How To Wash A BJJ Gi | Step By Step Guide To Cleaning Your Gi

One of the first things you need to learn when starting Jiu Jitsu is how to properly wash your BJJ gi. After all, you don’t want to 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. 

To properly wash your BJJ gi you want to start by flipping your 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. 

BJJ gis are not cheap so learning how to properly wash your gi will help you keep it for a longer amount of time. 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. 

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

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 gets 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 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 you will find on your BJJ gi after a hard rolling session. So make sure your laundry detergent can handle all the sweat from BJJ. 

#3  Wash In Cold Water

Make sure you wash your BJJ gi in cold water. You never want to wash BJJ 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 as 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 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

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.

Can a BJJ Gi Go in The Dryer?

It is best practice to not put your BJJ gi in the dryer. 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. 

Removing Tough Stains On A 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 dries.

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 Your 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. 

Wash Your Gi After Every Use

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 every day. 

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. 

However, you should never come to class with a gi that has not been washed. You need to wash your gi after every training session. This will help keep your gym mats clean and will help you keep more friends at your academy.

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