How to Use Washing Machine in Japan — Guide to Living in Japan

Moving to a distant nation brings many new experiences, but washing, like death and taxes, is a constant. Doing laundry in Japan, on the other hand, poses its own set of difficulties. We’ll go through how to use washing machine in Japan in this article to help you get through your chores swiftly and stress-free!

What is the operation of Japanese washing machines?

Did you know that cold water is primarily used to wash clothes in Japan? Many foreigners are taken aback by this, and we’ve known a few Japanese who have shrunk their cashmere sweaters in Western-style, hot water washing machines.

How to use washing machine in Japan

Most Japanese homes additionally have the machine connected to a water connection via a tap and hose. ( Source: Internet)

Most Japanese homes additionally have the machine connected to a water connection via a tap and hose. In an older flat, this may need to be turned on before each usage. These connectors can be found both inside and outside of apartments, and you may occasionally see apartment buildings with rows of machines greeting residents outside the door. Though these days, you’ll find more on the inside than the outside.

The fundamentals of washing machines

Let’s take a look at a typical, everyday washing machine in Japan. Top-loading machines are the most common, but front-loading machines are also available. Top-loading machines are generally less expensive than front-loading versions. Top-loading machines, on the other hand, use more water per wash and wrinkle clothing more than their front-loading counterparts.

Here’s a closer look at the washing machine’s control panel. It can be confusing at first, but if you figure out the most basic option to utilize, you should be fine for most washing situations.

How to use washing machine in Japan

Let’s take a look at a typical, everyday washing machine in Japan. ( Source: Internet)

Translation of washing machine controls

 

Japanese (Kanji)Japanese (Kana)RomajiEnglish
電源でんげんdengenPower
いりiriOn
きりkiriOff
おまかせおまかせomakaseAutomatic
すすぎ1回すすぎいっかいsusugi ikkaiOne rinse cycle
香りしっかりかおりしっかりkaori shikkariFragrance saver
お急ぎおいそぎoisogiSpeed wash
つけおきつけおきtsukeokiSoak
毛布もうふmoufuBlanket
手洗いてあらいtearaiDelicates (lit. hand wash)
槽カビ予防うけかびよぼうukekabiyobouWashing basin mold prevention
槽洗浄うけせんじょうukesenjyouWashing basin cleaning
送風乾燥そうふうかんそうsoufuukansouDrying
3時間さんじかんsanjikanThree hours
時間後じかんごjikango…hours later
予約よやくyoyakuTimer
残り(約)分のこり(やく)ぶんnokori (yaku) bunTime remaining (approx.) min.
洗いあらいaraiWash
すすぎすすぎsusugiRinse
脱水だっすいdassuiDry
行程こうていkouteiCycle
水量すいりょうsuiryouWater volume
コースこーすkousuCourse
ふたロックふたろっくfutarokkuCover lock
チャイルドロックちゃいるどろっくchairudorokkuChild lock
スタートすたーとsutaatoStart
一時停止いちじていしichijiteishiStop

 

Some of these phrases may be unique to this type of washing machine, but this list of vocabulary words should help you get to know your washing machine. Some translations use a contextual approach rather than a literal translation approach.

Most of the procedures should be self-explanatory, but if you’re curious about a couple of the course modes, here’s a quick rundown of what they signify on this specific kind of washing machine:

  1. Automatic – General basic washing cycles for the majority of clothing.
  2. One rinse cycle – Normally, a wash takes two rinse cycles to remove detergent before drying, but this only uses one.
  3. Fragrance saver – After washing with detergent, the machine will produce a noise to alert the user that fabric softener, etc., can now be added.
  4. A speed wash is a short washing cycle.
  5. Soak – This will increase the amount of time the clothing spends in the soapy water, which will help remove stubborn stains.
  6. Blankets – Uses a little more water and takes a little longer to properly wash larger things like blankets. Adjusts the agitation of the articles in the washing basin to prevent large articles from tangling.
  7. Delicates – Modifies the agitation of the clothes and shortens the rotating drying time to avoid delicate objects from wearing.
  8. Mold protection in the washing machine – Use a manufacturer-approved washing machine bleach to prevent mold buildup.
  9. Cleaning the washing basin – Use a manufacturer-approved washing machine cleanser to clear the residue inside the washing basin.
  10. Long drying mode with ventilation.
Some translations use a contextual approach rather than a literal translation approach.

Some translations use a contextual approach rather than a literal translation approach. ( Source: Internet)

A quick primer on how to use a washing machine

This will vary greatly depending on the type and model of machine, but here’s how to use a washing machine like this:

  1. To start the washing machine, press 入.
  2. To select the proper water volume amount, press 水量  to navigate through the options.
  3. Scroll through the courses by pressing コース  to find the one you want.
  4. Fill the washing machine with the proper amount of detergent.
  5. Put the lid back on.
  6. Press スタート.

Where can you hang your clothing to dry?

Now comes the exciting part: hanging your clothing to dry outside. Walking through Tokyo’s streets, you’ll notice apartment buildings covered in garments and futons stretched over balconies.

This is fairly common in Tokyo, and people frequently question the need for a dryer because it is a waste of electricity. Many stores (or Craigslist!) offer a range of drying racks dependent on space and what is being dried to fit this. You should be able to locate anything you need to meet your drying area and demands, from spinning circular racks to ones with a hundred clips.

Taking use of the laundromat

If you don’t want to let your undies blow dry in the breeze, or if you don’t want to haul a washing machine up to your 7th-floor apartment, Japan offers a good supply of self-service laundry establishments.

The first thing you should know about coin laundries in Japan is that, well, coins are required. The second feature is that they are occasionally linked to public bathhouses (sento) and include enormous dryers as well as washing machines. A complete load of laundry should cost no more than a few hundred yen.

During the typhoon or winter season, you’ll most likely make a few excursions to the laundromat.

Indoor drying might lead to mold growth, and you could need that party dress for a last-minute date. You can dry your items in the dryer for 10 or 20 minutes for 100 yen ~ 0.73 USD. So, if you do laundry numerous times per week, it might add up. It is far less expensive to simply let nature perform all of the job.

Japan is well-known for its cutting-edge technologies. When it comes to laundry, though, be prepared to go back a few decades.

It might be difficult to get laundry done when the majority of the country lacks a dryer and must hang their clothes outside to dry all day. (Unless you’re among the fortunate few who can afford a washer-dryer combo.) Check out our instructions below to learn how to deal with unexplained buttons, cold water wash, outside faucets, and the dreadful typhoon season.

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FAQs

1. What is the correct technique to operate a washing machine?

  1. Sort Your Laundry. The first step is to separate your laundry into piles based on fabric type and color.
  2. Select the Proper Washing Cycle
  3. Set the Water Temperature
  4. Add Detergent and Fabric Softener
  5. Load the Washing Machine
  6. Start the Washing Machine
  7. Clean Your Washing Machine

2. What are the washing machine do’s and don’ts?

Run a tub cleaning program, remove limescale deposits with a descaler, and clean the washing machine’s inlet filter, lint filter, and door rubber gasket. DO leave the door to your washing machine and the detergent tray open after a wash cycle. This prevents the production of odors and mold by allowing moisture to escape.

3. What is the most crucial aspect of a washing machine?

Temperature control – If the washing machine has an in-built heater, this feature will allow you to set the temperature of the water. Temperature regulation is extremely useful in the winter. Aside from that, hot water will clean your garments more effectively than cold water.

4. How many garments can I wash in one load?

A basic top-loading machine can handle 12 pounds of laundry as a rule of thumb. A front-load washer can hold up to 15 to 18 pounds of clothing. A large front load washer can wash 20 to 22 pounds of laundry in a single cycle.

Final Thought

It might be difficult to know how to use washing machine in Japan. (Unless you’re among the fortunate few who can afford a washer-dryer combo.) Check out our instructions below to learn how to deal with unexplained buttons, cold water wash, outside faucets, and the dreadful typhoon season.

About Hayami Mori

Hayami Mori is an awesome travel blogger & photographer. She was born and raised in Tokyo and have been here for nearly 25 years. She loves traveling and always wants to introduce her beautiful Japan to travelers from all over the world. Therefore, her blog is a great source of information for people looking for what to do in Japan as well as provides some tips to make their trips unforgettable.