Guide to Apparel and Textile Care Symbols

Symbols for washing, bleaching, etc.

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.
Washing symbol 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.
Washing symbol 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.
Washing symbol 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.
Washing symbol 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.
Washing symbol 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.
Washing symbol 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.
Washing symbol 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.
Washing symbol Wash gently by hand in water not exceeding 30°C.
Washing symbol Wash in domestic or commercial machine at any temperature, at normal setting.
Washing symbol Do not wash.

Index

Bleaching Symbols
Symbol Description
Bleaching symbol Use any bleach when needed.
Bleaching symbol Use only non-chlorine bleach when needed.
Bleaching symbol Do not bleach.

Index

Drying Symbols
Symbol Description
Drying symbol 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.
Drying symbol 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.
Drying symbol Tumble dry at a low heat (not exceeding 55°C) at delicate cycle.
Drying symbol Tumble dry any heat.
Drying symbol Tumble dry no heat/air dry.
Drying symbol Do not tumble dry.
Drying symbol After extraction of excess water, line dry/hang to dry.
Drying symbol Hang up the soaking wet article to "drip" dry.
Drying symbol After extraction of excess water, dry the article on a suitable flat surface.
Drying symbol Dry in the shade (symbol added to line dry, drip dry, or dry flat).
Drying symbol Do not dry. To be used with "Do not wash" symbol .

Index

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). 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). 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). Recommended temperature for acetate, acrylic, modacrylic, nylon, polypropylene and spandex textiles.
Ironing/pressing symbol Do not steam.
Ironing/pressing symbol Do not iron or press.

Index

Professional Textile Care Symbols
Symbol Description
Professional textile care symbol Dry-clean, normal cycle. Any solvent except trichloroethylene
Professional textile care symbol Dry-clean, normal cycle. Petroleum solvent only.
Professional textile care symbol Do not dry-clean.

Index

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

Index

Supplementary Care Symbol
Symbol Description
Supplementary Care Symbol Do not wring
Supplementary Care Symbol Wet-clean
Supplementary Care Symbol Do not wet-clean.

Index

For more information on the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) and how to order the standard CAN/CGSB-86.1-2003, please visit their website at www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ongc-cgsb/index-eng.html, or call 819-956-0425 or 1-800-665-2472.

Cat. no. 0-662-37764-8
ISBN Iu23-3/2004E-HTML
54173