This Secret iPhone Hack Will Help You Do Laundry Correctly (It’s Ingenious!)

published Jun 1, 2024
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When it comes to an interminable chore like laundry, figuring out how exactly you’re supposed to wash various garments can make or break the entire process. Merely tossing clothes in the washer, switching them to the dryer, and then folding and putting them away is a cycle that’s hard enough to complete. So when you add in having to check care labels, things can get frustrating fast. 

Several things can happen at this point: You can decide it’ll all be fine and toss questionable items in the wash with everything else, you can stop and look for the care instructions, or you can put it aside for when you have the bandwidth to give special care to items that require it. (In my experience these items can get forgotten about for months!) Sure, there are those cute symbols, but does anyone really know what they mean? I sure don’t! Deciding what to do based on symbols is pretty much a guessing game.

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

But if you have any iPhone with iOS 17 or above, this laundry hiccup is far less of an inconvenience than it used to be — and much less mysterious. That’s because all you have to do to decipher those clothing care labels are these three steps: Take a picture of the tag, tap “i” for “information” on the middle bottom of the screen, and then select “Laundry Care.” Your phone will then serve you a succinct digest of what those specific symbols mean. 

Gone are the days of flipping through multiple long slippery tags or going somewhere else to de-code those symbols. (Although if you want to study a comprehensive list of laundry symbols, it’s kind of fun.) Now, with a few taps, you’ll know exactly how to care for your clothes.

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

Being able to pull out my phone and know within seconds exactly what I have to do to keep, for example, my new cashmere sweater in tip-top shape enables me to care properly for my clothes — without losing my momentum to do laundry. Ultimately, it’s a way I can use technology to help streamline my practical life at home — and I’m loving it.