Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tsuyu (Rainy Season) and Humidity Tips in Japan

Last year, I did very little in regards to rainy season/humidity preparation. My apartment was much smaller, and I didn't own anything in it so I really didn't care if anything got ruined (*cough* futon *cough*). I also had the opportunity to ask the previous tenant how bad the apartment got etc. AND, it really didn't rain that much last year.

This year has been really wet though, so I have been much more pro-active and actually have the time to care about my apartment. In addition, if something gets ruined by mold, I actually have to pay for it to get fixed. I'm also the first tenant in this particular unit, so who knows what the summer will be like in it. So far, it hasn't been bad.

There are plenty of lists of products to use for rainy season online, which I have searched for myself. I thought I would show and vouch for the products I ended up using.

First:

ドライペットスキット (Dry Pet Skitto)

 This product basically absorbs moisture out of the air. This is best used in smaller spaces or enclosed rooms that don't get much fresh air. I bought them at Ito-Yokado for about ¥200 (a 3-pack). You only remove the foil-seal on the top, NOT the white part. I keep one in my laundry room and another in my main room. The one in my main room has more water probably because I have had to do a lot of inside drying of laundry. In the pictures below, you can see that water has been collecting in the bottom part:





 Next this is something I love. Mosquito coils. This particular brand comes in this smaller size with about ten coils and a larger size with about fifty (?). Honestly, I don't use them that often mainly because they are not the healthiest. I only use them on days where I can leave my windows open. I don't have a mosquito problem, but these are apparently pretty effective in killing other little bugs too. I tend to get little tiny gnats in the house that manage to squeeze through my screen. I like to think that if I have the smell around my place mosquitoes will run away.

Oh, there's my moisture absorbing box in the corner! Woo!

Some other things I do to prevent mold and bugs: CLEAN FREQUENTLY! I hate and detest cleaning. I'm not talking about picking things up off the floor and keeping things neat. I mean actually doing more than vacuuming. Hell I don't even have a vacuum (it's on the to-do list, I use a swiffer-like thing for now). During fall/winter/spring, I like to do serious cleaning (power cleaning as I call it) about once a week. I save it for a Saturday morning to get it out of the way, leaving the rest of my day free. I get out the cleaning products and actually sanitize the place when I do this. Then the rest of the week I just keep things neat. However, I have stepped up the game and started doing the sanitizing about two-three times a week for the summer. I don't even leave dishes in the sink overnight. Mold grows too damn fast and bugs are attracted to dirty, cluttered things. I hate power cleaning, and it takes about an hour to clean the whole place, but I hate bugs even more. I like to think things have paid off as I have only seen one spider, and a few small gnats, and one small, black bug so far.

I also let the light in on sunny days and air the place out. I beat the carpet once a week, leave it in the sun. I think letting fresh air into your place is super important. Don't miss a trash day. Since there is no central air, when you go out for the day and come home, nothing is worse than a stinky trash bin. It attracts bugs and just isn't fun. So even if my bin isn't full, I just take out the trash and sacrifice a bag. Maybe not the most "environmentally-friendly" but I prefer to be safe.

I think that's about it in terms of what I do to stay bug and mold free. Of course there are many other products, methods, etc. out there (for example those black charcoal bits that people put in the corners of closets), but I wanted to express my opinions on the matter.

-Rizu

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