Your complete guide to washing your Gi and workout clothes

Written January 25

When it comes to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), hygiene isn’t just a courtesy—it’s a crucial aspect of respect for yourself and your training partners. Your Gi (uniform) and BJJ clothes endure a lot during intense training sessions, so knowing how to wash them properly is essential not only for cleanliness but also for maintaining their durability. Here’s a comprehensive guide on the best practices to ensure your Gi and BJJ attire are always fresh and clean:

1. After Training

After every session, promptly remove your Gi and other BJJ clothing from your gym bag to prevent bacteria and odors from setting in. Leaving sweaty gear in a closed bag promotes bacterial growth and can lead to persistent smells that are hard to remove.

2. Pre-Treatment

Before tossing your Gi into the washing machine, pre-treat any stubborn stains or areas of heavy sweat buildup. A pre-wash soak with cold water and a mild detergent directly applied to problem spots can help loosen dirt and oils.

3. Washing Machine Settings

Always wash your Gi and BJJ clothes separately from your regular laundry to prevent cross-contamination and to ensure they get the specific care they need. Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle with cold water. Hot water can cause shrinkage and damage to the fabric over time.

4. Choosing the Right Detergent

Opt for a detergent that is free from dyes and perfumes, as these additives can irritate sensitive skin and potentially clog the fabric’s pores, reducing its *moisture-wicking capabilities. Alternatively, specialty sports detergents are designed to break down sweat and odor molecules effectively.

5. Avoid Fabric Softeners

Fabric softeners can leave residues on your Gi, reducing its breathability and moisture-wicking properties. Instead, add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to help break down any lingering detergent and deodorize the fabric.

6. Hang Dry

After washing, avoid using the dryer, as the heat can cause shrinkage and damage the fibers of your Gi. Instead, hang your Gi and BJJ clothes to air dry in a well-ventilated area. Direct sunlight is beneficial for killing bacteria and freshening fabrics but can fade colors over time, so choose a shaded area if preserving vibrant colors is important to you.

7. Maintain Your Gear

Regularly inspect your Gi for signs of wear and tear. Mend any loose threads or small tears promptly to prevent them from becoming more significant issues that could compromise the integrity of your uniform.

8. Hygiene Beyond Washing

In addition to washing your Gi, maintain personal hygiene practices such as showering immediately after training and regularly trimming nails to minimize the risk of scratches and infections during grappling.

9. Storage

Store your clean Gi and BJJ clothes in a breathable mesh bag or hanging in a well-ventilated area to prevent mustiness and mildew growth between uses.

10. Frequency of Washing

Wash your Gi after every training session, even if it doesn’t appear visibly dirty. Bacteria and oils from sweat can accumulate quickly, leading to odor and potential skin infections if not properly cleaned.

By following these best practices for washing your Gi and BJJ clothes, you’ll not only maintain a high standard of hygiene but also extend the lifespan of your gear. Remember, caring for your uniform and equipment is a reflection of your dedication to the sport and respect for your training partners. With a little effort and attention to detail, your Gi will stay fresh and ready for every roll on the mats.

*Moisture Wicking: The process where fibres keep the sweat on the surface, acting like channels to transport the sweat to the outer layer of your top. Once there, the sweat evaporates in the air.

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