How to read the laundry symbols on your clothes labels

Whether you’re a fashionista into the latest trends and finest fabrics, or you have a large family with lots of laundry, it isn’t always easy to care for your clothes properly. Some are delicate, others can withstand a steam station, while others mustn’t even come into contact with a steam iron, and it’s your clothes labels that will help you to avoid mistakes..

The laundry symbols guide 2Care for your clothes by learning how to read the labels

With regards to washing, every clothes label carries the symbol of a little bowl of water, showing the maximum temperature at which it can be washed in a machine. When an item of clothing needs to be hand-washed, this is also indicated. Clothing manufacturers are increasingly using symbols to specify how to dry an item. These not only tell you whether or not you can dry your clothes in a dryer, but also what temperature you should use. A square with a circle inside it indicates that the item is suitable for tumble drying, while one with a cross through it means it is not.

For ironing, clothes labels have an iron symbol with one or more dots, depending on the required iron temperature. One dot is for fragile materials such as nylon, that should be ironed at 200°F, whilst three dots apply to cotton or linen items that can withstand a very hot iron (390°F). A little iron with a cross through it means that you mustn’t iron this item of clothing.

Finally, a triangle or crossed-out triangle tells you whether or not you can use bleach. As for dry cleaning, a circle means it’s OK, a crossed-out circle means it is not.


Ironing shirts is your idea of torture! All those creases and badly-ironed collars – there’s always something to go wrong! And yet, with the help of a few ironing tips, you should be able to handle any shirt that comes your way without a problem. From finding the right temperature to using the right technique, it’s all under control!

Ironing tips How to iron shirts

Tame those shirts and blouses!

Before starting to iron anything, check the label because you need to adapt the temperature of your iron to each specific fabric. Synthetic shirts need a cool iron, while cotton should be ironed at 390°F. Prepare each shirt first by undoing all the buttons, even the ones on the sleeves. If you want easy ironing, you need to get organized – the collar, sleeves and shoulders need to be ironed first, before moving on to the rest of the shirt. Whether you choose a cordless iron or a steam generator mainly depends on how often you iron. Finally, don’t fold your shirts too soon – put them on a hanger and do up the top button. This will avoid creases forming while they cool, and will ensure an impeccable turn-out. Top tip: Limescale on the base of your iron may stain a colored shirt. Either turn it inside out, or adapt your ironing water in order to prevent limescale formation.


Whether you’re totally gluten-intolerant or simply want to reduce the amount of gluten in your diet, you’ll know that it’s not so easy because it’s hidden in so many foods! It’s in any product containing wheat, obviously, but did you know that it’s often hidden in thickeners and ‘light’ fats? Here are a few delicious recipe ideas, to help you eat healthily and totally gluten-free!


No gluten doesn’t mean no taste!

First of all, you need to start experimenting with new and long-forgotten ingredients. There are several types of gluten-free flour available, including rice flour, gram flour (made from chickpeas), quinoa flour, buckwheat flour and corn flour, any or all of which can be used to make biscuits, cakes, and even gluten-free pastry for those picnic treats and dinner-party quiches. And you can bet your bottom dollar that your chestnut-flour pancakes will become a firm favorite with the kids!

You can make bread using rice or buckwheat flour, then give it a special touch by adding all of your favorite ingredients. There is now a wide range of gluten-free pasta available, for making deliciouspasta bolognese or pasta carbonara. And don’t forget all those rice-based recipes that can be adapted however you like, such as Chinese rice-noodle soup and seafood paella. And if you thought gluten-free food was dull, try out all the recipes for gluten-free muffins, cookies and pies! You’ll discover the delights of cooking with soy, millet, and maybe even lupin flour, all of which are easily available from health food shops. So get cooking and get creative!


Now that you’ve bought yourself an Actifry, there’s simply no stopping you – any time can be French-fry time! And your homemade fries are so delicious that the whole family loves them, especially when served with a prime cut of meat. So here are some ideas for your next few Sunday lunches!


Steak and chips: it’s all in the cooking

You like nothing better of a Sunday than to treat yourself a little and to organize a  big meal with your friends or family. And one of your favorite dishes is steak and chips! But not just any old steak and chips – your chips are homemade, light and deliciously crunchy, and your meat cooked to perfection. That’s because you use a grill to cook each person’s steak exactly how they like it. From rare to well-cooked, all your steaks need then is a sprinkling of salt and pepper and they’re ready to serve with those homemade fries of yours. And the secret to perfect French fries is to cut them neither too thick nor too thin, so that they have just the right amount of crunch!

It’s all in the sauce!

And to make your meal worthy of the best restaurant, you need to really go to town on the sauce. If your homemade mayonnaise is a firm favorite, why not also try something new like peppercorn sauce? Made with cream, black or green peppercorns, and a dash of brandy, it will wow even the most demanding of guests and make those fries of yours taste even better!


Whether it’s to stave off a cold, combat fatigue or ease digestion, plants are well-known for helping us to get better and stay healthy.
Here are a few medicinal cooking recipes that have been handed down through the generations, to help combat those everyday health gripes!


Medicinal cookery using some very basic ingredients

You don’t need to transform your kitchen into an apothecary to try some of the simpler medicinal recipes. Start with a few herbal teas, which have the advantage of using ingredients that usually keep for a long time – chamomile and linden for sleep problems, honey and lemon or lemon and ginger to combat a cold, and lavender for its anti-inflammatory properties. You can drink herbal teas throughout the day, alternating between the different plants.

Ingredients to add to your dishes

Did you know? Fennel has digestive and diuretic properties, so go ahead and serve it as often as you like with your white meat and fish dishes. The star of medicinal cookery is the humble nettle, which is usually eaten in the form of nettle soup. It possesses diuretic and remineralising properties and contains lots of natural fibre. And finally, whatever the weather, don’t hold back on the parsley! Rich in minerals and vitamin C, you can add fistfuls of it to your sautéed vegetables, sauces and salads.


All the tips and tricks for perfect rice!

Say goodbye to soggy rice, and to hours spent scouring the bottom of your pans! Thanks to a few simple tips, your rice will always turn out perfect. Whether it’s sushi, basmati or arborio, simply pick your favourite cooking method for perfect rice every time.


Pan or rice cooker – it’s up to you

So. You love rice in all its forms, but you tend to overcook it or find it stuck to the bottom of your pan. For hassle-free rice, you need to equip yourself with either a rice cooker or a good-quality, non-stick pan. Whichever you choose, the next step is to give your rice a good rinse in cold water.Ultra-practical and ideal for large families (and for anyone who constantly lets their milk or water boil over!), a rice cooker does it all for you. Simply choose your rice, add the required amount of water, switch on… then go read your book or watch your favourite TV program, while your rice cooker does the rest. Once your rice is cooked, just let it rest for a few minutes before serving with a proud flourish and a “Look what I made!”If you’re using a pan, don’t forget to check the required cooking time since this varies depending on the type of rice used. When the water starts to boil, pour in your rice, stirring all the time, then leave to cook over a medium heat. You can add a stock cube or some herbs to the cooking water, or scatter some saffron over your rice after draining.

 methods for cooking rice

Foolproof methods for cooking rice!

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