Japanese Decoded: Washing Machines And Dryers

Savvy's Guide To Getting Laundry Done

By The Savvy Team
July 14, 2020

Know the right buttons!

Whether you have a separate washing machine and dryer, a combined unit, or just a washer, doing your laundry is maybe not that easy. These appliances can be difficult to master in Japan, where the controls are almost always in Japanese only.

washing machines

To ease frustration and help you get your laundry done right in no time, check out the following list of characters that are commonly found on these machines.

Washing Machine

Laundry Products

Japanese  Rōmaji English
洗剤 senzai Detergent
漂白剤 hyōhaku-zai Bleach
柔軟剤 nyūnanzai  Fabric softener

Washing Modes

Japanese Rōmaji English
洗濯コース sentaku kōsu Washing course
標準 hyōjun Standard
お急ぎ oisogi Fast
毛布 mōfu Heavy (blankets/linen)
手洗い/念入り tearai/nen iri Gentle wash
わが家流 wagaya-ryū Personalized settings
洗濯/洗い sentaku/arai Wash
すすぎ susugi Rinse
排水 haisui Drain
脱水 dassui
Spin dry
一時停止 ichiji teishi
洗濯のみ  sentaku nomi
Wash only
乾燥のみ  kansō nomi
Dry only
洗・乾切替 arai・inui kirikae
Switching between washing/drying


Japanese Rōmaji English
冷水  reisui Cold water
温水 onsui Warm water
水量 suiryō Water volume
水位 suii Water level
給水 kyūsui  Water supply

Dryers and Washers/Dryers combo

Japanese Rōmaji
洗濯~乾燥連続運転 sentaku ~ kansō renzoku unten Continuous wash to dry operation
乾燥 kansō Dry
室内干し shitsunaiboshi Indoor drying / Hanging clothes inside
ソフト温風 sofuto onpū Soft warm air
送風 sōfū Cool air
高温 kōon Hot/High temperature
控えめ hikaeme Low temperature/Controlled drying

If we’ve missed any confusing or important buttons, leave us a comment. We hope with these decoded buttons you can finally have a nice clean set of clothes that have been washed with the right settings!


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