A uniform is a very important part of martial arts.
By having people all wear the same design of uniform, it encourages the idea that they are all equal and striving towards the same goal – which will motivate them to practice and practice until they’re experts.
On top of that, having a clean uniform is a way to reflect your pride in the sport. The uniform for karate and jiu jitsu, as well as judo, is known as a “gi”. But how should you wash your gi?
Well, we’ve got the answers for you! In our handy guide below, you’ll find exact instructions as to how to wash your gi, making sure that it remains in good quality for when you next use it for your martial art of choice. Read on!
What Is A Gi?
As we’ve mentioned, a gi is the name given to the uniform that is used in a variety of martial arts – such as karate and jiu jitsu. Visually, it is a robe/jacket and a pair of trousers.
They are commonly worn in white, but can sometimes come in other colors. An important part of the uniform, on top of those, is the inclusion of a belt.
The belt often denotes the rank and level of the person wearing it, with lots of different colors and designs that reflect the skill.
Preparing Your Gi For A Wash
Before you wash your gi, you will need to do a few things to make sure that it is in the right condition for washing. These will help you get a more effective wash later down the line.
First off, you will need to air out your gi, allowing all the odors and moisture to naturally come out. If you wash it with them still trapped, they may take longer to be removed.
Next, you want to give your gi a good look over for stains. These may not come out too easily, depending on their strength and age, in the wash. For that reason, you’ll want to treat them individually first.
To begin with, check your gi label to find out what stain remover is safe to use. Then buy some and apply the correct amount to each stain, brushing if need be.
Then take your gi and turn it inside out, which will help protect its more delicate features from the force of the washing machine.
Lastly, it is worth presoaking the gi in order to get rid of stains even more thoroughly. If you have blood or paint stains, use cold presoak water, but hot water will be best for muck and dirt.
You can use a washing machine for this presoaking, or you can use a large tub and do it manually by hand.
The benefit of a washing machine speaks for itself in terms of effort, but also some will have specialized settings just right for what you’re doing.
If the washer doesn’t have a soaking cycle, then let it fill with water and stop the cycle yourself.
Some people will add extra stain removers when they presoak. These can be very handy, but you must make sure that they are safe for your gi, and will not damage the material beyond repair. Always make sure to check the label.
Washing Your Gi
Go to the settings on your washing machine, and select cold. It is essential that you do not use hot or warm water.
These are known to make gi’s shrink and grow smaller, which is far from ideal when wearing them. If your washer has no cold setting, simply use the coldest available temperature.
Next, go and buy an odor neutralizer, which you should then add to the washer water. This should help to remove any smells and stenches from your uniform, which is always a must.
Odor neutralizers include liquids like white distilled vinegar or non-chlorine bleach. Be very careful not to use chlorine bleach.
Chlorine bleach can remove color from the patches sewn onto your uniform, even if they’re white, as well as potential yellowing of the overall material.
Once that’s done, you’re ready for the washing cycle. Add detergent to your washing machine, making sure to only use a moderate amount.
It is worth avoiding things like fabric softener, even if you want a soft touch, because they can make them take longer to dry and add nasty residue to its coat.
With all that taken care of, simply put your properly prepared gi into the washer, and turn a cold water setting on.
Drying Your Gi
Now that your gi is washed, it’s time to dry it.
Hang it up on a drying rack that’s placed far from damp areas. Do not use a tumble drier, because it will wear out and tear the fabric. If you use a drying cabinet, use only the lowest heat setting to protect the material.
If the process is taking too long for you, then you can use a small electric fan. This will move left and right, letting air circulate around the gi, getting rid of the moisture.
You can also use a dehumidifier, which will also get rid of the moisture and humidity.
Timing is still important, and it’s a good idea to regularly check the gi to see how it’s doing, allowing you to spot problems. If it’s still soaking, then you can turn it around, or switch to another method.
And there you have it! It’s very important to regularly wash your gi, because they can be prone to a lot of sweat and muck stains – and sometimes even blood.
By following our steps, you can keep your gi nice and fresh, and show your pride in your chosen martial art.