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) to get it going.
Read the full article on GaijinPot Study.