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Housekeeping & Cleaning

Japan With Kids - Forums: Repairs and Maintenance: Housekeeping & Cleaning
By Milan Minsky on Thursday, March 15, 2001 - 11:41 pm:

I have heard that Tokyo summers are very humid and hot and I am a little concerned about the potential effects on our bedding, towels, possibly furniture and clothing in terms of mold etc. Are there preventative measures that Tokyoites take to ensure that household fabrics stay clean and free of mold and mildew during July-September?
A related question is does anyone know what people do for washing futons and blankets here? I took our futon blankets to the cleaners but they were going to charge almost as much as the futons cost to wash them. I ended up washing them in the bathtub (the old fashioned way by jumping around on them in a soapy tub) and then hanging them out to dry. But with high humidity and the rainy season coming it is hard to dry things on the balcony.

By Takatsuka Diana on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 3:38 pm:

The Japanese use a "futon kansouki" to wash and dry their futons. I don't know the English name for it but you can buy it from any electrical store. Hope this helps some.

By Karen on Monday, February 4, 2002 - 4:42 pm:

I'm looking for ways to get rid of mildew.

We air out the place, vacuum, etc. and still our tatami has mildew growing on it (I'm careful not to disturb the spores when I'm cleaning). I think it's because we hang our laundry to dry inside (really no other choice..) and the place gets damp. No room/money for a dehumidifier. Our ceiling (wood) and walls (paper wallpaper) also have it!! It's quite vile....I don't want to discolour the walls by spraying harsh chemicals -- can anyone recommend any products/home concoctions/methods to get rid of it?

Any help would be much appreciated!

By Karen on Tuesday, February 5, 2002 - 12:44 pm:

I've had a variety of suggestions put forth for my mildew problem. Here's a summary:


- "There's something called "kabe/kabi killa" (katakana) that works quite well but yes, is quite strong."

- "If it isn't toooooo bad, the old wive's tale is to use lemon juice or vinegar to help remove mould from walls, clothes etc. Just put some in a spray bottle and spray directly on the mould and blot carefully with a damp cloth."


- "Tubs of absorbent pellets. I can't remember what they're called but most people use them in the humid Summer to keep mold/mildew from damaging their clothes etc. A bundle of 3 tubs only costs around Y400 and I'm shocked at how much moisture they suck out of the air !"

- "Sometimes a dehumidifier is the only solution - my friend had the same problem as you (when she leaves on business trips for a week she returns to the place overridden in mould!) and a dehumidifier helps tremendously."

- "Keep the place ventilated, even when you go away for a week (keep a window open or keep the bathroom fan running)."

(More solutions are mentioned elsewhere on the site at:


Note from Admin: the tubs of moisture absorbant pellets are called shiikke tori

By Caroline on Saturday, March 9, 2002 - 2:52 pm:

Does anyone know of a good home cleaning service? Looking for reliable professionals to clean my home thoroughly periodically (windows, floors, etc.)

By Cornelia on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 6:02 pm:

Clean Partners Home Cleaning
free dial 0120-37-4044
sample prices:
whole kitchen without "kenkisen" (ventilation fan) = Y8,800
ventilation fan only = Y8,800
whole bathroom (bathtub, walls, ceiling and light) = Y8,800
Air conditioner = Y8,800
Commercial size Air Conditioner = Y25,000
Toilet room = Y6,000
Senmendai (face washing sink ensemble) = Y4,000
Veranda = Y5,000
Floor cleaning = Y1,250 per 1 jo or 1/2 tsubo

Any two services: 10% off
Any three services: 15% off

Regular cleaning (3x week) = Y4,500 per one hour per one person

So it is not cheap. However, there are many cleaning companies, and some are cheaper than others.

By Gaijinmom on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 - 12:22 pm:

Can somebody recommend a cleaning company that will clean sofas at a reasonable price? Thanks.

By Brett Alten on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 5:42 pm:

We are looking for reasonably priced house cleaning service (individual) in the Jiyugaoka/Okusawa area.

At this time, we think we would like someone only once or twice per month, although that frequency could increase.

Any suggestions?

By sarah K on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 4:46 pm:


I just rented a shared apartment, moved in last week.
My problem is that the place is very filthy speacialy the bathroom area is disgusting. it stinks and there is soap scum everywhere. i tried the cleaning agents and the bleach to clean the walls and bath tub but no use. could anyone give me some tips or suggestions on how to clean the bathroom which is i thing never been clean before.
Looking forward for qucik response. Thanks

By Cornelia on Thursday, March 18, 2004 - 3:15 pm:

Professional House Cleaning:

This company does moving, taking away your large trash items (TVs, furniture, etc.) and cleaning... No, I have not used them, I'm just copying off a flyer that I received in my mailbox.

Eco World
toll free number: 0120-35-8990
main office:
3-13-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
other offices:
1-2-8 Subaki, Adachi-ku, Tokyo
3-31-5 Nishi Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
581-8 Matsudo Shinden, Matsudo City, Chiba
2-36-28 Higashi Koigakenbo, Kokobunji, Tokyo
556-310 Horizakicho, Saitama City, Saitama

House cleaning Y7800 per hour. It's not clear if this is for a team or just one person but I am guessing it's for at least two people. They clean kitchen, toilet, bath, windows, air con, wax floors, etc.

PS their staff carries picture IDs

By Mina on Saturday, October 2, 2004 - 3:42 pm:

Can anyone tell me what the absorbent pellets are called in Japanese. I need to put some in my medicine cabinet. I am looking for something safe for the medicine cabinet like silica gel satchets.


By Nancy on Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 2:16 am:

Forgive me if this is not the right place to add this housekeeping tip....but I wanted to share this in case someone else has this problem with their clothes tumbler (dryer). I inadvertently put an item with velcro in the dryer - except that I had not used the velcro so the sticky tape that would be used to attach one side of it was still attached. BIG MISTAKE. The inside of the tumbler became covered with sticky residue. While something like WD40 will remove sticky residue, this is not a product I would use in a gas dryer. After trying soap and water,ice, microfibre cloths, melamine sponges and steam, plus a lot of elbow grease, very little progress was made. Anyone who approached was sent away to look for a solution. The only solution on the internet was WD40, or vinegar, which didn't work either. Then I remembered a tip I had read about Bounce sheets- apparently they remove baked on grease on kitchen pans(For anyone who does not know these are sheets that are used as fabric softener in the dryer). So I decided I had nothing to lose by trying it, and well, it worked. I have no idea why, and after hours of strugglng, it didn't matter.

By Nancy on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 12:03 pm:

Dehumidifier Pellets (shikke tori). Can anyone tell me what is in these pellets? Clearly they should be placed where pets can't get to them, but do they give off fumes that may be toxic? Do they give off any kind of odour? How long does a box last?

By Madlovescience on Friday, August 17, 2007 - 12:37 am:

Nancy, can you get Goo Gone in Japan? That would get rid of the problem with the sticky stuff in the dryer. You might be able to find it in a fabric store. Goo Gone is made of citrus oil so if you can find any orange oil that will work too.

By Tokyocleaners on Friday, August 17, 2007 - 1:10 pm:

We can clean your house, apartment,offices,in the Tokyo area specially, Hiro,Shirogane,Nishi-Azabu,Aoyama,Ropponggi
area also Shinaguawa Meguro,Jiyugaoka,Ooimachi, Oomori
call 080-6420-5333 or e-mail me

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