There are several ways to wash a hakama. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
[sociallocker]I know it’s a pain, but hand washing is by far the best way to preserve a hakama. Washing by hand, if done properly, will preserve both the color and the pleats of the hakama. And if done thoroughly, hand washing can get your hakama just as clean or even cleaner than machine washing. The only problem with hand washing is that it’s a major pain in the butt. But if you’re up for a little exercise and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, hand washing is the way to go.
The washing machine is a godsend. I’m super lazy when it comes to household chores, especially ones that involve water. Even the tag on the clothing says “Hand wash only” I just toss it in the washer and let ‘er spin. While I don’t recommend using the washing machine to wash your hakama, I have been known to run it through the tumbler a time or two. Of course, my hakama is black, not the traditional indigo. If you have a real indigo-dyed hakama, do not wash it in the washing machine. Please hand wash it, or, if you absolutely must wash it in the washing machine, make sure you wash it separately as it will bleed through many washes.
Learn how to wash your hakama in the washing machine.[/sociallocker]
Dry cleaning your hakama
Ah, dry cleaning… The name evokes the utmost care of the finest of clothing. But is dry cleaning really all it’s cracked up to be? In fact, the high temperatures and harsh chemicals used in dry cleaning can cause significant damage to your hakama. What’s more, few if any dry cleaners understand the significance and importance of the hakama’s pleats. More than one dry cleaner has carelessly pressed the pleats incorrectly and left a martial artist or two with lop-sided creases. Be sure your dry cleaner understands how to handle the pleats.