Laundry Symbols Made Simple and Caring for Graphic Tees and Tanks

Laundry Symbols Made Simple and Caring for Graphic Tees and Tanks

November 04, 2018

Laundry Symbol Meanings

Before washing anything in a washing machine or drying anything in a dryer, it is a good idea to thoroughly read the labels on the clothing. Doing so can help you avoid shrinking, felted and discoloured clothing. It also can help you preserve your clothes so that they can be used over and over again and still look flawless on you. We know laundry symbols can be confusing, so we put together a little guide to help you out.


Laundry symbols from left to right:


  1. Machine wash – normal cycle
  2. Wash at or below 30°C degrees
  3. Wash at or below 40°C degrees
  4. Wash at or below 50°C degrees
  5. Wash at or below 60°C degrees
  6. Wash at or below 90°C degrees
  7. Wash cold - on temperatures between
    65 and 85F
  8. Wash warm - on temperatures at max. 105F
  9. Wash hot - on temperatures at max. 120F
  10. Wash very hot - on temperatures over 120F.
  11. Permanent press cycle
  12. Delicate/gentle cycle
  13. Hand wash
  14. Do not wash


  1. Tumble drying allowed
  2. Low heat
  3. Medium heat
  4. High heat
  5. Do not tumble dry
  6. Permanent press cycle
  7. Gentle/delicate cycle
  8. Do not tumble dry
  9. Do not dry
  10. Dry in shade
  11. Line dry
  12. Hang to dry
  13. Dry flat
  14. Drip dry
  15. Do not wring


  1. Iron
  2. Iron low
  3. Iron medium
  4. Iron high
  5. Do not iron
  6. No steam added to iron




  1. Bleaching allowed
  2. Chlorine bleach allowed
  3. Use non-chlorine bleach
  4. Do not use chlorine bleach
  5. Do not bleach

Additional washing tips to consider:

  • Avoid high temperatures as much as possible.
  • Machine washing, if allowed, is typically always the best bet and is better than hand washing.
  • Avoid drying clothing in the sun. It can make fabric matted.
  • Consider using alternate whitening agents; bleach can attack the fibres in the fabric.
  • Prevent mildew in your washing machine by adding 3-5 drops of lavender essential oil to a load every 10 or so loads.
  • Air your washer out after each use. Simply leave the machine’s door open for a few hours and allow the machine to dry and air out.
  • For very stinky clothing, add a cup of vinegar or a cup of baking soda to a load of laundry. This will combat strong odours.

Caring for Graphic Tee Shirts and Tank Tops

Laundry Symbols Made Simple and Caring for Graphic Tees and Tanks

Here are some awesome tips to keep your favourite graphic tee shirts and tanks in tip-top shape:

  1. Read the instructions on your shirts tags. Not all graphic tees are created equal, and you should never assume that one shirt can be washed the exact same way as another. Always check the care label. It is usually found on the inside of the neck area or printed on the neck area itself.


  1. Wash your graphic shirt inside out. Try to remember to turn your graphic shirts inside out prior to throwing them in the wash. This can minimize fading and screen damage. When the graphic print rubs up against other garments you also have thrown in its load, it can cause the print to rub off. Try to imagine rubbing a piece of sandpaper on your skin; it’s the same concept when you put a graphic shirt in the wash with other fabrics like towels and denim.



  1. Use the cold wash cycle. Washing cotton graphic shirts on the hot cycle will cause your shirt to shrink. It’s recommended that you wash cotton shirts at a cooler temperature to preserve the artwork and minimize shrinking. Try to stay away from bleaches and other harsh cleaning products. Only use a stain remover product if absolutely necessary. If you’re looking to make a natural laundry soap that is suitable for almost all apparel, gather the following ingredients:
  • Washing soda
  • Borax
  • Bar soap

The following is a natural laundry detergent recipe:


  1. Finely ground the bar soap in a mixed food processor. Use a soap of your choice. However, most people who choose to make use of this recipe tend to choose bar soaps that are of exceptional quality. You can also choose a bar soap with a natural scent like tea tree, peppermint, almond, and lavender.


  1. In a large bowl, combine 2-parts washing soda, 2-parts Borax, and 1-part grated soap.


  1. Store the mixture in a closed container. You can use a large mason jar, large Tupperware container, or whatever empty closed containers you have lying around that are not in use. Once the lid is on tightly, shake the container for about 20 seconds.


  1. Use approximately two tablespoons of your homemade laundry detergent per every small to medium size load of laundry.


  1. Natural drying is where it’s at! When you throw a graphic tee in the dryer at a hot setting, it will cause the print to wrinkle and may also cause additional shrinking in the overall size of the shirt. It is recommended that you line dry cotton shirts, especially those with graphics. Ensure that the shirt is out of direct sunlight and that it is turned inside out while drying on the line. Plus, line dried clothing always smells much better.


  1. Stay away from ironing graphic shirts. However, if you really must iron the shirt, make sure you iron inside-out on the lowest possible setting. This will protect the graphic image from smudging and ultimately becoming ruined.


  1. Try to wash similar coloured clothing together. For example, if you have four black graphic shirts and one white graphic shirt, you will want to wash the black shirts with other darker coloured clothing and the white shirt in a separate load with lighter coloured clothing. This will prevent the white shirt from becoming discoloured. Also, try to wash all of your cotton graphic shirts together and place any other fabrics aside for a separate load. Washing different textures in the same load will end up causing friction and will ultimately end up creating cracks in the graphic image.

Do you have any laundry tips that you would like to share with our readers? Please leave us a comment in the comments section.


Written by N. Rolleri for WeirdMojo

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