Clothes washing and ironing in Japan

How often do you iron clothes? graph of japanese statistics

I discovered this survey following some Japan visitor mentioning that everyone seemed neatly turned out, but retorted that ironing seems infrequent, and most of the well-ironed clothes are likely from the dry cleaner’s. So I did a quick Google search for data to back up my supposition, and found this survey from Sankei Living and P&G into clothes washing and ironing.

The survey also mentioned that in 2016 people did on average 6.4 washes per week, down from 8.6 in 2011, but in the same period the weight of clothes per load increased from 2.6 kg to 3.1 kg per load, so a weekly total of 22.4 kg in 2011 to 19.8 kg in 2016.

We do a washing every day, but my wife never irons, and I do a couple of shirts and a pair of trousers once every week. My mother always ironed, right down to socks and underpants, though.

Here’s a typical washing day scene in a Japanese flat:

Research results

Q1: How do you want to change how often you wash clothes? (Sample size=800)

Current frequency is fine 43.9%
Want to decrease 54.9%
Want to increase 1.3%

Q2: Do you know that if you leave clothes unwashing dirt becomes harder to remove? (Sample size=800)

Yes 83.5%
No 16.5%

Q3: How do you want to change how often you iron clothes? (Sample size=800)

Current frequency is fine 38.0%
Want to decrease 60.6%
Want to increase 1.4%

Q4: How often do you iron clothes? (Sample size=800)

Twice or more per week Once a week Once, twice a month Less than that Never
Full-time workers
N=196
22.4% 25.0% 14.3% 25.5% 12.8%
Part-time workers
N=302
34.5% 25.8% 17.5% 16.2% 6.0%
Housewives
N=266
35.0% 24.4% 12.0% 18.4% 10.2%

Q5: What stresses you regarding washing clothes? (Sample size=800, multiple answer)

Washing Drying Folding
Full-time workers
N=196
11.2% 28.6% 35.7%
Part-time workers
N=302
9.9% 19.9% 32.5%
Housewives
N=266
7.5% 12.0% 28.6%

Q6: Compared to five years ago, how much more efficient have you become? (Sample size=800)

Q6A: Ironing

Much less 3.9%
A little less 11.9%
About the same 65.4%
A little more 14.1%
Much more 4.8%

Q6B: Vacuuming

Much less 2.9%
A little less 16.1%
About the same 51.9%
A little more 24.1%
Much more 5.0%

Q6C: Clothes washing

Much less 2.1%
A little less 9.4%
About the same 54.1%
A little more 29.0%
Much more 5.4%

Q6D: Dish washing

Much less 1.4%

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