To understand the icons on the care labels that are attached to every piece of clothing €" generally there will also be a text instruction on newer items of clothing; however this is not always the case so it is important to understand each icon.
If the icon looks like a bucket full of water and contains a number (usually 30), this means that it should washed on a standard machine wash at a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. This is probably the most common icon seen on labels and makes it exceptionally easy to be washed at home.
If the icon looks the same as above but with a line below it, it means that it is suitable for a machine wash at the same temperature but on a delicate wash €" this is generally reserved for underwear or thinner material clothing, as well as some jumpers or pieces of clothing that are prone to size alteration in machine washes.
If the icon is the same as above but with an extra line (so 2 lines under a bucket of water), this means that it is again suitable for a machine wash but on a wool cycle; often this feature on a washing machine will keep the water cooler as wool has a tendency to shrink in standard washes.
If the icon is a bucket of water with a hand placed within it (or a hand symbol next to it), this means that the garment is only suitable for hand washing and should not be placed within a washing machine, as this could damage it.
Finally if the bucket of water has a cross (X) through it, it simply means do not wash, not even in a hand wash €" this does not mean that the garment cannot get wet, it simply means that it is for dry clean only. Generally with this icon, there will be dry cleaning instructions attached so that you will be able to clean the garments effectively.