In this GIF from the cleaning montage in Kiki's Delivery Service, she's seen cleaning her flat by flooding the floor and scrubbing it down:

Kiki cleaning the floor

Is this a real way to clean wood flooring? Isn't that damaging to the wood? Wouldn't the water seep through the cracks? Isn't she above the bakery?

These are silly questions to ask but I am curious if this is a real technique or artistic choice of exaggerated animation.

  • 1
    There's a Q&A about this but in Japanese, though I'm still a bit skeptical about their answers without researching further (also, currently I don't have enough time, so anyone feel free to expand the detail from the source if it helps).
    – Aki Tanaka
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 14:46
  • There is a trope in anime called "Sprint Scrubbing" where the characters doesn't uses mops to clean the floor, instead uses a wet towel and sprint across the floor to scrub it. Maybe, the floor is pre-wetted for comfortable and smooth scrubbing. This trope is commonly seen in Ghibli movies like "My Neighbour Totoro", "Spirited away" and "From Up the poppy hill". So, there might be a connection between this action and Ghibli movies. Commented Jan 8, 2021 at 14:46

1 Answer 1


She is scrubbing the floor. It is a very common way to clean floors -- a search engine turned up many images showing people doing just this for "scrub the floor." Given that the water is on it only in the short term, the damage is not extensive even over many years.

It can leak, like any other water spill, if the floor is not watertight.

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