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How to wash my Hakama and Gi?

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  • How to wash my Hakama and Gi?

    Ok, so I err, finally got a hakama and gi. It's kind of the "someone abadoned it and I got to keep it" variety. So it needs a good washin.

    Thing is, there are no instructions! It just says "made in Taiwan".

    My sensei said to...do something wierd. Put it in the shower and step on it or something odd like that. But my bath tubs kind of gross. I'm going to try to clean it (again) but... stepping on it just doesnt seem right...

    Then theres the "throw it in the washing machine" option, as another person suggested. However, the hakama has that hard part (kind of carboard like? What is it really made of? And would it survive the washing machine even with cold water?)

    The hakama is made of polyester and rayon. I'm not sure what the gi is made of...I'm also going to have to iron the pleets in the hakama.

    Lastly, should I hand wash it instead? Again, this requires either cleaning the bathtub (again) or the sink (again). But it may not fit in the sink... plus it's kinda more work...

    Thanks! And sorry for not being around as much, I'm trying to lay off the computer addiction!

    Martial Arts Girl

  • #2
    Wash them in a clothes washer with warm water. Be sure not to overload. I tend to air dry on hanger (a skirt hanger is just the thing for hakama), then tumble dry when they are almost there. I find that some clothes line clips are great to hold pleats in place while drying on the hanger; touch up with an iron if needed, though polyester is pretty forgiving on this front.

    John

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    • #3
      Use cold water for the keikogi unless you want it to shrink. Don't use detergent-based soap. Also use the search function here, there are a number of threads on this subject.

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      • #4
        I tried the search feature but I haven't found anything about washing hakamas and gis yet. I did find some interesting threads about why women wear white hakama/gi though.

        Also, if I don't use detergent based soap, what should I use?

        I am thinking about putting it in the washing machine all by itself... or rather, just the gi and the hakama together. Also, won't the dye come out? (I have to check to see if it's real indigo dye or not) And the hard thingie on the back of the hakama won't get ruined if I throw it in the commerical washing machine?

        ~Martial Arts Girl

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        • #5
          I use the gentle cycle, cold water, and air dry using the typical hangar/clothes pin method for the hakama. Gi same but no clothes pins. after it is dry I tumble the gi in the dryer on air dry only (no heat) to soften the gi up after washing.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MartialArtsGirl View Post
            Also, if I don't use detergent based soap, what should I use?
            Woolite is one brand of non-detergent soap.
            Also, won't the dye come out?
            Not for tetron hakama. If your keikogi is indigo dyed, then yes it will come out, in gobs if it is brand new. I recommend running a load of jeans afterwards. Even then, you probably want to wipe out the tub.
            And the hard thingie on the back of the hakama won't get ruined if I throw it in the commerical washing machine?
            It's OK, use gentle cycle. And don't wash your hakama too often - it's the keikogi that gets dirtiest as the hakama sits overtop.

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            • #7
              Yes, put it in the washing machine on a cool wash. I just use the rinse cycle for the hakama(but then i'm not a sweaty betty) Just make sure you hang the hakama up to dry on one of those skirt/clip type hangers, and make a bit of an effort to arrange the pleats in the right place while its damp to avoid too much ironing.

              Alternatively you could wait for a snowfall to coincide with a full moon, then lay it out in the snow over night, then sit up and contemplate the cleaning process. That could work too.

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              • #8
                Save yourself some hassle and just get it dry cleaned.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MartialArtsGirl View Post
                  It's kind of the "someone abadoned it and I got to keep it" variety. So it needs a good washin.
                  Originally posted by orajen View Post
                  Save yourself some hassle and just get it dry cleaned.
                  I venture to say most of us don't dry clean our gi and hakama.

                  I wash my hakama in the tub with cold water as well; washing machine with tetron gi.

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                  • #10
                    First, thoroughly clean both your sink and your bathtub. Then, wash your dogi and hakama in the washer, cold water, gentle cycle as Neil said, and hang it with the pleats well pinned to dry. Washing will stiffen cotton, that's what your dogi is probably made of, but since yours is used it shouldn't stiffen too badly. If it does come out too stiff, do as MikeW suggested and throw it in an unheated dryer cycle for a bit to soften it up.

                    Easy! Well, except for the cleaning the sink and bathtub parts.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill View Post
                      Use cold water for the keikogi unless you want it to shrink ...
                      Neil's right on this - mine's old enough to be done shrinking at this point ...

                      J

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                      • #12
                        Maybe it's old school, but the handwashing by filling the tub and stepping on it is the way to go in my opinion. The gi doesn't matter so much, but a folded hakama that gets water squashed through it keeps its pleats all nice and neat. It's minimal work, you don't lose your pleats, and it cleans just as well as a machine would.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sirius1906 View Post
                          I venture to say most of us don't dry clean our gi and hakama.
                          True. The guys at my dojo made fun of me when I brought mine in in the bag from the dry cleaner, but it did come out very nice.

                          But I'm giving it up for monetary reasons now anyway and going back to the hand wash in the tub mode.

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                          • #14
                            Washing Gi & Hakama

                            The advice my Sensei gave me & which I follow is to hand wash my 100% cotton Hakama first time I washed it, you should use cool water in the bath tub with about 1/2 a 500ml bottle of White Vineger mixed in. This works really well as it both washes and deoderises the Hakama. I wash my double layer Gi the same way.I then let them drip dry over the tub, finally letting them air dry in a shady spot. Takes a while, but my gear still looks new & smells great. Only prob is that the first time, so much Indigo dye came out I ended up with blue hands & a blue ring around the tub which took ages to scrub off- Character building I suppose.... Subsiquent washes can be done in warm water using the same amount of White Vineger. Hope this helps

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                            • #15
                              Deodorizes? I love the indigo smell!

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