Culture

Kanji Cheat Sheets

Kanji Cheat Sheets
Kanji Cheat Sheet: Buying Cleaning Products in Japan
June 30, 2020

House cleaning. We’ve all been there. Sometimes we put cleaning off for as long as we can because there are certain things we’d rather not face like that particularly large patch of mold on the floor.

In this guide, you’ll familiarize yourself with the necessary kanji to help rid you of that dust (or skeleton) in your closet and clean your Japanese apartment.

Know your enemy

One of the problems with living in a climate like Japan’s is the constant change in weather coupled with humidity can make some horrible things grow under your futon.

That bit of salad that slipped off your plate while you were eating? It’s now home to a metropolis of mold that is plotting your overthrow and claiming your apartment for itself.

When it comes to winning this particular war, get to know your enemy and then crush it with cleaning products you can find at any drugstore in Japan. Look for the following kanji depending on what problem you need to address.

EnglishJapaneseRomaji 
Moldカビkabi
Dusthokori
Stain汚れyogore

Types of cleaning products

Whether it be mold, dust, or stains, getting rid of it requires learning the right kanji to help you identify which kinds of cleaning products you can use. Even in the UK, I had friends who mistakenly used the wrong kind of cleaner which led to obvious repercussions. 

Here are some of the most common kanji you should look for while choosing a cleaning product.

EnglishJapaneseRomaji 
Kitchen cleaners台所用合成洗剤daidokoro you gousei senzai
Bathroom cleaners浴室用合成洗剤yokushitsu you gousei senzai
Glass and metal cleanersグラス用洗剤gurasu you senzai
Drain cleaner排水管用洗剤haisuikan you senzai
Tile cleanerタイル用洗剤tairu you senzai
All-purpose cleaner万能汚れ落としbannou yogore otoshi
Mold remover防黴剤/カビキラーboukabizai/    kabikiraa

Reading the labels for ingredients

Now that there is some light at the end of the tunnel, or at least a little bit of visible carpet under all that trash, it’s time to think about the chemicals that you’re using. In order to avoid pouring drain cleaner followed by a bleach mixture on your nice flooring, here are some need-to-know labels.

EnglishJapaneseRomaji 
With alcoholアルコールありarukooru ari
Antibacterial抗菌剤koukinzai
Elimination of bacteria/viruses除菌jyokin
Disinfectants殺菌剤sakkinzai
AmmoniaアンモニアAnmonia
Baking soda重炭酸ソーダjyutansan sooda
Bleach漂白 /ブリーチ hyouhaku/   buriichi

And there you go, your apartment is clean enough that, while you may not want to eat off the floor, you quite possibly could (assuming you read the kanji right and didn’t pour that drain cleaner on it by mistake).

Find any bugs pesky bugs hiding around during your cleaning that you need to rid your apartment of? That’s a story for a whole new article. Luckily, we’ve got you covered there too.

In this guide, you’ll familiarize yourself with the necessary kanji to help rid you of that dust (or skeleton) in your closet and clean your Japanese apartment.

Know your enemy

One of the problems with living in a climate like Japan’s is the constant change in weather coupled with humidity can make some horrible things grow under your futon.

That bit of salad that slipped off your plate while you were eating? It’s now home to a metropolis of mold that is plotting your overthrow and claiming your apartment for itself.

When it comes to winning this particular war, get to know your enemy and then crush it with cleaning products you can find at any drugstore in Japan. Look for the following kanji depending on what problem you need to address.

EnglishJapaneseRomaji 
Moldカビkabi
Dusthokori
Stain汚れyogore

Types of cleaning products

Whether it be mold, dust, or stains, getting rid of it requires learning the right kanji to help you identify which kinds of cleaning products you can use. Even in the UK, I had friends who mistakenly used the wrong kind of cleaner which led to obvious repercussions. 

Here are some of the most common kanji you should look for while choosing a cleaning product.

EnglishJapaneseRomaji 
Kitchen cleaners台所用合成洗剤daidokoro you gousei senzai
Bathroom cleaners浴室用合成洗剤yokushitsu you gousei senzai
Glass and metal cleanersグラス用洗剤gurasu you senzai
Drain cleaner排水管用洗剤haisuikan you senzai
Tile cleanerタイル用洗剤tairu you senzai
All-purpose cleaner万能汚れ落としbannou yogore otoshi
Mold remover防黴剤/カビキラーboukabizai/    kabikiraa

Reading the labels for ingredients

Now that there is some light at the end of the tunnel, or at least a little bit of visible carpet under all that trash, it’s time to think about the chemicals that you’re using. In order to avoid pouring drain cleaner followed by a bleach mixture on your nice flooring, here are some need-to-know labels.

EnglishJapaneseRomaji 
With alcoholアルコールありarukooru ari
Antibacterial抗菌剤koukinzai
Elimination of bacteria/viruses除菌jyokin
Disinfectants殺菌剤sakkinzai
AmmoniaアンモニアAnmonia
Baking soda重炭酸ソーダjyutansan sooda
Bleach漂白 /ブリーチ hyouhaku/   buriichi

And there you go, your apartment is clean enough that, while you may not want to eat off the floor, you quite possibly could (assuming you read the kanji right and didn’t pour that drain cleaner on it by mistake).

Find any bugs pesky bugs hiding around during your cleaning that you need to rid your apartment of? That’s a story for a whole new article. Luckily, we’ve got you covered there too.

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