Washed in Translation


I try to be a responsible launderer. I read the labels. I separate the colors and the whites. I don't tumble dry something that says 'line dry.' If it says dry flat, I use the handy contraption I got from the Container Store that lays a netted platform across the bathtub, and I dry flat. I even endured the delayed response horror when I realized a male friend had asked to use our bathroom... while my 'line dry' undies where hanging over the bathtub. (Things I Miss About Ohio Part 1: apartments big enough to have dedicated laundry rooms!) He never said anything, and I guess there's some solace to be found in that.
If the label tells me what to do, I'll do it. And I can usually rely upon the kindness of the manufacturer to dispatch me to the washing machine with instructions that come in English. Not Egyptian hieroglyphics.
But my new cozy black cardigan (discovered in the aforementioned emergency Los Angeles shipping trip) has no English, and the only thing I can figure by all the little X's across the symbols on the care label is that maybe I shouldn't be washing this garment at all.
We find another reason to love the internet: I google "wash instruction symbols" and I find guidance.
The only thing without an X over it is the letter P in a circle, which I discover means, "Dry clean using any solvent except trichloreothylene." Should that have been obvious? Was I supposed to know that? Am I being punished once again for going to a high school that taught "Concepts of Justice" instead of Home Ec?
I can't exactly see myself becoming the most high maintenance customer at Kenny the Kleaners by inquiring about the solvents. Despite the desire to boast of my new-found knowledge and act like it's merely common sense. I think I'll just hand it over and assume it'll come back in good shape.

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