Read That Label!

Don't ignore that clothing care labelIf you’re like a lot of Demun Professional Cleaners customers, then you know the drill. You go on a clothes shopping spree and the first thing you do is remove those itchy, scratchy labels from the inside of the collars and inseams.

Before you toss that “trash,” make sure you take a good look at the care instructions. After all, you just spent a lot of money on your clothing investment and you want it to last.

For us, your drycleaning and laundry drop-off professionals, we need those tags to see exactly what your garment is made from and how the manufacturer suggests we clean it.

Just so we’re all on the same page, here’s the Federal Trade Commission’s handy glossary of clothing care labeling terms. If you ever have questions about exactly what they mean by “warm water wash” or “delicate,” this is the place to get answers.

Garment Care Symbols

Learn What these common garment care symbols mean. They’re often printed on your tags

Glossary of Standard Clothing Care Terms

Washing, Machine Methods

  • Machine wash — a process by which soil may be removed from products or specimens through the use of water, detergent or soap, agitation and a machine designed for this purpose. When no temperature is given, e.g., warm or cold, hot water up to 150°C) can be regularly used.
  • Warm — initial water temperature setting 90°F (32°C) (hand comfortable).
  • Cold — initial water temperature setting same as cold water tap up to 85°C).
  • Do not have commercially laundered — do not employ a laundry which uses special formulations, sour rinses, extermely large loads or extermely high temperatures or which otherwise is employed for commercial, industrial or institutional use. Employ laundering methods designed for residential use or use in a self-service establishment.
  • Small load — smaller than normal washing load.
  • Delicate cycle or gentle cycle — slow agitation and reduced time.
  • Durable press cycle or permanent press cycle — cool down rinse or cold rinse before reduced spinning.
  • Separately — alone.
  • With like colors — with colors of similar hue and intensity.
  • Wash inside out — turn product inside out to protect face of fabric.
  • Warm rinse — initial water temperature setting 90°F (32°C).
  • Cold rinse — initial water temperature setting same as cold water tap up to 85°C).
  • Rinse thoroughly — rinse several times to remove detergent, soap, and bleach.
  • No spin or Do not spin — remove material start of final spin cycle.
  • No wring or Do not wring — do not use roller wringer, nor wring by hand.

Washing, Hand Methods

Hand wash — a process by which soil may be manually removed from products or specimens through the use of water, detergent or soap, and gentle squeezing action. When no temperature is given, e.g., warm or cold, hot water up to 150°C) can be regularly used.

  • Warm — initial water temperature 90°F (32°C) (hand comfortable).
  • Cold — initial water temperature same as cold water tap up to 85°C).
  • Separately — alone.
  • With like colors — with colors of similar hue and intensity.
  • No wring or twist — handle to avoid wrinkles and distortion.
  • Rinse thoroughly — rinse several times to remove detergent, soap, and bleach.
  • Damp wipe only — surface clean with damp cloth or sponge.

Drying, All Methods

  • Tumble dry — use machine dryer. When no temperature setting is given, machine drying at a hot setting may be regularly used.
  • Medium — set dryer at medium heat.
  • Low — set dryer at low heat.
  • Durable press or Permanent press — set dryer at permanent press setting.
  • No heat — set dryer to operate without heat.
  • Remove promptly — when items are dry, remove immediately to prevent wrinkling.
  • Drip dry — hang dripping wet with or without hand shaping and smoothing.
  • Line dry — hang damp from line or bar in or out of doors.
  • Line dry in shade — dry away from sun.
  • Line dry away from heat — dry away from heat.
  • Dry flat — lay out horizontally for drying.
  • Block to dry — reshape to original dimensions while drying.
  • Smooth by hand — by hand, while wet, remove wrinkles, straighten seams and facings.

Ironing and Pressing

  • Iron — Ironing is needed. When no temperature is given iron at the highest temperature setting may be regularly used.
  • Warm iron — medium temperature setting.
  • Cool iron — lowest temperature setting.
  • Do not iron — item not to be smoothed or finished with an iron.
  • Iron wrong side only — article turned inside out for ironing or pressing.
  • No steam or Do not steam — steam in any form not to be used.
  • Steam only — steaming without contact pressure.
  • Steam press or Steam iron — use iron at steam setting.
  • Iron damp — articles to be ironed should feel moist.
  • Use press cloth — use a dry or a damp cloth between iron and fabric.

Bleaching

  • Bleach when needed — all bleaches may be used when necessary.
  • No bleach or Do not bleach — no bleaches may be used.
  • Only non-chlorine bleach, when needed — only the bleach specified may be used when necessary. Chlorine bleach may not be used.

Washing or Drycleaning

  • Wash or dryclean, any normal method — can be machine washed in hot water, can be machine dried at a high setting, can be ironed at a hot setting, can be bleached with all commercially available bleaches and can be drycleaned with all commercially available solvents.
  • Do not dryclean — under no circumstances should this garment be drycleaned (see symbols).

Drycleaning, All Procedures

  • Dryclean — a process by which soil may be removed from products or specimens in a machine which uses any common organic solvent (for example, petroleum, perchlorethylene, fluorocarbon) located in any commercial establishment. The process may include moisture addition to solvent up to 75% relative humidity, hot tumble drying up to 160°F (71°C) and restoration by steam press or steam-air finishing.
  • Do not dryclean — under no circumstances should this garment be drycleaned (see symbols).
  • Professionally dryclean — use the drycleaning process but modified to ensure optimum results either by a drycleaning attendant or through the use of a drycleaning machine which permits such modifications or both. Such modifications or special warnings must be included in the care instruction.
  • Petroleum, Fluorocarbon, or Perchlorethylene — employ solvent(s) specified to dryclean the item.
  • Short cycle — reduced or minimum cleaning time, depending upon solvent used.
  • Minimum extraction — least possible extraction time.
  • Reduced moisture or Low moisture — decreased relative humidity.
  • No tumble or Do not tumble — do not tumble dry.
  • Tumble warm — tumble dry up to 120°C).
  • Tumble cool — tumble dry at room temperature.
  • Cabinet dry* warm — cabinet dry up to 120°C).
  • Cabinet dry* cool — cabinet dry at room temperature.
  • Steam only — employ no contact pressure when steaming.
  • No steam or Do not steam — do not use steam in pressing, finishing, steam cabinets or wands.

Leather and Suede Cleaning

  • Leather clean — have cleaned only by a professional cleaner who uses special leather or suede care methods.

*A drying cabinet is an electrical machine designed to expedite the drying of items that are unsuitable for a traditional clothes dryer. Such items may include delicate clothing designated as “hang dry, “dry flat”, or “do not tumble dry” on their wash instructions, as well as items such as comforters, boots, and coats.

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