How to find the right laundry detergent in Japan

Post date: Wednesday, January 31, 2018

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 (Funmatsu Senzai) Powder (Powder Detergent)
液体 (液体洗剤) Ekitai (Ekitai Senzai) Liquid (Liquid Detergent)
柔軟剤 Juunanzai Softener
漂白剤 Hyouhakuzai Bleaching Agent
蛍光増白剤 Keikouzouhakuzai Brightening Agent
香り・香付き Kaori ・ 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 word from the chart above here) 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.

E.g. Tokyu Hands, Don Quijote, Convenience Stores such as Seven-Eleven, Lawson, FamilyMart, Drug Stores such as Matsumoto Kiyoshi, Sun Drug, Fukutaro.

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 洗剤 (Senzai):

1. アタック (Attack)

2. トップ (Top)

3. アリエール (Ariel)

Fabric Softeners 柔軟剤(Juunanzai):

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. ファーファ (Fa-fa)

2.ソフラン (Sofran)

3. レノア (Lenor)

4. ランドリン (Laundrin)

5. ハミング (Humming)


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

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

For delicate and expensive clothes to wash at home, using detergents such as  エマール (Emal) the yellow bottle below or ボールドおしゃれ着(bold-osharegi) like the pink bottle below 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.


If you are looking for foreign brands that are familiar to you, we recommend for you to check out foreigner friendly supermarkets like National Azabu, Nissin, and Costco.

Find out the nearest branch near you! International Supermarkets in Tokyo

If you are looking for Japanese laundry and Dry Cleaning Services in Tokyo, please access the link below.

Japanese Laundry and Dry Cleaning Services in Tokyo

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