Our friends at Spanish language BJJ website Pasando Guardia, made an excellent article about how and how often to wash your BJJ gi.
We have received some messages asking about the best way to wash a kimono. It is nothing so fancy, but we do have some useful recommendations.
First of all, cleanliness if essential on the mats, because it shows the respect we have towards our partners and ourselves, and let’s face the truth, it’s much better to roll with someone who’s wearing a clean kimono than with someone who’s wearing a smelly one. We know that there are people who train 3 times a week, 5 per week or up to twice a day, every situation is different. Also the fact that you have a washing machine at home or have to go to somewhere to do the laundry plays a role in this.
Of course it would be great to have several kimonos to wear a clean one every time we train, but that’s not always possible. Ideally, wash your kimono after each hard session, speaking of hard training I mean you leave it with your kimono drenched in sweat.
Every time we train we get in contact with germs that are on the mat, carried by our partners, ourselves and others which you don’t even want to know. For example, there are those who go to the bathroom barefoot and come back to the mats(please don’t do it). Then we can say that washing it every time we use it is the cleanest and safest. If you can not wash it after each class, you can use it again one more time, you will not become a mutant or anything, so what we recommend in this case is that once you use it, to hang it dry, preferably in the sun or if possible use a dryer as the heat will kill many of those germs.
Using it more than twice and not getting it washed, sincerely falls within the unhygienic category, and if you do not believe me, ask the most sincere guy of your gym if your kimono is pleasantly smelling.
Personally I rotate between 6 kimonos and I train usually 5 times a week. At the weekends I try to wash them together in two rounds and so this way I can always use a clean one every training.
It’s recommended that you wash your coloured kimonos separated from the whites(if you do it together you risk having your white kimono stained and the coloured ones with its colour fading).
Some people use apple cider vinegar, personally I do not use it unless it’s the first time I wash the kimono when it’s a coloured one. That serves to set the colour on the material or if it happened for you to forget and leave the kimono for 3 days in your backpack after using it to help with the odor.
The safest and easiest way is simple, wash it with cold water, use detergent (liquid) and a little fabric softener, after washing lay it out to dry, if you use a dryer is likely that your kimono shrinks the first 3 times, after those 3 times, not anymore. If you don’t want it to happen then dry it at room temperature.
The use of chlorine is not recommended because of fabric damage, 99% of kimonos are made of 100% cotton and are going to be damaged after every use of chlorine in them.
Hey, putting deodorant or a cologne in it doesn’t count as washing!
You must make the effort and not necessarily for the others, do it yourself, take care of your skin because from there happen infections that can be severe, but that is another issue that we will bring in the next article.