Brazilian jiu-jitsu requires plenty of movements that can cause skin irritation, hence the need for a BJJ rash guard. Using a rashguard a couple of times per week might not seem like a lot, but it can invite all sorts of bacteria, odors, and many other issues you don’t want to deal with. It’s important to take care of your rash guards often.
To wash BJJ rash guards, run them in cold water on a low-tumble cycle with a mild detergent, then hang dry them on a line. Warm water can shrink or warp the rash guard, as can drying it in a laundry machine. You can also handwash a rash guard in cold water, vinegar, and dish soap, then hang dry it.
In this article, we will break down the step-by-step process to wash and care for your BJJ rash guards, how long they last, and how to get the most out of them. We’ll also show you how to eliminate strong, foul odors and how frequently rash guards need to be cleaned.
How Do You Wash and Take Care of a BJJ Rash Guard?
Taking care of your BJJ rash guard can make it last much longer than you might think. Refusing to wash and care for it will make it smell terrible and fall apart. The good news is it’s quite easy to protect the rash guard and keep it looking like it was brand-new. Follow the five-step process below for more details.
- Wash your rash guard in a laundry machine with similar clothing. We recommend steering clear of adding cotton or linen to the cycle since they’re prone to shedding. The last thing you want is a lint-covered rashguard when you remove it from the dryer. Most rashguards are made of stretchy, synthetic materials.
- Use a small amount of mild detergent to prevent discoloration and deterioration. Dyes and powerful formulas can wreak havoc on your BJJ rashguards, so check the description before getting it. You only need about half of the recommended amount to get the best results.
- Always soak your BJJ rash guard in cold water to prevent the fabric from loosening, discoloring, or shrinking. Warm or hot water can damage your rash guard. Printed logos or low-end fabrics are no match for a few hot cycles (or, much worse, the dryer).
- Hang dry the rash guard rather than putting it in the drying machine. It’s best to hang your rashguard and other BJJ clothing out of direct sunlight. The sun can bleach the colors. Synthetic fabrics dry rather quickly, so your rash guard likely won’t need more than an hour or so on the line outside.
- Proper storage of your BJJ gear can make it last much longer. Hang it rather than leaving it crumpled in your gym bag or on the floor. If you don’t want to forget it, you can fold it into a square and set it on top of the bag. Crumpling your BJJ rash guard will leave creases and make it harder to dry.
This quick and simple procedure will make your BJJ rashguard as good as new. No more worrying about your sparring partner smelling the bacteria or sweat dripping off of it! Speaking of which, if traditional washing cycles don’t get rid of the foul odor, you’re not alone. To learn how you can eliminate the infamous rashguard stench, read on.
How Do You Get the Smell Out of Rash Guards?
Are you tired of showing up to the BJJ gym worried about your rashguard smelling gross, used, and worn? Your mind should be focused on improvement, not being self-conscious about potential odors. While funky smells are inevitable with your BJJ gear, you don’t have to let them settle and carry on to the next session.
So, how do you get rid of the smell in your BJJ rash guard?
- Toss the rash guard into a bucket of cold water with a couple of cups of white vinegar. We suggest using cold water for the same reasons mentioned above, but also because it helps the odors escape from the fabric. White vinegar is anti-bacterial and fights countless odors.
- Add a few drops of mild detergent or dish soap. Dish soap is very effective, but don’t use too much, or it’ll be very difficult to rinse out. Whether you use detergent or soap, you should use a fraction of the amount you use in a laundry cycle. There’s a lot less water in a five-gallon bucket to dilute the detergent.
- Scrub the rash guard against itself. This step is crucial because it removes surface debris and bacteria from the fabric. Pay extra attention to sweat stains or drink spills that might’ve discolored the rashguard. Once it looks clean, proceed to the next step in the process.
- Rinse the soap and vinegar off of the fabric. A rinsing cycle is easy if you’re using a five-gallon bucket. Hold the rashguard in the bucket with your hand, dump the dirty water, and fill the bucket with cold or lukewarm water. Agitate the rashguard and repeat this cycle one more time to remove excess suds.
- Store your rash guards with silica packets to prevent mold, bacteria, and mildew. Silica packets prevent moisture from building on your clothes. You can try the Dry & Dry 5-Gram Silica Packets. Toss one of these packets in your gym bag and replace it once per week. Each box comes with 50 silica packs.
Whether you’re using vinegar, dish soap, silica packets, or laundry detergent, it’s important to remove odors from your BJJ rashguards. Not only will your sparring partners thank you for it, but bacterial smells are a sign of long-term damage. Frequent washing cycles will prevent it from becoming an issue.
How Often Should You Wash a BJJ Rash Guard?
You should wash a BJJ rash guard after every use. Whether you train once per week or twice a day, your rashguard needs to be cleaned; Otherwise, it can grow bacteria that ruins its durability, color, smell, and more. Washing your rash guard and other BJJ equipment is an integral part of practicing the art.
Keeping your BJJ gear clean is one of the most important things you can do to prevent ringworm and staph infections at your gym. Clean rash guards help keep you and your training partner safe.
If you’re worried about wasting water or not having enough time to wash your BJJ rash guard, we suggest getting a few of them. This method will let you toss all of them in the same laundry cycle, reducing your washing frequency to once per week or so. It’s also very effective if you use a five-gallon bucket to handwash the rashguards.
Note: If you use several rashguards before washing them, it’s important to keep them stored with silica packets to reduce the ambient humidity. Sweat and bacteria can ruin your rashguards when they’re stored in a laundry bin. You can soak them in cold water after using them to remove excess sweat.
Tips to Make a Rash Guard Last Longer
If you want to save money and keep your rash guards lasting for a long time, you’re in the right place. Some people replace their BJJ gear far too often, sometimes every 6 to 12 months. If your rash guard doesn’t last at least a couple of years, there are improvements to be made.
Let’s explore what you can do to get the most longevity out of your BJJ rash guard.
Wash the Rash Guard Inside-Out
Turning a rashguard inside-out will stop the dyes from leaching, which is a significant sign of aging fabric. You can use this tip for almost any clothes in your wardrobe. Another reason it’s best to turn the rash guard inside-out before washing is most of the sweat comes from inside the clothing rather than the outside.
Clean It Regularly
Don’t let your rash guard get gross and funky before washing it. You shouldn’t need to wait for your gym partner to complain to know it’s time to toss it in the laundry machine. Following our recommendation to wash it after each BJJ session, you’ll have no problem keeping your rash guard looking, feeling, and smelling fresh.
Choose the Best Washing Ingredients
It might be tempting to use whatever you have at home to wash your BJJ rash guards. Unfortunately, this is a costly mistake that can ruin a rash guard long before it should’ve been thrown in the trash. Harsh soaps and detergents can loosen the fabric, causing strings to pull out of it while the colors fade away.
Preserving your rash guard starts with proper washing cycles and ends with storage. If you follow the tips for storage and cleaning, you’ve done everything you can to care for your BJJ rash guard. Many people find it easy to make their gear last for many years, saving time, money, headaches without creating funky odors at the BJJ gym.
BJJ rash guard care doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. As long as you follow our suggestions to wash it after each use (or at least every other use), you’ll have no problem making the rashguard last several years.
Rash guards are prone to growing bacteria, mildew, and other gross substances. Proper care increases their longevity, appearance, and durability. Handwashing is typically less abrasive, but it’s not always the most practical method. Choose whichever solution you believe will keep you committed.