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Can You Put a BJJ Gi in the Dryer? Gi Washing Basics

Yes, you can put your gi in the dryer. However, they can shrink slightly even if they say “pre-shrunk”. I do recommend putting gis in the dryer to better sanitize them. Another good recommendation is to get your gi slightly bigger and then machine dry it so it shrinks a little to your size.


Some of the gi brands that I have used personally that have not shrunk when putting them in the dryer on high heat are: Fuji, Elite, 93 Brand, Sanabul, and Origin.

Key Takeaways

  • Drying your gis on high heat can still cause slight shrinkage; but it is recommended to get them better sanitized
  • Machine drying may lead to damage over time, but I’ve never had a problem with any of my gis after 6 years of machine washing and drying on high heat.
  • If you are concerned with damage or shrinking, you can always air dry. If you choose to do this some good options are to do it outside or in front of a fan (and maybe along with a dehumidifier).

Gi Washing Basics

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Gi, a martial arts uniform, is composed of a jacket, pants, and a belt that signifies the practitioner’s rank. The fabric is typically a sturdy cotton weave designed to withstand tough bjj sessions.

Materials:

  • Most commonly made from cotton
  • Specific weaves like single or double weave vary in thickness and durability

Sizing and Fit: Gis must fit properly to ensure mobility and prevent excessive grabbing by opponents. They come in various sizes, and some shrink with washing.

Color: Traditional colors are white, blue, and black, although competition guidelines may vary regarding acceptable colors.

Care TipsDescription
Pre-wash TreatmentCold water rinse to remove stains before the main wash cycle
Washing TemperaturesCold water to prevent shrinkage and preserve color
DetergentsGentle, fragrance-free detergents to maintain fabric integrity
DryingAir drying may be preferred over machine drying for longevity, but I have never had a problem with machine drying all of my gis on high heat

Drying a BJJ Gi

When it comes to drying a BJJ gi, practitioners have two main options: air-drying or using a clothes dryer. Each method comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks, as well as specific guidelines to follow to maintain the gi’s integrity and fit.

Air-Drying Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Prevents Any Shrinking: Air-drying minimizes the risk of shrinking, which is crucial since BJJ gis are made of cotton that can easily contract under high heat.
  • Maintains Fabric Integrity: It helps in preserving the fabric’s strength and color, avoiding the wear and tear that can result from the tumbling action in a dryer.

Cons:

  • Time-Consuming: It takes longer for a gi to dry completely, which may not be ideal for those who train frequently and require a dry gi in short intervals.
  • Clammy Weather Issues: In more humid climates or during certain seasons, air-drying can be less effective and may not prevent mildew if the gi doesn’t dry quickly enough.
  • Cleanliness: May not fully sanitize gi

Dryer Use Guidelines

  • Temperature Settings: If using a dryer, you can opt for a low or medium heat setting. High temperatures may deteriorate the fabric faster (again,, I’ve, personally, never had a problem).
  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Fabric softeners and bleach should be avoided as they can weaken the fibers and alter the color of the gi.

How Many Gis Should You Own?

When starting BJJ one gi should do, but over time, you may want to buy a 2nd or 3rd gi especially if you train multiple times per week.

If you are hanging your gis to dry (and not using a machine dryer) they obviously will take longer to dry so having an extra gi or two is optimal.

In general, I’ve found they take ~1.5-2 days to fully dry.

How Long Do Gis Typically Last?

Depending on the intensity and frequency of training as well as gi quality, an average gi typically lasts 3-5 years.

The biggest signs of a gi needing to be replaced are split seems, holes in pants, worn knee fabric, or holes in gi jacket by the armpits or collar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to tumble dry a BJJ gi?

Yes, it is safe to tumble dry a bjj gi in a machine dryer. Modern day gis are higher quality, and while they may still shrink slightly, buying a slightly larger gi is always a good idea. Machine drying is actually recommended since its better at sanitizing your gi and saving you time.

If you are worried about shrinkage, you can machine dry it on low heat and be sure to wash it in cold water.

How can I prevent my gi from shrinking during the drying process?

There is always a chance of shrinking when putting a gi in the dryer, if you want to avoid any possibility of shrinkage air drying is best.