Friday, March 23, 2012

My Japanese laundry

While the kids were napping, I decided to take advantage of our wonderful spring weather and get some laundry done.

Our washer and dryer

First, I check the forecast:

洗濯指数 (sentaku shisu, laundy index) on

Because most Okinawans dry their laundry outside, checking the weather is a good first step (unless you like dashing out in the rain to get your clothes off the line).  We do have a dryer but it's not very efficient and the cost of electricity is crazy.  So line drying it is!  ( only has the forecast for Nago (名護) and Naha (那覇).  We live in central Okinawa, so I just average the two.)

At first we tried the wooden clothes pins from the commissary, but those quickly molded.  (Seems most household chores here are about avoiding or cleaning up mildew.)  Then we picked up some plastic clips from Nitori and those have been working well for the past few months.

Sunny and windy - perfect!

Another difference between American laundry and Japanese laundry: no hot water.  We don't have a hot or warm water setting on our washer, just cold water.  Besides our cloth diapers, we really don't miss washing with hot water (but here's some instructions if you want to get something washed with hot water).

Some vocab from our machines:

電源 - power
入/切 - on/off
スタート - start
一時停止 - pause
標準 - standard/automatic
分 - minute
弱 - weak, low
強 - strong, high

倍速 - double speed
コース - course
おまかせ - automatic
念入り - gentle
しっかりすすぎ - extra rinse
大物 - blanket
ふろ水 - bathwater
洗い - wash
すすぎ - rinse
脱水 - spin
注水 - flooding? (pouring water?  irrigation? Couldn't find a good translation for this)
#回 - # of cycles
予約 - set timer
水量 - water level (in liters)
残り - time remaining
ソフト仕上剤 - softener
液体 - liquid
粉末 - powder
洗剤 - detergent
漂白剤 - bleach

アイロン - iron (dries half way so the clothes are ready to be ironed)
おこのみ - options
セーター - thick
除菌 - decontamination (germ/fungus removal)
毛布 - blankets
ズック - canvas (shoes, hats, ect)
ヒーター - heat
ふんわりガード - wrinkle guard
進行表示  - progress display
乾燥中 - drying
節約ハッチ開 - hatch open
フィルター目づまり - check filter

There's more washer/dryer terms on this page.

1 comment:

  1. which program would you recommend from your experience for machine wash of a woolen pullover? thank you for your post, very informative!