If you bought your first rashguard for bjj or other martial art you may be wondering can you put it in the dryer?
Yes, you can put your rashguard in the dryer however it may reduce elasticity of the material over time. If you are concerned with damage we recommend putting it on a low heat cycle. Additionally, you should always check the manufacturer’s instructions to confirm.
For a quick, personal example, here are my current rashguards (and brands) in my weekly training rotation – I’ve put all of these in the dryer on normal heat after every session and haven’t noticed any change or any damage to them:
- From my personal experience, yes, you can put your rashguards in the dryer – I haven’t noticed any damage to my rashguards over my 6+ years of wearing, washing, and drying them for Brazilian jiu jitsu
- However, dryers do run the risk of damaging the elasticity or graphics (especially if not sublimated)
- As always we recommend checking with manufacturer care instructions
The Basics of Rashguard Care
Proper care extends the life of a BJJ rashguard and maintains its performance features. Rashguards should be washed after each training session to prevent bacterial growth and odor.
Here are essential care steps:
- Cold Water Wash: Always opt for cold water to prevent shrinkage and fabric warping.
- Mild Detergent: Use a gentle detergent to preserve the rashguard’s elasticity and color.
- Gentle Cycle: A washing machine’s low-tumble or delicate cycle is sufficient. Hand washing is an alternative for a more cautious approach.
- Avoid Bleach: Bleach can weaken the rashguard’s fibers and fade its colors.
- Air Dry: Hang the rashguard to dry, away from direct sunlight.
- Dryer: If you are concerned with damage you can choose to dry with a low tumble or low hear cycle (again, I put all my rashguards in the dry on regular heat and tumble and haven’t noticed any damage*)
Tips for Tough Stains:
- Pre-soak in cold water with a mixture of vinegar and dish soap can help loosen stains.
- Spot treat areas by hand before the wash cycle.
Examining Fabric Composition
Some fabrics are more heat tolerant than others – BJJ rash guards are typically made from a blend of synthetic materials, which include polyester, spandex, and sometimes nylon. Each of these materials has distinct properties that affect how the rash guard reacts to heat and tumbling in a dryer.
Polyester is lauded for its durability and moisture-wicking capabilities, making it a common choice for athletic wear. It’s also quick-drying and generally holds up well in low-heat settings. However, high temperatures can cause polyester fibers to break down over time, reducing the garment’s longevity.
Spandex, known for its elasticity, allows rash guards to stretch and move with the athlete’s body. Although spandex is resistant to perspiration and body oils, it is heat-sensitive. Exposure to high heat from a dryer can weaken spandex fibers, diminishing the stretch and leading to a poor fit.
Here’s how each material generally holds up in a dryer:
|Durability in Dryer
|Low to Medium
|Low to Medium
Dryer Impact on BJJ Rashguards
There are some risks with drying your rashguard in the dryer, but for ease and cleanliness I still prefer to put mine in the dryer.
Heat exposure from a dryer can cause shrinkage and reduce the lifespan of the rashguard, as these garments are typically made from blends of polyester and spandex.
Material degradation is a concern, as the high temperatures can break down the elasticity, leading to a looser fit and diminished moisture-wicking properties.
Furthermore, if a rashguard has printed designs, the dryer’s heat can cause fading and cracking of the graphics, degrading the appearance. (however, sublimated graphics like most modern rashguards use much more durable when it comes to heat)
If you are worried about damage to them you can consider using:
- Low heat or tumble dry: Minimizes potential damage
- Timed drying: To avoid over-drying
- Removing promptly: Reduces wrinkle formation
A table with recommended practices when using a dryer for BJJ rashguards can further illustrate the proper care:
|Air fluff / No heat
|Reduces shrinkage and heat damage
|Permanent press cycle
|Balances drying time with heat exposure
|Aids in preserving elasticity and fit
Alternative Drying Techniques
If you still do not want to put your rash guard in the dryer you can use these alternative methods:
Air Drying: This is the safest method for preserving the rashguard’s fabric and print. Simply hang the rashguard in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight to prevent fading.
Flat Drying: To avoid stretching, lay the rashguard on a flat, clean surface. One could use a drying rack to ensure even air circulation, making sure to flip it over to dry both sides.
Towel Roll Method: Place the rashguard between two towels, roll them together, and gently press to squeeze out excess water without wringing. Then, unroll and proceed to air dry.
Fans: Positioning a fan near the hanging rashguard can speed up the air drying process without causing the high heat damage of a dryer.
Do Not Hang on Metal Hangers: Avoid hanging rashguards on metal hangers to prevent rust stains.
Thanks for reading and I recommend doing your own experiments and checking with the manufacturer for any concerns about washing and drying – Zack