Dry in the shade (symbol added to line dry, drip dry, or dry flat).
Drying symbol: Do not dry Do not dry. To be used with “Do not wash” symbol .
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Ironing/Pressing Symbols
Symbol Description
Ironing/pressing symbol: Iron with or without steam by hand, or press on commercial equipment, at a high temperature (not exceeding 200°C) Iron with or without steam by hand, or press on commercial equipment, at a high temperature (not exceeding 200°C). Recommended temperature for cotton and linen textiles.
Ironing/pressing symbol: Iron with or without steam by hand, or press on commercial equipment, at a medium temperature (not exceeding 150°C) Iron with or without steam by hand, or press on commercial equipment, at a medium temperature (not exceeding 150°C). Recommended temperature for polyester, rayon, silk, triacetate and wool textiles.
Ironing/pressing symbol: Iron with or without steam by hand, or press on commercial equipment, at a low temperature (not exceeding 110°C) Iron with or without steam by hand, or press on commercial equipment, at a low temperature (not exceeding 110°C). Recommended temperature for acetate, acrylic, modacrylic, nylon, polypropylene and spandex textiles.
Ironing/pressing symbol: Do not steam Do not steam.
Ironing/pressing symbol: Do not iron or press Do not iron or press.
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Professional Textile Care Symbols
Symbol Description
Professional textile care symbol: Dry-clean, normal cycle. Any solvent except trichloroethylene Dry-clean, normal cycle. Any solvent except trichloroethylene
Professional textile care symbol: Dry-clean, normal cycle. Petroleum solvent only Dry-clean, normal cycle. Petroleum solvent only.
Professional textile care symbol: Do not dry-clean Do not dry-clean.
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Use of Dots For Defining Temperature of Water for Washing Symbol
Symbol Definition Description
6 dot symbol 95°C Near boil
5 dot symbol 70°C Extremely hot
4 dot symbol 60°C Very hot
3 dot symbol 50°C Hot
2 dot symbol 40°C Warm
1 dot symbol 30°C Cool
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Supplementary Care Symbol
Symbol Description
Supplementary Care Symbol: Do not wring Do not wring
Supplementary Care Symbol: Wet-clean Wet-clean
Supplementary Care Symbol: Do not wet-clean Do not wet-clean.
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For more information on the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) and how to order the standard CAN/CGSB-86.1-2003, please visit their Web site at www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ongc-cgsb/, or contact Ms. Patricia Dolhan at (819) 956-0777.

Cat. no. 0-662-37764-8
ISBN Iu23-3/2004E-HTML
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