One of the first things you need to learn when start Jiu Jitsu is how to properly wash your BJJ gi. After all, you cannot simply wash a BJJ gi the same way you would wash most of your other clothes. As you have probably heard, BJJ gis wear out quickly and even shrink when you do not wash them properly.
After all, your BJJ gi was probably not cheap so I’m guessing you want to keep it as long as possible. Thankfully, washing your BJJ gi is not very complicated once you know how to do it. Just follow
these simple steps on how to wash a gi and keep your gi for a long time. Though I will go through the steps in more detail later I just want to give you a quick answer on how to wash a BJJ gi.
To properly wash your gi you want to start by flipping your BJJ gi inside out both top and bottom and wash with high-quality regular laundry detergent in cold water. Then let your gi hang dry instead of putting it in the dryer.
How To Wash a BJJ Gi In 3 Simple Steps
Here is our quick guide to washing your gi in three simple steps. Later we will discuss drying and getting stains out of your BJJ gi but for now let’s iron out how to wash your gi.
#1 Turn Your BJJ Gi Inside Out Before Washing
The first step to washing your BJJ gi is to turn it inside out and place it in the washing machine. This will ensure that if any damage happens to your gi in the washing machine the majority of it will occur on the inside.
This protects all of the patches and logos that are on the outside of your gi. In turn it will help you keep your gi in good condition for a longer amount of time.
#2 Use High-Quality Laundry Detergent When Washing Gis
After you have turned your gi inside out you are going to want to fill your washing machine with high-quality laundry detergent. You need a laundry detergent that get get the blood and sweat out of your gi that you collected while rolling.
So make sure to use a high quality detergent. My favorite laundry detergent for a BJJ gi is Persil ProClean. Consumer Reports did a study on many dozens of detergents and found Persil Proclean was one of the few that could handle tough stains from body oil and blood.
These are two common stains your will find on your BJJ gi after a hard rolling sessions. So make sure your laundry detergent can handle the all the sweat from BJJ.
#3 Wash Your BJJ Gi In Cold Water
Make sure you wash your BJJ gi in cold water. You never want to do is wash your gi in hot water. Hot water will not only potentially cause your gi to wear out sooner, but it can also cause your BJJ gi to shrink. Most gis will shrink 1-2 inches in the first six months so you want to limit shrinkage as much a possible.
Because of this, it is important to make sure you get the right-sized BJJ gi from the start. Then, make sure the washing machine temperature is set to cold water before you press start. I recommend running your washing machine on a delicate or hand wash cycle.
Should You Use Fabric Softener On A BJJ Gi?
You can also use fabric softener on occasion but honestly, it will probably do more harm than good. But if you want your gi to be softer you can use fabric softener from time to time.
Just note that you are adding extra chemicals that are not really needed. In addition, you never want to use bleach when washing a gi. So be sure that you use a bleach-free softener if you do use one.
Or if you want a natural alternative, many people use baking soda when washing their gi. Baking soda will help to both soften and brighten/whiten the colors of your jiu jitsu gi.
How To Properly Dry Your BJJ Gi After A Wash
Drying your BJJ gi is just as important as washing it. The best way to dry a gi after taking it out of the washing machine is to hang it up and let it air dry. The only unfortunate thing about letting it air dry is that it might be a little stiff at first. However, drying it in the dryer will not only wear it out faster but can also shrink your gi.
That said if you must put it in the dryer because you are short on time, make sure to put it in on a setting with little or no heat. This is usually called air dry, air fluff cycle, or tumble dry on most dryers.
These cycles are better when avoiding damage and shrinkage to your gi. But again, It is still much better to let your gi hand dry.
Another method you can use to help dry out your gi is to put it in front of a fan. This will take some time off of the drying process compared to air drying in say a closet but not as fast as using a dryer.
This is why it is good to have multiple gis instead of just one or even two. This way you are much less likely not to have a clean gi ready to go.
I understand that BJJ gis are not super cheap. However, you can usually find some for a decent price. There are plenty of BJJ gis you can find for around $60-$70 that are decent quality. A good example is the Sanabul Essentials V.2 Ultralight BJJ Gi.
How To Wash Tough Stains Out Of A BJJ Gi
The most important thing to do if you get a stain is to address the stain as soon as possible. One of the most common stains for a BJJ gi is a bloodstain. It is much easier to get stains out of gis if you take action before the liquid drys.
If you get some blood on your gi the best thing to use immediately is hydrogen peroxide. Apply some 3% percent hydrogen peroxide directly to the bloodstain and then rinse with cold water. This method works best when the bloodstain is very fresh. Then wash your BJJ gi as soon as you get home.
If you need to wait until you get home another good option would be white vinegar. Simply pour a small amount of white vinegar directly on the stain. Let the vinegar soak for 10 minutes then blot it with a towel. You may need to do this a few times. Afterward, wash your gi immediately.
Washing Stains Out Of A Gi Without Bleach
Since I have suggested not using bleach when you wash your gi, I wanted to give you some other options for keeping your white gis white. The two ingredients I would suggest using on occasion are baking soda and vinegar.
When using baking soda simply add ½ a cup to your normal wash. Baking soda will not only help whiten your gi but it will also help to remove odors. For vinegar use one cup or a bit less white vinegar to your regular load. Both these ingredients not only help white and remove odors, but they will also help in removing unwanted stains.
Another common household item that can help whiten your gi is hydrogen peroxide. For this simply add ½ cup of 3% peroxide to your regular load. This is especially good for removing certain stains. Two examples common to BJJ gis are mildew and bloodstains.
Lastly, you can also use Oxiclean to help whiten your gi. This is a straightforward option, and you can find Oxiclean at most stores.
Simply follow the instructions on the Oxiclean container. Anyway, make sure to follow these steps to keep your gi clean! After all, more people will want to roll with you if you are not the dirty guy/gal from class.
How Often Should You Wash A BJJ Gi?
Washing your BJJ gi after every use is very important. That is at least if you want to make friends at your BJJ academy. Coming into class with stinky and dirty gear is very bad etiquette. An unwashed BJJ gi can also contribute to staph infections and ringworm.
This is also true for your body as well. Make sure you are keeping up with basic hygiene and wash your gear before you come to class.
Never Come To Class With An Unwashed Gi
It’s nothing personal but no one wants to roll around with someone who stinks. I’m not saying that you need to shower right before every class everyday. But you should have at least showered that morning. I understand that many people are coming straight from work and do not have the time to stop by the house first.
Some people even suggest that it is not a good idea to shower right before class because it can remove protective bacteria from your body.
Truthfully I’m not educated on the matter to know whether or not that is true. But with that said, make sure you at least showered that morning and definitely shower if you are coming to class after a workout session.