Apparel and Textile Care

Wash symbols

The Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) standard (CAN/CGSB-86.1-2003), developed in 2003, provides industry symbols to help consumers clean and launder clothing safely. The revised 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.

Five basic symbols identify care treatments for washing, bleaching, drying, ironing and professional cleaning. The symbols are in black and white, replacing the "traffic-light" colours of green, amber and red of the standard previous to 2003.

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
Wash in commercial machine in water not exceeding 95°C, at normal setting.
Wash in commercial machine in water not exceeding 95°C, at permanent press setting.
Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 70°C, at normal setting.
Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 60°C, at normal setting.
Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 60°C, at permanent press setting.
Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 50°C, at normal setting.
Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 50°C, at permanent press setting.
Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 50°C, at delicate/gentle setting.
Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 40°C, at normal setting.
Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 40°C, at permanent press setting.
Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 40°C, at delicate/gentle setting.
Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 30°C, at normal setting.
Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 30°C, at permanent press setting.
Wash in domestic or commercial machine in water not exceeding 30°C, at delicate/gentle setting.
Wash gently by hand in water not exceeding 40°C.
Wash gently by hand in water not exceeding 30°C.
Wash in domestic or commercial machine at any temperature, at normal setting.
Do not wash.

Bleaching Symbols

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

Drying Symbols

Symbol Description
Tumble dry at high heat (not exceeding 75°C) at normal setting.
Tumble dry at medium heat (not exceeding 65°C) at normal setting.
Tumble dry at medium heat (not exceeding 65°C) at permanent press setting.
Tumble dry at low heat (not exceeding 55°C) at permanent press setting.
Tumble dry at a low heat (not exceeding 55°C) at delicate cycle.
Tumble dry any heat.
Tumble dry no heat/air dry.
Do not tumble dry.
After extraction of excess water, line dry/hang to dry.
Hang up the soaking wet article to "drip" dry.
After extraction of excess water, dry the article on a suitable flat surface.
Dry in the shade (symbol added to line dry, drip dry, or dry flat).
Do not dry. To be used with "Do not wash" symbol.

Ironing/Pressing Symbols

Symbol Description
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.
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.
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.
Do not steam.
Do not iron or press.

Professional Textile Care Symbols

Symbol Descripton
Dry-clean, normal cycle. Any solvent except trichloroethylene.
Dry-clean, normal cycle. Petroleum solvent only.
Do not dry-clean.

Use of Dots For Defining Temperature of Water for Washing Symbol

Symbol Definition Description
95°C Near boil
70°C Extremely hot
60°C Very hot
50°C Hot
40°C Warm
30°C Cool

Supplementary Care Symbol

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