Part of being a responsible woman is knowing how to take care of your clothes. Mind you, it's not just about throwing them in the washer. You must also understand the specific care requirements for each item so you can maximize its use until its natural wear and tear.

So how do we know how to wash each article of clothing? Check the underside of your clothes and you'll see a special tag labeled with its requirements. Most come in symbols you probably don't understand, right? Well, fret no more! We're here to decode them for you:

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Machine Wash, Normal  -  Garment may be laundered through the use of hottest available water, detergent or soap, agitation, and a machine designed for this purpose.

Machine Wash, Cold - Initial water temperature should not exceed 30C or 65 - 85F.

Machine Wash, Warm  - Initial water temperature should not exceed 40C or 105F.

Machine Wash, Hot   Initial water temperature should not exceed 50C or 120F.

Machine Wash, Hot  -  Initial water temperature should not exceed 60C or 140F.

Machine Wash, Hot  -  Initial water temperature should not exceed 70C or 160F.

Machine Wash, Hot  -  Initial water temperature should not exceed 95C or 200F.

Machine Wash, Permanent Press  -  Garment may be machine laundered only on the setting designed to preserve Permanent Press with cool down or cold rinse prior to reduced spin.

Machine Wash, Gentle or Delicate  -  Garment may be machine laundered only on the setting designed for gentle agitation and/or reduced time for delicate items.

Hand Wash  -  Garment may be laundered through the use of water, detergent or soap and gentle hand manipulation.

Do Not Wash  -  Garment may not be safely laundered by any process. Normally accompanied by dry cleaning instructions.

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Dry clean  -  Dry clean, any solvent, any cycle any moisture, any heat.

Dry clean, Any Solvent  -  Dry clean, any solvent. Usually used with other restrictions on proper dry cleaning procedure.

Dry clean, Petroleum Solvent Only  -  Dry clean using only petroleum solvent. Usually used with other restrictions.

Dry clean, Any Solvent Except Trichloroethylene  -  Any dry cleaning solvent other than trichloroethylene may be safely used.

Dry clean, Short Cycle  -  May be used with A, P, or F solvent restriction.

Dry clean, Reduced Moisture  -  May be used with A, P, or F solvent restriction.

Dry clean, Low Heat  -  May be used with A, P, or F solvent restriction.

Dry clean, No Steam  -  May be used with A, P, or F solvent restriction.

Do Not Dryclean  -  Garment may not be commercially drycleaned.

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Bleach When Needed - Any commercially available bleach product may be used in the laundering process.

Non-Chlorine Bleach When Needed - Only a non-chlorine, color-safe bleach may be used in the laundering process. Chlorine bleach may not be used.

Do Not Bleach - No bleach product may be used. The garment is not colorfast or structurally able to withstand any bleach.


Tumble Dry, Normal - A machine dryer may be regularly used at the hottest available temperature setting.

Tumble Dry, Normal, Low Heat -  A machine dryer may be regularly used at a maximum of Low Heat setting.

Tumble Dry, Normal, Medium Heat -  A machine dryer may be regularly used at a maximum of Medium Heat setting.

Tumble Dry, Normal, High Heat -  A machine dryer may be regularly used at a High Heat setting.

Tumble Dry, Normal, No Heat  A machine dryer may be regularly used only at No Heat or Air Only setting.

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Tumble Dry, Permanent Press -  A machine dryer may be regularly used only at the Permanent Press setting.

Tumble Dry, Gentle -  A machine dryer may be regularly used only at the Gentle setting.

Do Not Tumble Dry  A machine dryer may not be used. Usually accompanied by an alternate drying method symbol.

Do Not Dry  A machine dryer may not be used. Usually accompanied by an alternate drying method symbol.

Line Dry  Hang damp garment from line or bar, in or out doors.

Drip Dry -  Hang dripping wet garment from line or bar, in or out doors, without hand shaping or smoothing.

Dry Flat  Lay out horizontally for drying.

Dry In Shade -  Usually added to Line or Drip Dry. Dry away from direct sunlight.


Do Not Wring - Do not wring.

Iron, Any Temperature, Steam or Dry -  Regular ironing may be needed and may be performed at any available temperature with or without steam is acceptable.

Iron, Low -  Regular ironing, steam or dry, may be performed at Low setting (110C, 230F) only.

Iron, Medium -  Regular ironing, steam or dry, may be performed at Medium setting (150C, 300F).

Iron, High -  Regular ironing, steam or dry, may be performed at High setting (200C, 290F).

Do Not Steam -  Steam ironing will harm garment, but regular dry ironing at indicated temperature setting is acceptable.

Do Not Iron -  Item may not be smoothed or finished with an iron.

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This story originally appeared on Preview.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.

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