Taro asked in TravelAsia PacificJapan · 3 months ago

How do Japanese people keep their houses so clean?

i want to decrease the amount of bacteria in my house. i want to start by having people exchange their shoes for house slippers in the entryway as people do in Japan. How do Japanese people go about this? Do they use multiple slippers for each person (e.g. one for after bath?)? What do they do for guests, do they have to keep many extra pairs in various sizes? How do they keep the slippers clean? 

i also noticed they have drains in the floors of their bathrooms. Does this make a big difference in the convenience and efficiency of cleaning the room? Is it expensive to install one? 

Where can i learn more about their ways of housekeeping? 

Thank you

10 Answers

  • 3 months ago

    They use a vacuum cleaner, and use it *a lot*. They also fumigate their tatami mats, and beat their futons on the balcony.

  • 3 months ago

    they have extra slippers for guests and they shower before they recline in a hot bath, like a hot tub. Japan is like one giant volcano, so in the mountains, the water gets hot, even in snow.. that what the tub is all about. Japanese have learned how to live in the smallest space possible, literally, there's no room for dirt and clutter.

  • 3 months ago

    I  want to know either, read people's comments, really  learnt something,thanks.

  • 3 months ago

    There are a couple of things you have to realize about a Japanese house.

    1. The humidity of Japan is really really high and in Summer you need to keep your house dry. That means not keeping a lot of clutter. Using a dehumidifier frequently, airing out your futon. You need to make sure you dont get dust mites which can give you all kinds of skin trouble. 

    2. Speaking of clutter, Most Japanese dont like keeping many things in their house. Too much dust. 

    3.Because of the humidity, mold and mildew are big problems and many Japanese are vigilant about cleaning moist surfaces...like the bathtub. 

    4.Many Japanese houses dont have carpeting. Just Tatami or hardwood/fakewood floors. Wiping the floors is much easier. 

    5. Yes, people use slippers...but its really not a big deal who uses what slippers. The family has their own set and guests are separate.

    Source(s): have lived and worked in Japan for over 25 years.
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  • 3 months ago

    The downside of "airiness" is that you will freeze your *** off in winter. Seriously; there is no place colder in the world than a Tokyo apartment in January. 

  • Quinn
    Lv 6
    3 months ago

    Not wearing footwear that you use outdoors inside your home goes a very long way to keeping the interior of a home clean. 

    As for slippers, every member of the household have their own pair and there are slippers kept near the front entrance either laid out or stored in closets and in varying numbers for guests.  Japanese do not usually entertain large number of guests in their home, so it is not as if they have to keep dozens of slippers for guests.  As for sizes, there are usually just 2 sizes kept: large (all purpose), and smaller than large size. Slippers are not worn for their exact foot size like you would shoes.

    Cleaning slippers are done in one of two ways: throw them out like disposables or you hose them down and leave them out in the sun to dry. The UV light component in sunlight kills just about any kind of pathogens. The slippers are cheap and you can buy them just about everywhere including from vending machines and convenience stores.

    In Japanese homes, there are separate rooms for bathing and toilet. The bathroom usually does not have a toilet which is usually located in a separate room. So a Japanese bathroom has a drain in the floor because unlike in the West, the bathtub (some homes do not even have one) is use for soaking - think of it as a spa or a hot tub. You do not cleanse yourself in the bathtub. You wash yourself clean on the tiled bathroom floor, then you soak in the tub to relax. The whole bathroom is like a western shower stall. Many bathtubs have a plug that drains the water out onto the bathroom floor and into that drain because you can buy a bathtub of your choice and install it without needing a plumber to connect a separate drain to it. The bathtub even comes with its own heating unit to heat the water.

    One reason Japanese homes are cleaner is that they rarely have wall to wall carpeting. Which makes keeping the floor clean very easy and more effective.  Think of just how much dirt, germs, dust mites, and insects can live in carpeting and the only way to effectively clean it is to shampoo it and do so every month because in such homes people do not remove their shoes after entering.  I personally know this because when I built my house, I deliberately made sure there was not one square inch of carpeting in the whole house. Not only did I noticed that my sinus never act up anymore, the air quality inside my house is cleaner (I had it tested), but because of the tile, wood and linoleum floor, I can easily see when a spot gets dirty or needs cleaning and cleaning is easier, too. If you want to keep the house clean for your visiting sister's infant and you have carpeting, get it shampooed. 

    One thing I did when my niece came to visit when she was an infant was to set aside an area with floormats like those use in gyms and playpens. Set some toys there and let that be her playpen. You can easily clean those mats by washing them with soap and water and air dry them in sunlight. 

  • 3 months ago

    We take off our shoes at the entrance of house as you observed.

    As for slippers, generally each person in family has one pair of slippers. And there is one for toilet. We also keep some more pairs for guests.

    In my opinion, slippers are just disposable. We can replace slippers with new ones in a few week or months.

    And there are Japanese style rooms with tatami in Japan where we don't even wear slippers. We just stay there in bare feet or just with socks.


    I don't understand your question on drain. I guess any bathroom has a sort of drain even it's not in Japan.

    Source(s): a native Japanese
  • T
    Lv 4
    3 months ago

    Japan being a clean, hygienic country is a myth. That aside, you cannot get rid of bacteria altogether.  They aren't harmful at all to begin with.  Ticks are something you should be more concerned about. They thrive in carpets, mattresses, etc. in huge numbers like millions and bite you off-guard leaving unwanted marks on your skin. There are pesticides specially designed to exterminate them. 

  • 3 months ago

    We follow the rule of taking shoes off at the door, as do many Americans who have lived in Japan. It's amazing how quickly you realize that you've been tracking dirt all over your house! Usually, people just warn guests to wear or bring socks- if you have people who don't want to go barefoot. You don't need to provide slippers for everyone. The family might keep their slippers at the door to slip on when they take their shoes off. This is a very good thing to do when you have babies in the house. More Americans should be doing it. It's actually healthier for your feet not to be in shoes all the time, too. 

  • 3 months ago


    Do you mean you want to keep dust and dirt out of your house?  One keeps bacteria out by not having any "food" for them - by cleaning up uneaten food or by having no pets and plants.

    Do you have some medical reason to eliminate bacteria? Like an immune issue?  otherwise living in a sterile environment is not healthy.

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