The Handbook - How To Guides, How To Clothes, How To Tie a Tie

 
 

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Clothes

How To
Decipher
Your Clothes'
Care Labels

Having some trouble interpreting the series of hieroglyphics on the back of your clothes label? The 'care instructions,' as they're referred to, don't do much instructing, so please see allow us to decode and then offer real world translations.

 
 
1)
 
Stands for: Do not bleach.
 
Translation: Pretty simple, really. Also, make sure your detergent's ingredients don't list "sodium hypochlorite," which is the chemical name for bleach.
2)
 
Stands for: Machine wash.
 
Translation: Toss it in the washer. The number of dots indicate the temperature. One for cold. Two for warm. Three for hot.
 
 
3)
 
Stands for: Hand wash.
 
Translation: Head to the sink and run some warm water (between 90 and 95 degrees). No Woolite? Shampoo will work. Don't scrub too hard. Not interested in manual labor? The washer's gentle cycle should suffice.
4)
 
Stands for: Do not iron.
 
Translation: Hang in the bathroom during a shower to release small wrinkles. Use a steamer to work out larger wrinkles. Or simply take to a dry cleaner to have pressed.
 
 
  • The system of dots indicating temperature range (one for low, two for medium, three for high), is the same for washing, drying or ironing.
 
 
5)
 
Stands for: Dry on low heat.
 
Translation: This can be dried in the dryer. The number of dots indicate the temperature, so one dot means low heat. A line under this symbol means that it should be dried on the "permanent press" setting--a rule to follow even when it's not called for.
6)
 
Stands for: Do not tumble dry.
 
Translation: The best thing to do is lay a towel onto your bed, and flatten the damp garment onto the towel. Flip over a few hours later and it should be dry by bedtime.
 
 
7)
 
Stands for: Dry Clean.
 
Translation: Delicate fabrics like silk and some wools require dry cleaning. You can attempt washing by hands, but dry cleaning will help prolong the shape and quality of the garment.

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