However, part of the discipline of being a martial artist is to take excellent care of your gear - regardless if you’re a newbie, or a higher-level rank.
If you think about it, there are several reasons why you should regularly clean your sparring gear. Aside from the obvious reason that it’s part of your training and discipline, you can also chalk up these reasons:
- Practical and Cost-Efficient. Even if your sparring gear is in good shape (let’s face it, if it’s whistlekick gear it probably is) it can still stink. As odors set in, it can become difficult to get them out, which means replacing your sparring equipment. Most of the time, our sparring gear is still well intact and in good physical condition. However, because we don’t clean it well and as often as we should, their odorous nature is enough for us to buy a new one. Instead of throwing away perfectly good sparring gear just because it’s starting to smell funny, try to develop the habit of cleaning everything right after use. This way, it prevents the germs and bacteria from accumulating, causing your gear to become smelly or even itchy.
- Environment-Friendly. Nowadays, we should all start aiming for a sustainable way of living. And this includes avoiding consumerism, accumulating less waste, and being more thoughtful with our use and consumption. This should apply in every aspect of life, down to our simplest choices and habits. Think of it this way, caring for your sparring gear diligently isn’t only benefitting you. But in the grander scheme, you are helping lessen waste by getting the most out of your gear. And this isn’t hard to do if you buy quality training gear like whistlekick’s, which carries the longest warranty in the industry.
- Builds your love for the sport. You know how every time race car drivers wipe their supercars, they envision winning the actual race? That is how passionate martial artists are whenever they are cleaning their sparring gear. This simple practice shows how much you love and value your craft. It builds a strong character that can withstand overwhelming challenges on and off the mat. Wiping your gloves and pads dry isn’t just a cleaning method, it’s a symbol of relentlessness and commitment to the sport that has given so much to your life.
There are simple ways you can make sure that your gear is kept in the best condition. Keeping it clean by using water and a clean towel or cloth will do wonders for the surface of your gear. If you want the ultimate in efficiency, take it in the shower with you after training!
Now, if your equipment has gotten to a point where it has started to smell (no need to be embarrassed as all hardcore athletes experience the same), then it’s best to use a 1:1 ratio of water and white vinegar to get rid of the smell. Then you can leave it to dry in the sun for best results and to remove any residual vinegar smell.
A major no-no that some new martial arts students succumb to is putting gear in the washer or dryer. Whatever the reason may be, just keep in mind that your gear is made with a soft surface that should be dealt with by gentle handwashing and hung to air dry.
And at best, it’s also ideal to develop the habit of cleaning your gear the day you used it. After the sweat has dried out, you can soak your gear for a few minutes to soften the dirt and microbes before wiping the surface and the inside vigorously, albeit carefully.
And, of course, don’t forget to clean out your gear back. Cleaning all of your equipment and then putting it back in a dirty bag is, ultimately, a waste of time. You don’t need to clean it as often as your gear, but you do need to clean it every few weeks.