This smart iPhone camera hack will tell you the best way to wash your towels and bedding

Decipher laundry care labels in seconds

White kitchen with wood accents and fitted washing machine
(Image credit: Future PLC)

Whether we like it or not, laundry is a chore we'll never really be able to escape. So, we may as well stock up on all the best hacks to streamline the process as much as possible – and this latest hack we found shows how you can use an iPhone camera as a one-stop-shop for demystifying laundry care instructions.

Although every garment has specific care instructions, when the laundry basket is filled to the brim and you're on a time crunch, all rhyme or reason often goes out the window. Whether you're washing bath towels, clothes or bedding, the reality is you often don't have the luxury of sifting through every piece to ensure it's best catered to.

Luckily, if you've got an iPhone, there's a nifty lesser-known feature called 'visual look up' that can instantly help you decipher those hard-to-interpret care instruction labels at the touch of a button. This means you can spend less time trying to figure out the best temperature to wash towels, and more time actually enjoying the pleasantries of a Sunday reset routine than worrying about the washing.

We spotted this hack on an Instagram reel that demonstrated all you need to do is snap a clear picture of the care instructions label. Then, simply go into your photos app to locate the picture, and press the 'I' button at the bottom of the screen which will then prompt you to 'look up laundry care'.

Upon clicking this, a page should appear on your screen detailing all the specific instructions tailored to washing and drying the item including temperatures and best guidance on whether the piece warrants the use of a tumble dryer or should instead be dried on a clothes airer (or even your best heated airer, if you've since invested in one to aid in the task of drying clothes fast indoors).

HangOn Drying Rack, 25 m with rod

(Image credit: Brabantia)

Fans in the comments of the reel were just as shocked as us by this underrated feature, saying, 'I had no idea! This is amazing,' with another saying, 'My mind is blown!' But of course, it would only be right if we tried it ourselves to see if it really works.

I tried it on a bath towel, a throw blanket, and a pillowcase to compare results and I was extremely impressed, to say the least. It works and yes, I will be using this from now on in my laundry routine (admittedly, both for the enjoyment of utilising these new techy advancements as well as convenience). Just make sure your phone is updated to the latest iOS version.

Screenshot of iPhone visual look up feature

A screenshot of the 'visual look up' feature in action on my own iPhone

(Image credit: Future/Jullia Joson)

That being said, we unfortunately can't say whether there is a feature similar or identical on Android smartphones given that 'visual look up' is an iPhone feature. 

However, if you do have an iPhone, we suggest trying this hack out for yourself the next day wash day rolls around. We guarantee you'll have a lot of fun with it, and you never know. It might just become a staple in your routine.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is Ideal Home’s Junior Writer. She’s always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham in 2022. Previously, she was an Intern Editor for ArchDaily. Now focused on news stories, Jullia can be found down the TikTok and Pinterest rabbit hole scrolling through any new and upcoming trends, hacks, and home inspiration.