Tumble dryers save us time, effort and the sight of socks hanging on our radiators. If you haven’t used a tumble dryer before though, they can be a bit of a mystery. What can and can’t be tumble dried? Where are the tumble dryer symbols, and what do they mean? These are the questions we’re going to answer now.

Decoding clothing care symbols

A square with a circle in it is the symbol on your clothes that relates to tumble drying. Each variation of that symbol has a different meaning.

The other symbols you’ll often see on clothes labels are:

  • A tub symbol, which relates to washing
  • A triangle symbol, about bleaching
  • An iron symbol, about ironing
  • A circle symbol, about dry cleaning

Tumble dryer symbols

You can sort washed clothes into two main piles:

  • Things that can be tumble dried
  • Things that need to go on a clothesline or dried flat

Then you need to check which programme to use for the items in the first pile. Let’s take a look at the common tumble dryer symbols you’ll find on the labels.

Tumble dryer programme and setting symbols

Programmes, settings and symbols vary across tumble dryer models. Some models have text with few or no symbols, while others have no writing at all. Here we’ll cover the common symbols on most tumble dryers.

About the author

Josh Allen

Josh is a copywriter at Domestic & General who works across our digital journeys and beyond. Starting out in journalism and travel writing 10 years ago, he's since turned his hand to technology and insurance. Josh is also a published short story writer with a novel in the works, and he's known to twang a tune on the guitar and banjo.

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