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Laundry labels 101

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Posted at 5:24 PM, Feb 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-13 07:20:06-05
Gone are the days of cold or hot, dry clean or not. now, you apparently need a p-h-d in laundry labels.
 
Mounds of laundry are something April Tucker faces every single day. She's a single mom of twins so there are school clothes, sports clothes even Sunday clothes! 
 
There are now more than three dozen symbols that could appear on a care label.  Frances Holmes Kozen, Textile Expert at Cornell University says the more complex the clothing, the more complex the labels. "It is very confusing for consumers. There are so many care symbols in existence simply because clothing is complex or home laundry is complex." 
 
You've got different washing machines, different water temperatures, agitation levels.  Then there are high tech dryers, and even high tech clothing.  "Contemporary fabrics are very technical; there's a lot of performance features," Kozen explains.
 
If you wash sporty moisture wicking fabric or soft fleece the wrong way say goodbye to what you loved about it. 
In some cases, Kozen says, if you don't read the tags closely, it could even be dangerous. "It's very important that the flame retardant children's sleep wear not be used with fabric softener or bleach that will, it will, again, it will coat the fabric and will cause the fabric probably not to pass the stringent standards."
 
The good news is: fabric makers test for things like: color fading, shrinking, wrinkling  they figure it out for you: so you just have to try to the follow directions.  
 
April now keeps a "cheat sheet" to help de-code the codes. "I started keeping a little piece of paper with all the symbols on them."
 
If you're wondering: 
 
A circle with an x through it means: "do not dry clean."
 
A square with a circle in it:  means: "tumble dry- normal"
 
A triangle means: "bleach when needed"
 
An iron with three dots means: iron on high.