Created for expats living in Japan

How to find the right laundry detergent in Japan

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Finding detergents for laundry in Japan can be quite the challenge, especially for those who are unable to read Japanese.

Here is a great guide to shop laundry detergents in Japan.

Main keywords you should know when buying laundry detergent in Japan

洗濯 Sentaku Laundry / Washing
粉末 Funmatsu Powder
液体 Ekitai Liquid
柔軟剤 Juunanzai Softener
漂白剤 Hyouhakuzai Bleaching Agent
蛍光増白剤 Keikouzouhakuzai Brightening Agent
香り付き Kaori tsuki ~scented

How to ask shop staff questions about laundry products in Japanese.

● Where is the laundry detergent section in this store?


Sentaku senzai uriba wa dokodesuka?


● Which one is the (insert word from the chart above here)?


(insert a word from the chart above) wa doredesuka?


● Does this have bleach inside?


Kono Shohin wa hyohakuzai ga haitteimasuka?


● Is this product safe for babies?


Akachan no fuku wo korede aratte mo daijyoubu desuka?


● Is this just a softener?


Korewa senzai dewanaku, junanzai dake desuka?


● Do you have the refill for this product? (It would be best to show the staff a picture of the container).


Koreno tsumekaeyou wa arimasuka?

Where you should go to find laundry detergents

Laundry items can be purchased online, in supermarkets, discount stores, home centers, drug stores, convenience stores, and etc. Liquid detergents are usually sold in bottles and powder detergents are usually sold in boxes.

Here are some of the main brands for laundry detergents in Japan.

Laundry Detergents:Senzai(洗剤)

1. Attack


3. Sarasa

Fabric Softeners :Juunanzai(柔軟剤)

There are many detergents with softener ability, these kinds of detergents should have something like 柔軟剤配合Juunanzaihaigou (detergent with fabric softeners inside) on the lable.

But if you prefer to use detergent and softener separately, here are softeners you can purchase in stores.

1. Fa-fa 


3. Sofran

If you are looking for a bleaching agent, try to find the word 漂白剤 (Hyohakuzai) on the lable.

Wide Haiter(ワイドハイター) is the most popular bleach.

For delicate and expensive clothes to wash at home, using detergents such as Emal(エマール) will do the job without losing its shape and without wrinkles with soft finishing. But we do recommend for you to take your expensive and delicate clothes to the dry cleaning to be safe.

You may also be interested in reading:

How to Use a Japanese Washing Machine

Laundry Symbols and Dry Cleaning Services in Japan