How to Wash Your Gi (the Right Way)
When you roll, you’ll sweat. The combination of sweat and the cotton fabrics of your gi creates something akin to a petri dish for bacteria. To keep this from happening, let’s discuss how to wash your gi the right way. Because there is a right and a wrong way.
To combat the growth of bacteria and unpleasant smells that come from it, you should wash your gi as often as possible. The number of washings needed to keep a gi clean and fresh could degrade the fabric and make your gi look less than presentable.
What is the Best Way to Wash Your BJJ Gi?
You’ve got yourself a great kimono for BJJ. Now lets keep it awesome, with a few simple routine washing tips:
- Turn the gi inside out before washing. Always.
- Place in the washer.
- Put in the detergent.
- Set the washer to a warm temperature setting (1). (NOT cold)
- Wash on a gentle cycle.
After you have washed your gi, hang it to dry. But not in the sun.
We do not suggest you hang your gi outdoors due to the negative effects of the sun’s UV rays.
Long-term exposure to UV rays can cause your gi to fade and decrease the fabric’s integrity (2).
We will note that how you wash your BJJ gi in a side load washer is the same and for more information, watch this video on how to correctly clean your gi:
Do’s and Don’ts when washing your BJJ Gi
Before washing your gi, you must know some things to do and never do.
- Wash your gi after every practice
- Always hang your gi to dry
- Use warm water to kill any bacteria living on your gi.
- Use a medium grade laundry detergent made for getting out odors.
- Use a dryer unless you are trying to shrink your gi for a better fit.
- Use fabric softener
- Place the gi in hot water
- Use chlorine bleach
Rather than risk ruining a product which could cost $100–200 or more, it makes sense to simply cold wash and line dry your gi every time
Washing your gi is essential to keeping it clean and looking its best. Fortunately, washing your gi is easy and quick. Follow the steps above to ensure your gi stays in great shape even after repeated washings!
Here are the answers to the most common questions about washing your BJJ/Judo Kimono:
It sucks when you purchase a great BJJ Gi and it doesn’t fit. There is no need to worry because there is a solution.
Learning how to shrink your gi is only necessary when your gi does not fit as its BJJ gi sizing chart showed. To shrink your gi, you need to wash it in warm water and let the gi dry. If the gi still doesn’t fit, then place the gi in the dryer on the hot setting. In 10 minute intervals, check your gi for size.
The importance of washing your gi is high in the martial art of BJJ. Due to the actions required in BJJ, there is an increased risk of getting bacteria on your garments. You are getting sweaty and rolling on mats and at risk of getting sick.
BJJ instructors across the nation recommend that students wash their gis after each training session. If you are training every day, you will need to wash your gi every day. Otherwise, wash your gi when required.
You can dry your jiu-jitsu gi in a dryer, but experts do not recommend it. The cotton fabric of your gi will begin to degrade with multiple dryings. The rubber piece in the collar will also get soft and begin to wrinkle.
It is best to wash your jiu-jitsu gi in the washer with cold water and then hang it to dry inside.
- Killing of fabric-associated bacteria in hospital laundry by low-temperature washing – PubMed. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6693789/
- Why does ultraviolet light cause color to fade? | Library of Congress. Retrieved from: https://www.loc.gov/everyday-mysteries/item/why-does-ultraviolet-light-cause-color-to-fade/