Life Hacks in Japan

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"Life in Japan 2023" We have found the manufacturer of the first high-performance washing machine!

A washing machine is one of the most expensive appliances in the house, with prices ranging from a low of around 70,000 yen to a high of nearly 400,000 yen. To ensure that you buy the right product for your home, let's do our research!

In recent years, there has been a gradual shift from vertical washing machines to drum-type washing machines. However, like the APF of air conditioners, there are no national or other standards for washing machines, so we do not know the difference in cleaning performance between drum-type and vertical-type washing machines. Therefore, we found a study that conducted washing experiments on commercially available fully automatic electric washing machines and investigated the washing performance of each washing machine.

In this study, a total of eight pieces of simulated laundry (one sheet, one shirt, four towels, and two handkerchiefs) specified by JISC9606 electric washing machines were washed in the standard course (water temperature 40°C) of each model, with an auxiliary cloth added to make the weight 2 kg, and soiled cloths to evaluate cleaning power were sewn on specific areas. As a result, we found the following

  • Although the final cleaning power of all the models was almost equal, there was a large difference between the models when the amount of dirt removed per unit of water, per unit of time, and per unit of electricity consumed was examined.
  • In general, vertical-type washing machines have good reproducibility when repeatedly washing clothes in the same course. On the other hand, horizontal washing machines, such as drum-type washing machines, tended to have poor repeatability.

Cleaning performance evaluation of electric washing machines

It has also been reported that washing clothes in a water-saving manner, as in drum-type washing machines, can lead to wrinkling. The pulsator type refers to so-called vertical-type washing machines, and the bath ratio refers to the amount of water used to wash a one-kilogram load of laundry.

Two types of washers and dryers (pulsator type and drum type) with different washing methods were used, and the effects of different washing methods on washing wrinkles were also compared.


In both models, as the bath ratio decreased, fabrics with a composition of 100% cotton tended to become more prone to washing wrinkles. Although the use of lower bath ratios is currently being promoted in conjunction with water-saving washing, the results suggest that excessively low bath ratios are undesirable, depending on the fiber composition. In addition, the results of a comparison of washing wrinkles after treating two models with the same washing time, temperature, bath ratio, dewatering time, and drying method conditions, showed that wrinkles were less likely to occur in the drum type than in the pulsator type in the case of the washing models used in this experiment.
Effect of washing conditions on wrinkle development in clothing

It was found that the decrease in the washing bath ratio is a major factor in the occurrence of fluffing due to washing, and that the agitation time while the garments are immersed in water also has an effect. This indicates that the key to suppressing fluffing is to focus on the washing process, during which the immersion time in water is the longest, and how to suppress the friction between clothes at that time.
The Effect of Changes in the Washing Environment on the Texture of Clothing and its Control Technology



Furthermore, returning to the topic of cleaning power, it has also been pointed out that a decrease in the bath ratio due to water conservation may contribute to a decrease in cleaning power and re-deposition of dirt.

It is difficult to prevent a decrease in washing power due to a decrease in the bath ratio, and we confirmed that a decrease in washing power had already occurred at the garment weight indicated as the standard capacity by each washing machine manufacturer.
Optimization of detergent usage with lower bath ratios for home laundry

As the bath ratio decreases, there is concern that the concentration of dirt detached from the cloth will increase and reattachment will occur. In addition, transfer of stains and dyes between the washed fabrics is also likely to occur. In conclusion, there is a significant possibility that excessive water conservation will result in inadequate cleaning power and contribute to yellowing and darkening of the cloth due to repeated wear and washing.
Experimental evaluation of water-saving washing using a drum-type washing tester
(Citations in the paper23...Application of ultrasound to textiles washing in aqueous solutions)


While water conservation is important, this blog recommends vertical washing machines, which are also inexpensive, based on the possibility of reduced cleaning power (increased possibility of stains reattaching) and increased susceptibility to wrinkling.

Do I need a drying function on my vertical washer?

A washer-dryer is also called a washer-dryer that has a drying function, and both drum-type and vertical-type washer-dryers can be expensive. However, for example, when drying clothes weighing 5 kg, the Toshiba ED-608 clothes dryer, which is a dedicated machine for drying clothes, says that it takes approximately 170 minutes on turbo (200 minutes on standard, 225 minutes on outing) for the laundry listed in the example on page 23 of the instruction manual. On the other hand, the AW-10VP2 vertical washing machine, also made by Toshiba, is said to take 125 to 315 minutes.

Even if we assume that the clothes dryer is set to "going out mode," which takes the longest time, it is still 90 minutes shorter than the longest time of 315 minutes for a vertical washing machine, so if you want to dry clothes, it would be better to buy a separate clothes dryer. If you want to use an electric clothes dryer, you only need to combine it with a separately sold unit stand, so there is no need to drill holes in the wall.


However, when a clothes dryer is attached on top of a washing machine, the drainage hose is connected to the washing machine, but be aware that many inexpensive washing machines, especially Aqua and Haier from foreign manufacturers, are not equipped with a drainage hose.
AW-10VP2Washing Machines and Washer/Dryers | Toshiba Lifestyle Corporation
ED-608/ED-458 | Washing Machines and Washer/Dryers | Toshiba Lifestyle Corporation




Inverters have been around for a long time, a feature described in the following paper. This one was developed in the 1990s and is essential today.


Bath water pump

As the following paper shows, using bath water allows washing at higher water temperatures and has been shown not to reduce cleaning power. There are washing machines that can produce warm water without using bath water, but they are expensive.

It was found that the use of leftover bath water increases the cleaning temperature and provides the same cleaning power in winter as in summer, and that the cleaning power is maintained even in a batch washing in which the bath ratio is reduced.
LCA for home laundry using leftover bath water


reservation timer

Some inexpensive models do not come with one.

Automatic detergent and fabric softener loading

Normally, the amount of detergent and fabric softener needs to be measured and added each time laundry is done. This is convenient because it eliminates the possibility of forgetting to put in the right amount or putting in the wrong amount, and it also eliminates the need to get your hands dirty.

Here, too, there is a shift from powdered detergents to liquid detergents, but experiments have shown that powdered detergents have higher cleaning power.

As for commercial synthetic detergents, the washing power of powder-type detergents was 10% better than that of liquid-type detergents, as has been the case in the past. The presence or absence of a softening ingredient did not affect the detergent's cleaning power for both the powder and liquid types.
Effects of garment detergents on detergency and texture

The cleaning properties of commercially available household laundry detergents and the basic properties involved in cleaning were examined. Seven powder detergents, three liquid detergents, and three new types of detergents in cube, tablet, and sheet forms were used as samples. The soiled cloth was washed for 10 minutes with the standard amount of each detergent, and the washing efficiency was determined from the surface reflectance of the cloth before and after washing. Emulsifying power and other properties were also measured. The results showed no significant differences in basic properties such as emulsifying power and foaming power. On the other hand, washing efficiency of new detergents such as cube-type detergents were all lower than those of powder detergents, which have been the mainstream detergents.
Properties of detergency on commercial laundry No.2



Product Comparison Chart

Based on the above, our blog will compare the following products

  • vertical washing machine
  • No drying function
  • With inverter
  • Bath water can be used
  • With reservation timer
  • Clothes dryer with hose insertion port

However, only the Sharp instruction manual could be downloaded without registering as a member, so I have not been able to confirm that it meets the requirements.

There are other minor features from different manufacturers, but since washing machines have reached a level of evolution that is difficult to achieve, I do not think there is much difference. Therefore, the only comparison we will make is price. (You can scroll to the right.)

Automatic detergent loading
Manufacturer Panasonic Hitachi Toshiba
model number NA-FA8~11K1 BW-X90~120H AW-10,12DP2
Price* (washing capacity 8 kg) 96,300 yen 110,209 yen(9kg) 112,764 yen


No automatic detergent loading
Manufacturer Panasonic Hitachi Toshiba Sharp
series NA-FA7,8H1 BW-V70,80H AW-8,9DH2 ES-GV7~11G
Price* (washing capacity 8 kg) 85,400 yen 93,306 yen 88,000 yen 94,600 yen

*...prices on Amazon as of January 1, 2023.


It seems that the price is almost the same with or without automatic detergent loading. Therefore, if you have no particular preference, we recommend Panasonic regardless of which one you buy. In response to the question of how many kilograms of laundry capacity should be used, Panasonic indicates the following.

What is the appropriate capacity for my home?


Approx. 1.5 kg per person per day for capacity!

If you are going to wash your clothes every day, choose a washing machine with a washing and dehydration capacity of at least 1.5 kg x the number of family members. In addition, a slightly larger capacity is recommended for washing sheets and other items.


For daily washing of smaller quantities, a 6-7 kg capacity type
For one or two people, a washing machine with a capacity of 6 to 7 kg is sufficient. For those who have to do laundry on rainy days or after returning from an overnight business trip or vacation, we recommend a washing machine with a capacity of 7 kg or more.

Recommended for

  • 1-2 people living together and want to wash a smaller amount every day
  • I live with 1-2 people and want to wash every 2-3 days.


For daily family washing, 8 kg capacity or more
If you are a family that does laundry every day because you will have plenty of laundry to do, such as children's clothes, we recommend a washing machine with a capacity of 8 kg or more to give you plenty of room. When it rains continuously, or when you return from a family vacation, you can wash in bulk.

Recommended for

  • 1-2 people living together and want to wash in bulk on weekends
  • More than 3 people live in the house and want to wash every day.
  • Three or more people live in the house and want to wash in batches every two to three days.
  • I want to wash sheets, etc. all at once.


If you want to wash a load of clothes at once and reduce the number of times you do laundry, use the 12 kg type with a large capacity.
With the 12 kg capacity, weekend bulk washing can be finished at once, shortening laundry time.

Recommended for

  • I want to wash large blankets.
  • I just want to reduce the number of times I have to do laundry.

What is the right capacity for my home? | Washing Machines and Clothes Dryers | Panasonic


I hope the above is helpful.

Automatic detergent loading (8 kg)


Automatic detergent loading (9 kg)


Automatic detergent loading (10 kg)


Automatic detergent loading (11 kg)