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Learn about laundry-related terms in Japan


Learn about laundry-related terms in Japanese

Welcome back to another “Video & Article” series, this time for another live-stream with tutor Erika. In this lesson we will take a look at laundry-related terms in Japanese. Doing the laundry may be a tedious talk, but it is an essential part of everyday life! In this article, you will learn how laundry is done in Japan and how to talk about it.

Table of Contents

[Why to learn laundry terms]

[Highs and lows instead of accents]

[Laundry-related phrases]

[Why to learn laundry terms]

Last time, we talked about Japanese “梅雨(つゆ)”. The weather is very unstable and humid during this season, making doing and drying your laundry a big topic in Japanese. Some weather forecasts even predict how well your laundry will dry in the coming days! Hence, learning about laundry, called “洗濯(せんたく)” in Japanese (not to be confused with “選択(せんたく)”, which means choice!) is actually quite useful, since it might easily come up during conversations with friends, family and co-workers.


[Introduction & Basic Vocabulary]

Doing the laundry is called “洗濯(せんたく)する”, and clothes, sheets, etc. that are ready to be washed are called “洗濯物(せんたくもの)” – so “洗濯(せんたく)” and “洗濯物(せんたくもの)” are different terms.

Some households might get some help from a dehumidifier, which is often included in the air conditioning unit of each room. Some laundry machines also come with a dryer function (“乾燥機(かんそうき)”).

Nonetheless, hanging the clothes to dry outside is still the most common method of drying your laundry in Japan.

So today let’s learn the words about laundry and practice them!

[Laundry-related phrases]

I do the laundry every day.

I have to do the laundry today.

It’s laundry day.

I’m washing the clothes.

I hate doing my laundry everyday. But it piles up otherwise!

To hang the laundry outside to dry

To take the laundry in

To fold the laundry

To put away the clean clothes

The things we need to do laundry are detergent and fabric softener:


Fabric softener

Sometimes you might have to wash something by hand. That is called “手洗(てあら)い”.

After drying the laundry, you might want to iron some pieces.
Iron in Japanese is “アイロン”. The “r” sound is audible if you say it in Japanese.

Ironing is “アイロンをかける”.

Now you can do the laundry in Japan!

That’s it for today. If you have any questions, you can always clear them up by booking a lesson with one of our native Japanese tutors. See you next time!

単語たんごリスト(Vocabulary list)
洗濯(せんたく) Laundry
洗濯(せんたく) Clothes to be washed
時期(じき) Season, time, period
不安定(ふあんてい) Unstable
乾燥機(かんそうき) Drying machine
() To dry, to air
洗濯機(せんたくき) Laundry machine
()() To take in
(たた) To fold (clothes)
片付(かたづ)ける To tidy up
洗剤(せんざい) Detergent
柔軟剤(じゅうなんざい) Fabric softener
手洗(てあら) Hand-wash (laundry)
アイロン Iron
アイロンをかける To iron clothes

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