Before answering your question on how to wash muay thai hand wraps, it is essential to speak a little about muay thai and the hand wrappers used. Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is the national sport of Thailand, which has evolved over two thousand years. The first Muay Thai was fought in Thailand, around the mid-eighteenth century. The “Art of Eight Limbs” for its utilization of beautifully coordinated movements of fists, elbows, shins, and knees has been recognized as an art of warfare. It spread to the other parts of the world after World War I and is present, one of the most potent forms of kickboxing. The hand wraps form the most essential and integral part of this form of martial art. They are used both as weapons and ad shields. The types of these hand wraps have evolved, along with the way they are used. This article guides you on how to wash muay thai hand wraps.
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Brief History of Muay Thai Hand Wraps:
Earlier, wraps were made of hemp ropes and used by a fighter to protect their hands and wrists, thereby inflicting the most damage while punching their opponents. The ancient Muay Boran fighters would place knots of the hemp ropes near their knuckles while only wrapping their forearms to protect themselves from serious injury.
They had the habit of immersing the ropes in water after wrapping their arms and fists completely, which would later become harder and act as both a better shield and weapon. Did it serve as a way to clean their wraps, or did they know how to wash muay thai hand wraps, for real? This practice was also known as “muay kard chuck” or “muay kaad chuek”. In the 1930s, after World War I, a more modernized form of gloves was introduced. Around that time, at the Suan Khoolab School, was built the first permanent boxing stadium. Even then, although better than initially, the gloves were not as good or modernized as the ones the fighters presently use.
They still had to wrap their arms and wrists with hemp and cotton. Mongkongs (or, headbands) and pra-jiats (or, armbands) were used to shield their heads and biceps. Legends say that sometimes the hemp cloth would be soaked in the glass. Was glass the only answer to how to wash muay thai hand wraps? Perhaps. Leather bindings were used as well. Gradually with international recognition, formal rules were introduced after World War II. Gloves utilized in boxing with an additional hard-cover groin protector replaced the traditional hemp ropes and other forms of wrapping.
Present Day Muay Thai Wraps:
Unlike the traditional wraps that focused majorly on being more of a weapon and less of a shield, the present-day muay thai fighters use MMA gloves, which they wear under or before wrapping their wrists with ropes. The steps on how to wash muay thai hand wraps depend entirely on the type used. Here are the three most commonly used muay thai hand wraps used all over Thailand and generally by every muay thai fighter:
- Cotton cloth wraps are cost-efficient, reusable, and are widely available concerning variable sizes. These are used extensively all over Thailand.
- Tape and gauze: Although these are the most protective, light, and come in variable sizes, wrapping them is time-consuming, often requires assistance, and cannot be reused.
- Elastic bandage: This is the most stretchable. This is of Mexican style and is as commonly used as the cotton wraps.
Steps You Should Follow While Washing Your Muay Thai Hand Wraps.
Do not know how to wash muay thai hand wraps? We are here to assist you! Generally, they are made of breathable cotton, are durable, usually 180 inches long, and last more than five years, if properly maintained.
- Rinse after regular use: After every use, rinse them quickly so that they do not have a bad odor. This is just a preliminary process.
- Close the Velcro: The hooks attached to it will ruin everything involved in the process of washing. Unwrap them and close the velcro. Rinse in warm water. Rinse them in lukewarm water (not hot water, that will create a blunder) to get all your sweat off. Add your regular detergent and soak them for 2 to 3 hours.
- Use a garment bag, if you prefer machine wash: If you are still confused and do not know how to wash muay thai hand wraps using a washing machine, here is the answer. Stuff the garment bag with your wraps along with other regular clothes. After the first round of washing is done, take out your regular clothes, put the wraps in the garment bag, and go for the second round of washing. You can use your regular detergent.
- Hang dry and roll up: If you are using a Mexican style elastic bandage, you can usually hang dry them as they do not wrinkle like the cotton cloth wraps. Do not expose them to direct sunlight and DO NOT IRON THEM! For a cotton cloth wrap, after they dry up, roll them up, with a rubber band if necessary, so that they do not shrink and wrinkle.
- Use a sports cleaning spray: After they are dry, you can use a sports cleaning shower as these will make your wrappers smell excellent and fresh. Do this only when you know how to wash muay thai wraps as well as dry them up properly.
- Store them in a proper place: When they are dehydrated, roll them up and store them in a precise, clean, and dry bag or shelf or storage. That way, you are good to go!
- Wash them properly after using them five times: If you can have a proper wash after every use, that is brilliant. If you are unable to do so, rinse them after every use, and you must wash them properly (with detergents) with your hands or in a washing machine after using them five times. Things you should not do:
It is not just enough to know how to wash muay thai hand wraps, but also certain things need to be strictly followed.
- Do not Febreze them, be it your wraps or gloves.
- Do not iron your wraps.
- Do not use strong detergents with more concentration of sodium bicarbonate. Mild detergents are recommended.
- Do not store your unwashed wraps either in your gym bags or inside your gloves.
Why Should You Wash Your Hand Wraps?
It is good to follow a hygienic schedule. The bad odor and disease-causing germs in your unwashed wraps might cause skin allergies and other health hazards. If you do not want your wraps to lose their reusability, you should take proper care of them and maintain them. A clean, bright wrap with fresh smell always wins against a smelly, wrinkled, and unwashed wrap.
Hopefully, now you know how to wash muay thai hand wraps. The steps and processes are quite easy to follow if necessary restrictions are kept in mind. It is as essential to maintaining proper hygiene as it is to keep oneself fit and robust. While training young people, one should teach them to take appropriate care of their necessary belongings too. One good habit goes a long way!