I'm always learning new things at this forum! Had no idea about the "reasons" one doesn't wash their belt. I thought folks didn't wash their belts was because it shrank too much (mine did anyway). I've found that if I tie some string to each end after washing, then attach a bungee on each end of the string and re-stretch between two posts or down a banister, letting it air-dry, I get about 3 inches back. I'm sure I'm compromising the threads & weaving in the belt to some degree. I do sweat a lot, but not enough thru my gi that it soaks my belt. I still have to wash it now and again, just not good at handling that "dirty" look. Oh well, so much for tradition. Being so new to Aikido, haven't even found my Ki, let alone able to wash it. And if I ever get to a black belt level, I think I'd want a new belt by then anyway.