The Uniform: How to Wash It

The Uniform

The traditional Taekwondo uniform is white.  That color has remained the same from the start.  The one challenge everyone has with washing the uniform is trying to make sure it doesn’t shrink and making sure it doesn’t get discolored.  This post shall give you pointers to help make sure your uniform doesn’t go to waste as a result of one bad washing.

First of all, your belt is part of your uniform.  Do not wash your belt.  This is the only part of your uniform you should leave alone.  The reason for this is tradition.  When you train, you put your blood, sweat, and tears into it.  Some of this is absorbed by your belt.  Over time, your belt will get dark.  In the olden days, this is how people got their black belt.

Of course if you used your white belt and waited for it to turn black, I would imagine a strong odor would be emanating from it.  Fortunately, in modern times, we periodically replace belts with the appropriate color soon after passing a promotion test.  Bottom line, don’t wash your belt.

Your uniform is another matter.  It is white, and normally you would wash whites in hot water, and introduce from bleach at the same time to help keep it white.  Unfortunately, uniforms made of 100% or even those with 50% cotton, tend to shrink when washed in hot water.  Here are some suggestions on dealing with Taekwondo’s white uniforms:

  • Anything with 50% or higher cotton content should be washed in cold or warm water.  Add bleach if there is no other color that would bleed from the bleach.  This means you probably have to wash them separately from your normal white clothes.
  • Uniforms with a small amount of cotton can be washed in hot water.  They don’t tend to shrink.  Add bleach if necessary to keep it looking white.
If you aren’t sure about the cotton content of your uniforms, just wash them in warm or cold water and add bleach to help turn it white and to help kill germs and bacteria that normal hot washing would clear.
How do you wash your white Taekwondo uniform?  Do you have any tips to share?  If so, please comment below.

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