Looking for the best practices for how to wash a gi?
In this article, I’ll break down the best practices for washing and drying your BJJ gear: your gi, rash guards, and more.
You’ll protect yourself from nasty infections (like staph or ringworm), ensure your gear lasts long, and become everyone’s favorite training partner because you smell so good.
How To Wash A Gi: Best Practices
Rule numero uno: wash your gear as soon as you can after class. No exceptions. And yes — that includes your belt. Every. Single. Time. You. Train.
Use cold wash when washing your gi. Medium or hot wash could potentially shrink your gi.
Use Tide Sport for washing. It is made to kill sweat funk and bacteria. If you really want to smell good, add a few Febreeze laundry beads to your load.
When you wash your gi, wash it inside out. This helps preserve the quality and material (especially important for patches).
You can wash your rash guard the same way you wash your gi: with cold water.
If you can’t wash it immediately after training, do not let it stew. That will cause your gi to get a permanent stink. At the very least, hang it up so it can dry, and then you can wash it when you have the chance.
As a rule of thumb, buy a separate gi for each day of the week you train in the gi. So if you train gi 2 days a week, have 2 gis. That way, you can hang dry them after you train, and wash them at the end of the week. This extends the life of each gi, and cuts down on the time and money you spend on laundry.
You can wash your BJJ gear with other laundry loads. You can wash your gi and no-gi gear together.
Ensure that you periodically sanitize your washing machine with Odoban. Odoban is cheap, kills bacteria, and will eliminate strong odors.
Get a waterproof BJJ bag so that your sweat doesn’t leak onto the bag. Periodically wash or sanitize your bag to kill bacteria.
If you don’t have easy access to a washing machine, consider purchasing a portable washing machine for your home or apartment.
If you need to wash your gi by hand, you can use your bathtub or a bucket. Put your gi in a bucket with water and detergent. Mix it. Wait 20 minutes, and then drain the bucket. Repeat this process a few times. It will take much longer to clean (and dry), but it is doable if you’re in a pinch.
If you have stains in your gi, use a few tablespoons of Biz. It has enzymes that break down biological stains.
How to Dry A Gi (Quickly)
Hang dry your gi. It will take 8-12 hours.
You can hang dry your rash guard OR tumble dry it.
Although you can tumble dry your gi, it likely will shrink if you do. Some BJJ players purposefully do this to shrink an oversized gi. If you dry it this way, make sure you dry it on a low tumble.
You can rapidly speed the drying process up with a strong fan and a clothing rack. A chair works as well.
If you’re in an apartment with little ventilation, you can purchase a dehumidifier to help with the drying.
Make sure you keep your windows open while drying to prevent mold from growing.
How To Wash A Gi: Conclusion
Now, you know how to wash your gi properly.
When you’re smashing white belts from top mount, they’ll be inclined to stay there longer because you smell so good.
What did I miss? How do YOU wash and dry your BJJ gear?
Leave a comment below and let me know.
Happy rolling. 🤙
Tsavo is the founder of BJJ Equipment and BJJ blue belt who started training in 2019. He’s a passionate hobbyist and BJJ gear/equipment aficionado who wanted to share his favorite pickups with other jiujiteiros. He launched BJJ Equipment in 2022 to make it easy for jiu-jitsu practitioners to find the best BJJ gear so they look, feel, and perform at their best on the mats.