Posted on

Baby Clothes Care Labels And How To Understand Them

As a new parent, dressing your baby in adorable outfits can be great fun. But taking care of those tiny baby clothes and ensuring they stay soft, fresh, and looking good can be overwhelming, especially when you’re faced with a sea of care labels and symbols. In this blog, we will help you understand the care instructions on baby clothes, so you can maintain their quality while keeping your little one comfortable and happy.

What is a care label

A care label is a small tag sewn into the clothing that provides essential information on how to clean and care for the fabric. It’s important to read the care label before cleaning your baby clothes.

All care labels have five symbols. They indicate how the clothes should be washed, bleached, dried, ironed and professionally cleaned. The symbols are often followed by wording that gives more instructions on how to care for your baby clothes. Brands that test the fabric and garment performance of their baby clothes will create a care label instruction based on the results of the tests. The tests will assess different factors of fabric and garment performance, such as whether the clothes shrink, become mis-shapen, lose their colour, pill after washing.

Some items of baby clothes will have to comply with specialised performance testing. For example waterproof jackets, coats and puddlesuits must achieve a certain level of water penetration.

There are several combinations of care symbols. In this article we’ve focussed on the ones that are commonly found in baby clothes care labels.

Wash tub – how to wash baby clothes

Baby clothes will usually have the number 30 or 40 in the washtub with or without a black line below the tub. The number in the tub is the temperature the clothes can be washed at. No bars beneath the tub is a normal load and wash cycle. A single bar below the tub indicates a mild cycle with less agitation. Two bars means a very mild wash with minimal agitation. Clothes washed at 30 degrees use less energy which is better for the planet.

Triangle – information on bleaching baby clothes

Because babies have such delicate skin, you would never bleach your baby clothes. So you’ll find that all clothes for little ones will have the bleach symbol with a diagonal cross through the triangle. Clothes that are worn close to the body, such as babysuits like sleepsuits and bodysuits, are more prone to getting soiled. But don’t be tempted to bleach them, there are better ways of removing stains from clothing with a little TLC. Find out more here.

Square – how to dry baby clothes

The easiest way to dry baby clothes is hanging them out in warm sunshine, if you’re lucky enough to get some! The most common drying symbol on baby clothes refers to whether or not you can tumble dry them. The tumble dry symbol is a square with a circle in it. If the circle has a single dot in the middle it means you can tumble dry the item but at a lower temperature eg 60 degrees. Two dots in the middle of the circle indicates that you can tumble dry with a normal load and temperature eg 80 degrees centigrade. A diagonal cross through the circle means do not tumble dry. If in doubt about the tumble dry cycle don’t do it!

Iron – how to iron baby clothes

There are three ironing symbols you may find on baby clothes. An iron with one dot in the middle means you can iron at a low temperature eg a maximum temperature of 110 degrees centigrade. Two dots is at a maximum temperature of 150 degrees. If the iron has a diagonal cross through it, this means do not iron. Never iron prints! If you’re able to air dry your baby clothes, ironing probably won’t be necessary and will save you time.

Circle – instructions for a professional laundry

You will find either a letter P in a circle or with a bar beneath the circle. This symbol tells the dry cleaners the chemicals that can be used. A diagonal cross through the circle, means do not dry clean, and found on the majority of baby clothes.

Baby clothes care labels tend to be similar. This makes them easy to understand with not too many symbol variations to remember. Generally we recommend:

  • Turn your clothes inside out before washing them
  • Wash with similar colours.
  • Wash at 30 degrees.
  • Never bleach your baby clothes.
  • Do not tumble dry.
  • Air dry whenever possible.
  • If you have to iron, iron the clothes inside out. Never iron directly on prints or appliques – they can melt and ruin both the clothes and your iron!

These instructions will save energy and are kinder to the planet. Proper care not only extends the life of your baby clothes but also ensures your baby feels comfortable and cosy in every outfit they wear.