The ajisai (hydrangeas) have bloomed and the rainy season is fast approaching. For veteran JETs, this is old news, but first year JETs are in for a real treat (sarcasm intended).
Rainy season in Miyazaki usually lasts for about a month or so, and generally starts around June. You can expect anywhere from a little to a whole heck of a lot of rain on any given day. The lack of reprieve makes it incredibly difficult for anything to dry off, and the accumulated moisture and humidity can be very damaging not only to our souls, but also to our clothes and furniture.
But never fear! We’ve previously covered what to wear during the rainy season. This time we’re here to guide you through this swampy season with some tried and true methods to keep your home dry and mold-free!
Prevention is Key
So, I live in the southernmost town, which is quite warm and humid. My apartment also has no A/C and no dehumidifier. However, I’ve never had any major issues with mold. Why is that? Well, I grew up in a home where my mother regularly bleached the walls. At the time, I thought she was crazy (and still do, to an extent), but after coming to Japan I began to think that maybe she was on to something.
Giving everything (walls, windows, hard surfaces of furniture, etc.) a good wipe-down with bleach water or カビキラー (kabi killer) before the rainy season sets in makes sure there is no dirt, dust, or grime for moisture to attach to. Then, even if you don’t fully scrub your shower every single weekend, you’re not likely to get much mold accumulation, and what does accumulate is relatively easy to take care of. So, despite having no appliances to help me keep my apartment’s climate under control, I’ve rarely had any problems.
In the event your house still develops mold, you can also buy mold bombs, which not only kill existing mold but also help prevent future mold. To use one, simply remove it from the packaging, fill the container to the marked line with water, then place the container in your shower area, drop the tablet in, and quickly close the door. Be sure to air out your shower for a few hours after using this.
What are desiccants? Desiccants absorb moisture. You can find a variety of them at any general store. You can get small ones to put inside drawers, hanging ones to put in your closets, sheets for under your futon, box-shaped ones to just sit out in the room—there are even desiccants to keep in your shoes! You may find this amusing, however, it is actually a godsend for suede and other fabric shoes.
You might have to replace desiccants several times during the rainy season (it’s that humid), but they’re pretty cheap, and outside of the rainy season they’ll usually last several months at a time. You should be able to find them near the laundry detergent and other cleaning supplies. Speaking of laundry…
Dry Your Laundry Inside
Especially if you have an air conditioner! Most A/C’s will have a ドライ setting which will help your clothes dry infinitely faster than hanging them outside. If you don’t have an A/C, even just pointing a fan at your clothes will make a huge difference. Having good airflow is key, which is why it’s also better to hang your laundry in a large/open room than to hang it in the bathroom.
Alternatively, you could dish out the money to take it to a laundromat and dry it there.
So there you have it! Should any other cleaning problems crop up, be sure to check out this post all about keeping your house clean.
We hope you’ll enter into your first rainy season feeling a bit more confident about how to handle it. If you have any questions or additional suggestions, don’t hesitate to reach out!