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Revised ISO 6330 Standard for Washing and Drying Procedures

April 2012 saw a completely revised version of the long established standard: ISO 6330. Edition 3 was published by ISO on the 15th April 2012 and represents more than 10 years of discussion and debate between the stakeholders.

There are new and revised elements throughout the new version from renaming of detergent and ballast types to technical changes in washing programs and new machine types.

What is certain is that this new standard better represents the laundry procedures being used in the home today and fits better with the established care symbols seen on most consumer textiles.

This SafeGuardS is intended to summarise the main changes in the new version:


  • There are now more washing programs for the front loading machine and these have been renumbered and modified to include “Normal”, “Mild” and “Gentle” Agitation levels. This should help with the association with wash symbols from ISO 3758 which has also been revised and published in April.

It should be noted here that the Machine Type references “A1” and “A2” have been exchanged (reversed) which could be a point of confusion to the unwary. 

  • The drying procedures have also been modified with the addition of a new procedure (D) for Drip Dry Flat. This means that Flat Press is now procedure “E” and Tumble Dry is now procedure “F”. 
  • The standard also now includes a list of definitions which was not included in the earlier versions. 
  • A new “Pulsator” top loading washing machine; “Type C” is now included in addition to the agitator type top loading machine option in previous versions. 
  • A new “Condensor” type tumble dryer (Type A2) is also introduced for the first time. 
  • The makeweight ballast types have changed as well; three types are still available but the constructions are different and they have been renumbered
  • The range of possible detergents covered by the new version has increased from 4 to 8. The table below summarises the changes and additions of detergent.


  • Finally there is a change to the calculation/procedure to estimate tumble drying cycle time. The calculation is now based on a 2 kg load instead of a 4 kg load. This brings the load in to line with the standardised 2 kg load being adopted throughout the new version of the standard.

The new standard has already been taken up by the European Commission for Standardisation (CEN) as an EN ISO standard.


The symbols and formats preferred for use in the USA under the ASTM system are also given in the standard as alternatives but at the time of going to press, are not registered under the ISO 7000 system of graphical symbols.

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