Shinai World

Cleaning your Kendo bogu – cleaning the Men 面 (w/ video)

Is not long after buying your first bogu that you start wondering how to clean it without damaging it. I decided to research a bit on cleaning my bogu and gave a try some of the methods I have found in order to get rid of some of the sweat stains and make my Kendo bogu look and smell better.

So here is my experience.

First I used The following video to get an idea on how to start cleaning Bogu,


As I mention in a previous Bogu cleaning post I stayed away from using soap this time.

Here is a step by step of how I clean this Men


  •   First based on the video I allowed the Men to soak in water, Unlike the video I did not use soap and only for about 5 minutes (I made sure that the mengane and leather surrounding it stayed away from the water).
  •  Using a soft brush I scrubbed off all the build up from the inside and outside. I brushed the Men on the same direction of the stitching.
  • I rinsed repeatedly the Men with clean water  as I kept brushing some of the harder to get areas with a smaller brush.

After the wash part, the biggest challenge came which was the drying of the Men.

First I thought of using one of these dryers  Since I used them successfully before to dry Kote, but I decided to let it air dry specially for the amount of water still within the fabric.

After allowing the Men to drain, I used paper towels and newspapers and clamp them to the Men-dare to absorb some of the water. I hung the Men close to an air vent and placed a small fan also close by, periodically I used a hair dryer on the warm setting to speed the process and changed the paper towels and newspaper consistently when they were damped.

It took about 2 days for the Men to dry, and I can say that it made an incredible difference on the look and the smell of the Men.

bogu cleaning

after cleaning

I wouldn’t suggest to wash the men regularly, but after each practice I make sure to wipe the sweat off from the inside of the Men with a tenugui and I do the same for the inside of my Kote.

Do you have any other ways you clean your bogu? write me at Check our previous Posts, and please share and like our Facebook page and subscribe to our news letter to stay in touch. Thank you for reading and I hope this was useful!.

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Sizes based on US standards