Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 13, 2023 Track Document
ASTM D5489-18

Standard Guide for Care Symbols for Care Instructions on Textile Products

Standard Guide for Care Symbols for Care Instructions on Textile Products D5489-18 ASTM|D5489-18|en-US Standard Guide for Care Symbols for Care Instructions on Textile Products Standard new BOS Vol. 07.02 Committee D13
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Significance and Use

4.1 This guide provides symbols and a system for their use by which care instructions for textile products can be conveyed in a simple, space-saving, and easily understood pictorial format that is not language dependent. See also ADJD5489-E-PDF. Currently, the FTC Care Labeling Rule recognizes Guide D5489-96c.

4.2 Care symbols are an important means for identifying the appropriate care procedure for home laundering, commercial laundering, professional textile care, and coin-operated drycleaning, of textile products.

4.3 Care labeling using symbols can be used by the purchaser to select textiles on the basis of the care method required without knowledge of the language. The FTC Care Labeling Rule specifies Guide D5489-96c symbols. Additional changes in words and symbols have been added to this guide which are not covered by 16 CFR 423. In the United States, when care symbols only are to be included in a care label, the FTC requires that the Guide D5489-96c version of symbols must be used. However, the symbols, as included in this standard version (Guide D5489-18), may be used if symbols are used in addition to full care instructions written in English wording.

4.4 In countries in which a word-based care labeling system is required, the care symbol system may be used as a supplemental system.

4.5 The word-based instructions for each symbol in this guide are harmonious with Terminology D123, and Terminology D3136, the United States Federal Trade Commission Care Labeling Rule, 16 CFR 423, and industry practice (see Figs. 1 and 2).

FIG. 1 Commercial and Home Laundering and Professional Textile Care Symbols

Commercial and Home Laundering and Professional Textile Care SymbolsCommercial and Home Laundering and Professional Textile Care Symbols

Note 1: This figure illustrates the symbols to use for laundering and drycleaning instructions. As a minimum, laundering instructions shall include, in order, four symbols: washing, bleaching, drying, and ironing; and, professional textile care instructions shall include one symbol. Additional symbols or words may be used to clarify the instructions.

FIG. 2 Guide to Order of ASTM Care Symbols

Guide to Order of ASTM Care SymbolsGuide to Order of ASTM Care Symbols

4.6 The care label symbol system is based on five basic care symbols representing five operations: washing, bleaching, drying, ironing, and professional textile care.

4.7 One color is used for all care symbols in this care labeling system.

Note 1: While this symbol system uses one color, it is harmonious with tri-color systems such as the Canadian system because the instructions are clear whether printed in one or three colors.

4.8 This guide does not specify the type of label material or fabric to use. However, appropriateness for consumer comfort is recommended.


1.1 This guide provides a uniform system of symbols for the disclosure of care instructions on textile products such as apparel, piece goods, and household and institutional articles, hereinafter referred to as “textile,” or “textile product.”

1.2 This guide provides a comprehensive system of symbols to represent care instructions reducing language-dependent care instructions.

1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 07.02
Developed by Subcommittee: D13.62
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.1520/D5489-18
ICS Code: 61.020; 97.160