A laundry symbol, also called a care symbol, is a pictogram which represents a method of washing, for example drying, dry-cleaning and ironing clothing. Such symbols are written on labels, known as care labels or care tags, attached to clothing to indicate how a particular item should best be cleaned. Standard symbols for these care labels differ by region. In some standards, pictograms coexist with or are complemented by written instructions.
The Canadian system was formerly based on colour: green for “go ahead”, yellow for “be careful”, and red for “stop”. That system was abandoned in favour of a common North American scheme.
Although there is an international standard that has been agreed by the ISO and within Europe by the EU, copyright laws make it difficult to publish these widely. However, there have been attempts to summarize the main national and international standards.