Looking after your gi is incredibly important. If nothing else, how you feel in your gi will affect your performance. And of course, hygiene and smell are important factors too. A gi needs to be washed regularly to prevent sweat stains building up.
How well are you looking after your gi?
First up, turn your gi inside out before you pop it in the washing machine. This will extend its lifetime. When you wash your gi, it’s very important that you set your machine to a cold wash cycle. Although you can use regular laundry detergents, it’s important that you avoid using bleach or any detergents that contain bleach. Whilst bleach might be tempting, the condition of your gi will deteriorate. To help get rid of blood and sweat stains, add 1 to 1½ cups of white vinegar to the wash.
Warm or hot washes tend to shrink a gi, even if you have bought one that is ‘pre-shrunk’. Warm water also has a tendency to set stains. This, therefore, explains why popping a gi in a dryer is definitely not a good idea. Rather hang up your gi to air dry. Place your kimono and pants on separate hangers to quicken the drying process.
In fact, looking after your gi means hanging it up to air dry after every training session. This will not only help to dry it before your next session, but it will also eradicate some of the smell. If you are training several times a week, it makes sense to own more than one gi. This way, you will always have a dry gi available for your next training session.
Try this amazing trick once a month…
Once a month, give your gi a really thorough wash. Fill a container with ¾ water and ¼ white vinegar. Turn your gi inside out, and soak it in this mixture for a minimum of 4 to 6 hours. Remove your gi, and put it in the washing machine with 2 to 3 tablespoons of baking soda. Run a cold water cycle with regular detergents as per the steps above.
Roll. Cold wash. Air dry. Repeat.