Kanji Cheat Sheets
Kanji Cheat Sheet: Using Your Japanese Washing Machine
By Heidi Sarol
Is that detergent or fabric softener…? How do I use this freaking Japanse washing machine?
Moving to Japan is all fun and games until you realize you’re on your last pair of clean underwear and have no clue how to work your Japanese washing machine. That’s not to mention how to decipher which products are actually laundry detergent and which are mere fabric softeners.
Standing over your washing machine, trying to guess which button to press is enough to make you just throw the clothes out and buy new ones. Let us help you get rid of that nasty pile of laundry (for this week, at least).
Buying laundry detergent
Before you can even think about loading up the washing machine, you’ll need to stock up on some essential supplies.
First, look for the kanji that says laundry detergent 洗濯洗剤 (sentakusenzai). If you prefer to hand wash your clothes, you’ll need laundry soap 洗濯用石けん (sentakuyousekken). Don’t forget to add in some fabric softener 柔軟剤 (juunanzai) for easy ironing, or bleach 漂白剤 (hyouhakuzai) to remove those pesky stains.
Buttons on a Japanese washing machine
Now that you’ve bought all the essentials, crack open that lid and shove your clothes in. There’ll be a small opening for you to place the detergent and softener. However, this varies per model. Shut the lid, press 入 (iri) to turn the machine on, then スタート (start) and, for the most part, that’s all you really need to know.
If you want to check how far along your clothes are in the washing process, look for the small light next to the following functions like rinsing すすぎ (susugi) and draining 脱水 (dassui).
Depending on your washing machine model, there might be special functions like using your bath water to wash your clothes お湯取 (oyutori) or cleaning your clothes with the intent to dry them in your room 部屋干し(heyaboshi).
|Washing machine course||コース||ko-su|
|Amount of water||水量||suiryou|
|The washing tub||洗濯槽||sentakusou|
|Slot for fabric softener||柔軟剤の自動投入口||juunanzai no jidoutounyuuguchi|
|Reuse bath water
for washing machine
of white or soiled clothing
|Washing setting for
drying clothes in your room
In the end, as complicated and daunting as your washing machine may look, it’s not all that difficult. We hope that by using this guide, you’ll be able to overcome those scary-looking buttons and empty your laundry basket.