How To Wash A BJJ Gi | A Simple Guide To Keeping Your Gi Clean

how to wash a bjj gi

When you are new to Brazilain jiu-jitsu you probably do not know exactly how to take care of your new BJJ gi. Your gi was probably not cheap so I’m guessing you want to take as good care of it as possible. Thankfully, washing your BJJ gi is not very complicated. That said, there are some very basic concepts you will want to stick to to make sure your gi will last a long time.  Though later in the article I will go over the step-by-step guide on how to wash a BJJ gi. Here is the quick answer. 

How do you wash a BJJ Gi? The quick answer is that you want to flip your gi inside out both top and bottom and wash with high-quality regular laundry detergent in cold water. For best results let your gi hang dry instead of putting it in the dryer. 

Washing your BJJ gi after every use is very important. That is at least if you care to make any new friends at your BJJ academy. Coming into class with stinky and dirty gear is very bad etiquette. 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. 

It’s nothing personal but no one wants to roll around with someone who stinks. I’m not saying that you need to shower before every class. I understand that many people are coming straight from work and do not have the time. 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. Now that I got that out of the way let’s get back to the topic at hand. That is washing your BJJ gi. I should also note that keeping your gi’s clean is much easier if you have more than one gi. As soon as you can afford it you should have at least three BJJ gis.

How To Wash a BJJ Gi In 3 Simple Steps

The basics of how to wash a BJJ gi can be explained in just three simple steps. Later in the article, we will discuss other questions such as drying the gi and removing stains. In addition, we will talk about how to whiten a BJJ gi without using harmful bleach. But for now, let’s just go over the basics on how to was a BJJ gi.

#1 Turn Your 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 of the gi. This way you protect all of the patches and logos that are on the outside of your gi.

#2 Fill Your Washing Machine With High-Quality Laundry Detergent

After you have turned your gi inside out you are going to want to fill your washing machine with high-quality laundry detergent. After all, we can work up quite a sweat after a hard day of rolling. So make sure to use a high quilty detergent. Personally, I would recommend 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. Two stains you will probably have to deal with when doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 

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. However, note that you are adding extra chemicals that are not really needed. In addition, never use bleach on your gi so be sure that you use a bleach-free softener if you do use one. A more natural alternative many people use is baking soda. Baking soda will help to both soften and brighten/whiten the colors of your gi. 

#3  Wash Your BJJ Gi In Cold Water

One of the main things that 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 gi to shrink. Because of this, it is important to make sure you get the right-sized BJJ gi from the start. That said, 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.  

How To Properly Dry Your BJJ Gi

Properly drying your BJJ gi is just as important as washing it. Most people agree that the best course of action in drying a gi 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. You mostly want to make sure not to shrink your gi. Keep in mind however that it is still always best to hang dry your gis. 

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.  Again this is why I recommend 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 that are decent quality. A good example is the Sanabul Essentials V.2 Ultralight BJJ Gi. Of course, your school might prefer you to purchase your gi from them, however, having one or two cheaper backup gis is probably a good idea. 

How To Get Stains Out Of A BJJ Gi

One of the most important things 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. 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 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 immediately.

Keeping Your BJJ Gi White Without Using Chlorine Bleach 

Since I have suggested not using bleach on 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. 

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