Useful Tips For Doing the Laundry in Japan, Especially During the Rainy Season

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  • Japanese summer is hot and worse than that – it’s humid. Especially during the rainy season, humidity levels are so high, laundry barely dries before acquiring that weird damp smell. That’s why there are several ways to deal with your laundry during this time.

    For mold problems in general take a look at this article
    A Japanese Nightmare: How to Prevent and Get Rid of Mold

    Coin laundry

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    If rainfall continues for several days and you don’t have a drying machine at home, coin laundry should be your answer. Recently, coin laundries in Japan have become more comfortable and sometimes they even have a cafe and free Wi-Fi service included, so you can sip a coffee, read some books, or do some work while waiting for the laundry to finish. Some might have “a sneaker laundry” so you can easily wash your shoes as well.

    What to bring

    Detergent and softener are added automatically for most types of washing machines, but it might be better to bring your favorite ones if you are particular about it. It’s also better to bring a washing bag to prevent dryer damage. (You can find one in the 100 yen store.)

     

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    Obviously, you need some 100yen coins as well. Some places might have a money changer but it’s better to bring several 100yen coins if possible, just to be sure you have some change.

    It takes about 30 minutes to finish one laundry and usually costs 400 yen to 700 yen. If you use a drying machine, it costs about 100 yen for 10 minutes.

    Here is a link to help you find the nearest coin laundry in Japan
    https://www.coin-laundry-search.com/

    Japanese Laundry detergent

    Lots of Japanese companies devote their efforts to develop better detergent to prevent unpleasant smells when clothes get a bit damp. Here are the 3 top selling items for indoor drying and some useful materials popular among Japanese homemakers.

    Attack Bio-Ex from KAO

    “Attack” has led the Japanese laundry scene since its launch in 1987. With Bio-IOS, it penetrates deep into the fibers and absorbs the contaminant to exert a high cleaning effect.

     

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    TOP for Indoor Drying from LION

    TOP has been loved for more than a half century. With an enzymatic activity, TOP prevents bad smells and removes not only the contaminants but also bacillus and viruses.

     

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    BOLD from P&G

    BOLD has been widely used since its launch in 2002. It contains softener so you don’t need to add anything else.

     

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    Other Helpful Products

    Washing Magchan

    If you have some skin problems, or just wish to have a more sustainable lifestyle, Washing Magchan (https://magchan.com/) is recommended. This cleaning product is made with magnesium and it can remove dirt from the washing tub and tubes as well. 2 pieces cost 3,980yen, and even though it’s pricey it’s worth it because it can be used for about 1 year. To add to the sustainability, it also saves water (requires only one rinse). For all of these reasons, Magchan is getting popular especially among families raising children.

     

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    Utamaro

    If you want to remove stubborn stains from your clothes, Utamaro (https://www.e-utamaro.com/products/sekken) is a life-saver! Prewash your clothes with Utamaro then put them into the laundry as usual. You will definitely be surprised how white they become.

     

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    Dehumidifiers with clothes drying function

    Dehumidifiers are by no means cheap, and some of them can make your electricity bill skyrocket, so it’s important to do your research before buying one. Essentially, there are three types of humidifiers in Japan. Ones are meant for winter since they make rooms hotter and because they target condensation, others are meant for summer since they make temperatures stay almost the same, and others are called “hybrid” because they have both functions and can be used year-round.

     

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    A/C units also have a dehumidifying option, but depending on where you live it might not be enough. The great thing about dehumidifiers is that they also come with a clothes-drying function.


    So, knowing all of these, there is no need to put of doing your laundry!