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Old 07-23-2010, 12:11 PM   #1
chunie
Dojo: Sho Shin Aikido Dojo
Location: Amsterdam
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crisp white gi's

Hi there,

I'm wondering if you do anything extra to keep or revamp gi's the condition you bought them. I know mine turn a pale white after a while and the stains on the insides of the collar, wrists and waist of pants become more and more, well, like yellowish/brownish stains.

Usually I wash them after class either the same evening or the next morning on medium heat with a detergent for white clothing.

I feel like using a light bleach soon to make them turn white again. Bad idea or not?

Thx!
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:53 PM   #2
Shadowfax
 
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Re: crisp white gi's

I wash mine in cold water with regular detergent and a bit of bleach. My original gi is a cheapie lightweight cotton karate gi and its only just beginning to really show wear after a year of being used 3x a week.
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:32 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: crisp white gi's

Bleach if diluted as directed is fine; too strong and it eats the cotton. You could also try old fashioned "bluing" (an optical dye) in the washer water. It is good for keeping whites bright by counteracting the yellowing; however, if you already have extensive yellowing it probably is too late. The staining should have been addressed right from the start. :-(

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:46 PM   #4
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: crisp white gi's

I buy my gi laundry detergent from a neighborhood mercado. We have a very high Hispanic population in our area and I use "Foca" brand on my gi. I was tipped off by a friend who had noted how bright and white socker player's uniforms are and why. I don't recommend bleach at all because it tends to damage the fabric, even if you use it properly.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:51 PM   #5
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Re: crisp white gi's

I'm fairly anal about keeping my gi clean. Shout! stain remover, White Brite, and white vineagar are my laundering tools and they have served me well.

Shout! is a great stain remover to use around the collar or other problem areas each time prior to washing.

White Brite is great for removing yellowing and brightening up dingy whites. Give a good long soak - even overnight - if your gi is in really bad condition.

(http://www.summitbrands.com/brands/WhiteBrite.aspx)

White vinegar does charms as a rinse cycle additive. Helps keep the gi soft, white, and odor free.



Good luck!
...rab
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:30 PM   #6
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
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Re: crisp white gi's

Normal wash with a drop of bleach, I still have two ``white `` Milom Judo gi's that I bought in the late 1950s
Henry Ellis
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:19 PM   #7
heathererandolph
Dojo: Kokikai Aikido Boston
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Re: crisp white gi's

Try rubbing liquid detergent directly into the collar or wherever it is yellowish. Then put into the laundry as usual.

Last edited by heathererandolph : 07-23-2010 at 08:20 PM. Reason: spell error
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:43 AM   #8
Scott Petty
Dojo: Hayal Park Dojo
Location: Adana, Turkey
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Re: crisp white gi's

Quote:
Rabih Shanshiry wrote: View Post
I'm fairly anal about keeping my gi clean. Shout! stain remover, White Brite, and white vineagar are my laundering tools and they have served me well.

Shout! is a great stain remover to use around the collar or other problem areas each time prior to washing.

White Brite is great for removing yellowing and brightening up dingy whites. Give a good long soak - even overnight - if your gi is in really bad condition.

(http://www.summitbrands.com/brands/WhiteBrite.aspx)

White vinegar does charms as a rinse cycle additive. Helps keep the gi soft, white, and odor free.

Good luck!
...rab
Exactly how much white vinegar do you use on one gi? And do you use it every wash?
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:44 AM   #9
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Re: crisp white gi's

Quote:
Scott Petty wrote: View Post
Exactly how much white vinegar do you use on one gi? And do you use it every wash?
When I have a new gi that I want to break in and soften, I put in about 1 - 2 cups of white vinegar to the wash cycle. I repeat the agitation cycle several times and let it soak for a few hours.

For regular maintenance, the white vinegar is typically added to the rinse cycle. About 1/2 cup.

I do this whenever I have the white vinegar on hand and remember. You can certainly do it with every wash with no fear of harming your clothes (much gentler than bleach).

It's a great inexpensive and natural alternative to fabric softener, which can leave residue on the gi and interfere with its moisture absorbing capabilities.

...rab
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:48 AM   #10
chunie
Dojo: Sho Shin Aikido Dojo
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Re: crisp white gi's

Hey all,

Thank you very much for all the input!! I'll try the vinegar thing, I already do the liquid detergent directly on the stains prior before washing.

Any ideas on how much bleach to use? Say I want to wash 2 gi's at ones, how much bleach would you use? How much should I defintately NOT use?

Should have done these things long as soon I started using gi's... let's see how white I can get my gi's again.
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Old 07-24-2010, 02:50 PM   #11
Scott Petty
Dojo: Hayal Park Dojo
Location: Adana, Turkey
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Re: crisp white gi's

Quote:
Rabih Shanshiry wrote: View Post
When I have a new gi that I want to break in and soften, I put in about 1 - 2 cups of white vinegar to the wash cycle. I repeat the agitation cycle several times and let it soak for a few hours.

For regular maintenance, the white vinegar is typically added to the rinse cycle. About 1/2 cup.

I do this whenever I have the white vinegar on hand and remember. You can certainly do it with every wash with no fear of harming your clothes (much gentler than bleach).

It's a great inexpensive and natural alternative to fabric softener, which can leave residue on the gi and interfere with its moisture absorbing capabilities.

...rab
Thanks a lot. I had heard of the practice before but nothing specific. Appreciate you taking the time to break it down for us.
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:54 PM   #12
Shannon Frye
Dojo: Aikido Fellowship of VA / Chesapeake Va
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Re: crisp white gi's

For those who suggest adding white vinegar, doesn't that make the uniform smell like vinegar?

"In the end there can be only one"

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Old 07-25-2010, 10:11 PM   #13
Scott Petty
Dojo: Hayal Park Dojo
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Re: crisp white gi's

Quote:
Rabih Shanshiry wrote: View Post
When I have a new gi that I want to break in and soften, I put in about 1 - 2 cups of white vinegar to the wash cycle. I repeat the agitation cycle several times and let it soak for a few hours.

For regular maintenance, the white vinegar is typically added to the rinse cycle. About 1/2 cup.
One last question and then I swear I'll leave you alone. When you break in a gi with the vinegar on hand; do you wash it in warm or hot water as part of that break in process. Will water temp alter the way the gi comes out in the end with the vinegar added to the mix?

I have one gi that has shrunk a lot with warm water and hot laundry dry. Now I only wash it in cold water and hang dry. I just ordered a new gi and I'm a little hesitant to "break it in" for fear of shrinkage.

~Scott
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:11 PM   #14
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: crisp white gi's

I just wash mine with detergent in cold water. When it gets too worn, I buy a new one

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
~To be a good martial artist is to be good thief; if you want my knowledge, you must take it from me.
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:39 PM   #15
Scott Petty
Dojo: Hayal Park Dojo
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Re: crisp white gi's

Thats what I do with the one I have currently even though I did initially wash it in hot water and machine dried it to break it in.

Might just cold wash the new one from the start if it fits good.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:06 AM   #16
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Re: crisp white gi's

Quote:
Shannon Frye wrote: View Post
For those who suggest adding white vinegar, doesn't that make the uniform smell like vinegar?
You would think - especially since it is added to the rinse cycle. But it doesn't, not at all. Comes out fresh and clean.
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Old 07-26-2010, 08:18 AM   #17
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Re: crisp white gi's

Quote:
Scott Petty wrote: View Post
One last question and then I swear I'll leave you alone. When you break in a gi with the vinegar on hand; do you wash it in warm or hot water as part of that break in process. Will water temp alter the way the gi comes out in the end with the vinegar added to the mix?

I have one gi that has shrunk a lot with warm water and hot laundry dry. Now I only wash it in cold water and hang dry. I just ordered a new gi and I'm a little hesitant to "break it in" for fear of shrinkage.

~Scott
You're right to be cautious - both higher water temperatures and agitation will shrink a gi (so will drying with heat). Vinegar doesn't shrink clothing at all.

The hotter the water, the more the gi will shrink - especially if you run it on the agitation cycle multiple times.

With cold water, the agitation doesn't shrink the gi to nearly the same extent - though it still may a little bit. I've personally never found this to be a problem since a half inch shrinkage in a gi is not usually an issue for me.

So - for a gi that is slightly too large, I'll wash it cold and break it in with the repeated agitation and vinegar. For a gi that is much too large, I'll wash on the hottest cycle and add a pot of almost boiling water to the load as well. I let it agitate several cycles. Then I rinse on hot and throw it in a hot dryer. Sometimes, I need to do this twice or three times to get the shrinkage I need.

If you have a gi that fits you perfectly - then I would baby it. I would probably only break it in with an overnight cold vinegar soak - no extra agitation. Run it in a normal cycle on cold, rinse in cold, and line dry. It may not be a soft as you'd like but better to start off a little too stiff then a little too small. It'll always get softer on the mat.
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