The Best Ways to Maintain and Care For your Karate Uniform\nYour uniform, or gi, is important no matter what type of martial art you participate in. It helps to keep you safe in training and also helps you to move effectively while training in your martial art. With this in mind, a martial artist should be very keen when choosing their martial arts uniform. They should take their time and do thorough research before opting to make a purchase.\nFar too many martial artists just pick a gi out of a magazine or choose recklessly and it’s not until years down the road that they realize what they had been missing. For example, when I was first told to pick up a karate uniform for my first karate lessons with my uncle, I just grabbed a random one off the first website that I came to. I had no idea what to look for. And believe me, it wasn’t cheap!\nThe worst part is that it ripped and wore out complete in the first few months. I didn’t take any heed to durability and maintenance of the uniform. This is why I wanted to write up a quick guide to helping you care for your uniform.\n1. Take your karate gi out of your gym bag as soon as you get home. Airing it out will be the first step in helping to prevent and get rid of sweat stains.\n2. Don’t throw them in the wash right away. Start the wash, but keep the lid open to let the gi have a good fifteen to twenty minutes to soak and loosen up the dirt and grime before you wash it. You will notice this will make a difference\n3. After the fifteen minutes are up, you can begin the wash. I like to use cold water to make sure that my gi doesn’t shrink. I never use bleach because, while it will get a white gi really white, it damages the fabric and will ruin it over time. I also make sure that I wash my gi with other clothes of the same color to reduce the friction of the gi against the washing machine. This keeps the fabric and the stitches strong.\n4. Once the wash is finished, I like to hang it to dry. This again keeps it from shrinking. I hang mine to dry indoors in a well-ventilated area. If the area is poorly ventilated, the gi can get moldy and hold bad smells. If you put the gi out in the sun, the color of the patches and material will fade quickly.\n5. Make sure that you do wash your belt from time to time for hygiene purposes and always fold your belt and uniform properly after washing and drying. Many instructors take a sloppy or wrinkly uniform as disrespect to yourself, your uniform, your instructor, and your dojo. By following these steps to washing and maintaining your karate uniform, you will find it has not only save you a ton of time, but a lot of stress as well.\nEnjoy your training!