The Meaning of Washing Machine Symbols

washing machine symbols
Most people think there’s no need to read the user’s manual and learn about washing machine symbols, being assured that they already know everything about it. However, not understanding what’s happening on the display panel with all the icons could become a disaster.

Let’s look at why you should read the washing machine user’s manual and learn what the symbols mean.

Importance of Knowing the Meaning of Washing Machine Symbols

Understanding the meaning of washing machine symbols helps you achieve optimal results in your laundry routine, including washable items for extended periods while being eco-friendly. That’s why every washing machine has different washing programs for various fibres.

Also, reading all those washing machine symbols will let you know at what temperature you can wash dishcloths, towels, shoes, blankets, bed sheets and linen, and cushion covers without making them shrink, distort or even cause colour loss.

Using a washing machine properly also affects your environment in many instances. For example, too many harsh detergents may lead to water and soil pollution. Also, some washing machine programs may increase your electricity and water bills.
Not following all these instructions shortens your washing machine’s lifespan, as well as it can lead to constant service repairs. So, in order to prevent such things, let’s check what the washing machine symbols are.

The Meaning of Washing Machine Symbols

Washing machine symbols aren’t difficult to understand. There are washing machine cycle symbols and symbols for washing temperature. We’ll also mention icons for dry-cleaning, drying and bleaching for those washing machines with those settings.

Washing machine cycle symbols

Here is the meaning of washing machine symbols:
  • Tub icon with two crossed lines: don’t wash
  • Tub icon with a hand: only hand wash
  • Tub icon with a wavy line: wash as normal (normal cycle)
  • Tub icon with a wavy line and one straight line below: washing program with warmer water and slow spins for washing synthetic fibres (polyester) to save fabric from wrinkles (permanent press cycle)
  • Tub icon with a wavy line and two straight lines below: washing program with colder water and low agitation and spins for delicate and gentle garments (delicate or gentle cycle)

Washing Temperature Symbols

The meaning of washing machine symbols for temperature may sometimes be indicated by a relevant number of dots, instead of an exact number. Here are they:
  • Tub icon with one dot in the middle: washing in cold water, at the temperature of 30ºC/85ºF
  • Tub icon with two dots: washing in warm water, at the temperature of 40ºC/105ºF
  • Tub icon with three dots: washing in almost hot water, at the temperature of 50ºC/120ºF
  • Tub icon with four dots: washing in hot water, at the temperature of 60ºC/140ºF
  • Tub icon with five dots: sanitising wash, at the temperature of 70ºC/160ºF
  • Tub icon with a number: the maximum allowed temperature for washing

Drying Washing Machine Symbols

Here are the washing machine symbols for drying:
  • Square with a circle inside: normal cycle (used for drying, tracksuit bottoms, jeans, T-shirts, towels, and sheets) avoid drying natural fibre garments)
  • Square with a circle inside and a horizontal line below: permanent press cycle (as in washing, used for synthetic fibres and for natural fibres to reduce or remove any wrinkles
  • Square with a circle inside and two horizontal lines below: gentle/delicate press cycle (drying delicate clothes)
  • Square with a colour-filled-in circle: drying at no heat or using air to heat
  • Square with a circle and a dot inside: drying in low heat
  • Square with a circle and two dots inside: drying on a medium heat
  • Square with a circle and three dots inside: drying on a high heat

Dry-Cleaning Washing Machine Symbols

This option is available in those washing machines with a drying option. Clothes for dry-cleaning will also have the same symbols on them. They are:
  • Circle: For dry-cleaning only
  • Circle with a line on the left top side: dry-cleaning with a reduced moisture
  • Circle with a line on the right top side: dry-cleaning without steam
  • Circle with a line on the left down side: short cycle for dry-cleaning
  • Circle with a line on the right down side: dry-cleaning on low heat

Washing Machine Symbols for Bleaching

These symbols are:
  • Triangle: bleaching of any kind
  • Triangle with two diagonal lines: non-chlorine bleach
  • Crossed filled-in triangle: not for bleaching

Common Challenges in Maintaining Your Washing Machine

Caring about your laundry routine is essential to protect both your washing machine and everything washable. This means understanding all those washing machine symbols. Don’t feel bad for checking their meaning often.

However, sometimes your washing machine just doesn’t work properly. That’s the time to call machine experts to fix your washing machine. There are high-quality services that can help you regularly maintain your washing machine. Feel free to contact us to find the best service for you.


About YourPro

We are the No1 Marketplace for Tradesperson Services having serviced more than 195.000+ jobs with more than 3.500 reviewed tradespeople.

How YourPro works?

You describe the job you want to complete

In a short time, one or more tradespeople will contact you regarding your job

You choose the right tradesperson for your needs

The professionals of YourPro


Average rating of tradespeople

6.000 Jobs

Each tradesperson has completed more than 50 jobs

1.000 Tradespeople

+2 new tradespeople every day