Understanding the care symbols

It must be admitted that for many of us, the washing symbols on product labels are a big mystery !

If, like us, at least once in your life you emptied a washing machine and found out that your favourite pullover had shrunk (and that, like, even if you pulled it really hard, it's ruined!)...

So, perhaps deciphering maintenance instructions symbolized by pictograms on labels can really help !



Once you've hunted out the dirty clothes rolled up into a ball at the bottom of your child's wardrobe (which, naturally, haven't found their way to the laundry basket), you have to decide how to wash them.

#1 The symbol that we don't like at all at Tape à l'Oeil, which is why we don't use it on our clothes: do not wash!

#2 We don't like this symbol either: it's not much more practical because it means you have to wash the product by hand. So we avoid that! Because we think of you parents above all, all our clothes can go through the machine.

#3 Here it's easier: the product can be machine washed at the maximum temperature indicated. You can wash at a lower temperature, but not at a higher one!

#4 If the tub is underlined with a single stroke, we recommend a more moderate wash cycle, for example, a synthetics cycle with a medium spin.

#5 If the tub is underlined by two strokes, you need to programme the machine for a very gentle/wool wash, a delicate cycle that will have a low spin speed.

Tumble drying

Once the product is washed, it needs to be dried! If you can, we advise you to dry your washing in the open air. It will be kinder to the clothes, and less harmful to our planet. But if you're a little bit behind with the washing and have no more clean clothes ready for school the next day, the dryer is your best friend. Here are the tumble drying symbols deciphered for you.

#1 OK, in this case, do not tumble dry! The garment must be air-dried.

#2 If there is a dot, the product can be tumble-dried, but on a delicate programme based on a low temperature.

#3 If there are two dots, you can use a standard drying programme.


Now that your garment is clean and dry, you need to make it look nice.
You can opt for the simple, quick and effective method of shaking the garment several times to avoid wrinkles.
Alternatively, if you still want some semblance of ironing, you can put the garment on a hanger and pass the iron near the garment with the steam activated, (but without touching the product!).
Or, if you really enjoy ironing, you can follow the instructions and iron the item inside out, so as not to damage it.

#1 Iron at a low temperature (max. 110°C!) and above all do not use steam.

#2 Here you can use a slightly higher temperature, up to a maximum of 150°C, and you can use steam.

#3 This time, anything goes, as these fibres are more heat resistant, like linen or cotton, for instance. Ironing is fine, with steam, and up to 200°C maximum.

#4 And finally, the one that takes the least time: do not iron!


And then, finally, there are the symbols that we like even less than the others, but which do actually exist, so we'll explain these to you too.

#1 Bleaching allowed with chlorine or soda crystals

#2 Bleaching allowed but only with soda crystals/non-chlorine bleach

#3 Do not bleach

Professional cleaning

#1 Do not dry clean.

#2 Dry-cleaning allowed; you can take your clothes to the dry cleaner's. If there's a letter in the circle, it's just to tell the dry cleaner how to clean the garment. Let's leave that to the professionals!

To find out more, download the mobile app, "Mon Etiquette", managed by our partner COFREET (the French Committee on Labelling for Textile Care). It's a gold mine for deciphering care symbols, finding a tip for stain removal or extending the life of textile products and taking care of the planet at the same time.

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