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How to Wash and Dry Your BJJ Gi (Tips I Wish I Knew When I First Started)

To wash your gi you should put it inside out in the washer on the cold water setting, use a strong detergent that doesn’t contain bleach, and let it hang dry. You should avoid drying it in the dyer or hanging it in direct sunlight.

….no one wants to be the smelly kid in class so take a look at this post for how to wash your gi and for answers to some other gi cleaning and maintenance facts.

Link: If you’re still looking for the perfect gi, check out the best bjj gi’s we could find reviewed and ranked

Key Takeaways

To Wash Your BJJ Gi You Should,

  1. Wash your gi immediately after each class using cold water (preferably 30 – 40 degrees celsius/86 – 104 Fahrenheit). Avoid hot water since can shrink your gi and damage the fabric.
  2. Use high-quality or organic detergent. Avoid using bleach or any detergents that contain bleach as it can weaken and discolor the fabric.
  3. Use a gentle wash setting to prolong the life of your gi.
  4. Turn your gi inside out before washing. This helps preserve the color, patches, and the gi’s overall condition.
  5. If your gi has a stain, scrub it with cold water immediately. For stubborn stains, consider soaking the gi overnight in cold water with some white vinegar before washing.
  6. Wash your bjj belt!
  7. We recommend avoiding fabric softeners as these can break down the fibers in your gi, making it thinner and weaker.

To Dry Your Gi:

  1. Air Dry: Always hang dry your gi after washing. This will help in preventing shrinkage and maintain the gi’s durability. Ensure it’s away from direct sunlight to avoid weakening the fabric.
  2. Avoid Machine Drying: If you must use a dryer, use no or low heat. Tumble drying can shrink and damage your gi.
  3. Speeding Up Drying: Fans or dehumidifiers can be used to expedite the drying process. If absolutely necessary you can throw it in the dryer using low heat
  4. Ironing: While not recommended, if you need to iron your gi, turn it inside out to avoid damage to patches or the fabric itself.

General Tips & Reminders:

  • Backup Gi: If you train frequently, it’s alwasy good to have a backup gi.
  • Avoid Leaving Wet Gis in Bags: This can cause odors and potential bacterial growth.
  • Gi Pants Drawstrings Tip: Tie the gi pants’ string before washing to prevent it from slipping out. If it does come out, tying one end to a pen or hanger and threading it through can remedy the situation.
  • see below for more tips!

Gi Washing Tips

  • immediately when you get in from training, turn your gi inside out and throw your gi in the washer with laundry detergent (see next section for a more mild detergent recommendation as well as harsher detergents
  • Run the washer using cold water
  • as soon as the washer is completed hang your gi to dry

Other General Washing Tips:

  • if possible, try to wash your gi and other bjj gear separate from your other laundry
  • do not leave your gi unwashed for a long time after training – this can lead the feared eternal funk smell
  • do not wash your gi in warm or hot water since this can sometimes shrink your gi
  • try to use a mild laundry detergent to avoid any damage from more harsher detergents
  • immeidately once the wash is done take it out to hang it to dry – leaving it in water or moister from a long period of time can lead to bacteria, mold, funk smell
  • do not put your gi in the dryer since this can shrink your gi (sometimes even if it says “pre-shrunk”)
  • do not hang you gi out to dry in the sun since the sun can cause unneed damange and fading to your gi
  • if you don’t like how stiff a gi feels after hang drying you can run it in the dry with the no heat option to make it more pliable
  • if you find your gi’s have a smell that you are unable to get out in a normal washer cycle – you can leave them to soak overnight in some oxyclean or white vinegar and baking soda before running through the wash to make sure that any lingering smells are gone

Link: What to expect in your first BJJ class

Best Laundry Detergent Chemicals to wash your Gi

So what are some good laundry detergent chemicals to wash your gi?

For me personally, I’ve had great luck with tide sport and oxyclean. When I was using standard detergent sometimes the smell just wouldn’t come out of my gi and other no gi apparel.

Once I switched to tide sport, my bjj gear came out smelling much better. So here are some options to consider to get your gi smelling better:

How to Dry Your BJJ Gi

The best way and most preferred method of drying your Gi is letting it air dry. Air drying is the least damaging to your Gi’s material. 

  • Avoid air drying it in direct sunlight.
    • Despite the sun, making the drying process faster, its ultraviolet rays can cause damage to your Gi.

Another option or tip when air drying it is that you can use a fan. This can help speed up the process and not damage your Gi.  

It is generally recommended to avoid drying your gi in the drier, at best it can damage your gi unnecessarily, and at worse, it can severly srhink you gi ( which can then probably qualify you for your local kid’s bjj tournament – which is nice).

Side Note: However, I, personally, dry all of my gis in the dryer to get them cleaner. I, generally, will buy my gi a bit larger since it will shrink slightly in the drier.

What’s the Fastest Way to Dry Your Gi?

As we mentioned, while hang drying your gi is preferred, the fastest way to dry your gi would be throwing it in the dryer on a low heat setting.

Some other options to consider are:

  • hanging the gi in front of a fan
  • hanging it outside
  • using a dehumidifier

General Gi Care Tips

Training in the gi is a vital component of your BJJ journey.

If you want to keep training in the gi safely and with minimal funky odor, then taking care of your gi should be your top priority (along with learning how to survive a myriad of collar choke attempts).

Here are some general tips that you can keep in mind: 

Read the instructions on how to best care for you Gi.
Never keep your Gi in an enclosed bag. If you still have other things to attend to and can’t wash it immediately, air it out. This will avoid moisture traps causing the gi to smell.
If you see a stain, make sure to not let it pass! Work on removing it already.
Turn it inside out when washing to avoid discoloration.
Make sure to wash in cold water or the recommended temperature of its maker.
Do not expose your Gi to sunlight when drying. 
Air dry it in a non moist or wet environment.
Read product labels that you will use. You do not want anything with bleach making contact with your Gi.

How to Wash and Dry a Hemp Gi

Hemp Gis are considered a luxury Gi due to its material. Hemp fabric has known natural antibacterial properties making it less likely to smell and harbor bacteria compared to other gi fabrics. They’re very cool and light weight as well.  

Hemp gis are also very durable. If we talk about investing in a gi then you can consider getting a hemp one because it can last you a long time. 

So how do you maintain this type of Gi then? Is there something different that you should do? 

The answer is no.

You can simply wash and dry it the same you would with the other type of Gi. 

  • Wash in cool water 
  • Air dry 
  • Do not use bleach

In addition, you may notice some fiber shedding during your first few washes, but this does not warrant any panic or special attention. This is normal due to its textile.

How to Wash and Dry No Gi Gear

The best way to wash no gi apparel is by using a machine wash in cool water and air drying in a non wet and moist environment. 

Here are the tips: 

  • Turn it inside out.
    • You do not want the print of your No Gi to be worn out or faded from the washing. Plus washing inside out helps gets the clean thoroughtly
  • If your fight shorts have velcro (which most likely, it will) have it connected
    • Velcro can roughen up your rash guard or spats because of its rough material. 
  • Use a wash bag.
    • If you’re worried about ruining your No Gi gear then you can opt to do this. 
  • Never use bleach. 
    • This can ruin your gear.
  • Do not expose under direct sunlight. 
  • You may use fabric softener if you like.
    • This will depend on your preference.  
  • Do not attempte to iron.

Link: Here’s a guide on the difference between No Gi and Gi BJJ

How to Choose Your Correct Gi Sie

BJJ gi sizing can actually vary quite a bit between manufacturers. However, we’ve broken down the most common sizes and abbreviates to help you better find your correct gi size:

AbbreviationMeansGood for
AAdult (Men’s)
LLongsomeone who may be too tall for a certain size but too light for the next size up
SShortsomeone who is too heavy for a certain size up but too short for the next size up
HHeavysomeone who is heavier and prefers a wider fit in both jacket and pants
XLExtra Largesomeone who is heavier and prefers a wider fit in both jacket and pants – this is larger than the “heavy” size

Also please see sizing guides from the most popular gi brand manufacturers below:

BrandGi Sizing Guide
93 BrandLink
Inverted GearLink

Link: Here is our full guide on bjj gi sizing

Gi Manufacturer’s Gi Washing Guides:

Below are links to gi manufacturers and their specific washing guides. While you are safe with washing your gi in cold water and letting it hang dry, you should always check with the manufacturer for any added washing and drying details:

BrandGi Washing Guide
93 BrandLink
Inverted GearLink

Related Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you wash a BJJ gi?

To wash you gi you should put it inside out in the washer on the cold water setting, use a strong detergent that doesn’t contain bleach, and let it hang dry. You should avoid drying it in the dyer or hanging it in direct sunlight.

What should you wear underneath your gi?

For men, you should wear a rash guard underneath your gi. You can also wear spats or leggings underneath you gi pant along with underwear.

For women, you should wear a rash guard and a sports bra. Again, you can wear spats or shorts under your gi pants along with under garments.

How to wash your gi for the first time?

If you are washing your gi for the first time, you should wash it in cold water in the washer with a mild detergent and hang it to air dry.

There is no special way to wash your gi for the first time. The goal is to get it clean from odor and bacteria and get it ready for your next or first class.

Should you wash your gi before or after first use?

It is recommend to wash your gi before first use espeically if you have a colored gi since the color may rub off on other people’s gear.

Can I put my BJJ gi in the dryer?

While you can put your gi in the dryer on the low heat setting for quicker drying times, you shouldn’t put your gi in the dryer since it can damage your gi and cause it to shrink even if it says it is preshrunk.

How do you wash BJJ gi without shrinking?

The safest way to wash your bjj gi without shrinking it is by putting it in the washer with the cold water setting then hanging it to dry.

Using hot water in the washer or putting it in the dryer can cause your gi to shrink even if it says the gi is pre shrunk.

Should you use bleach on your gi

Avoid bleach or any products that contain bleach when washing your Gi. Bleach can break the fibres of the uniform, causing damage. Moreover, bleach can cause discoloration and lighten the details of your Gi. 

Always remember to read labels of all the products that you will be using when washing your Kimono.

Should you use fabric softener on your gi?

There are some BJJ practitioners who opt to use fabric softener on their Gi. This is not a sin that goes against any rules on maintaining your Gi.

Some people I know do it because they like the smell of fabric softeners. However, I personally do not recommend doing this.

Why? It’s because some ingredients in the fabric softener contain chemicals that can break down the fibres of your Gi. Thus, resulting in a shorter life span. Additionally, it may be too fragrant for training – however, this will come down to preference.

But hey! At the end of the day it will still be your preference and choice if you want to do this.

How to keep you gi soft

If you’re the type who would want to keep your Gi soft? Then here’s what you can do without damaging it: 

  • Add white vinegar
    • either directly to your washing machine or in the fabric conditioner holder. 
  • Air dry
    • then place in your Gi in then run for 15 minutes dryer on cool setting.

Can you wash your gi with other clothes?

If you prefer to wash your Gi with other clothes then that is totally fine. 

But one thing you have to keep in mind, especially if you have a white or light colored one, is to avoid staining. In order to stay away from this, wash it with clothes of similar color.

What temperature should you wash your gi on?

Never wash your Gi in hot water. It should always be in the cold setting. To add to that, know that each brand of Gi has a different recommendation on how to wash them. Often, these brands would indicate the desired washing temperature in there to make sure you’re able to maintain your Gi in its best disposition.

When Should You Buy a New Gi

Here’s are some things to consider when you should buy a new Gi: 

  • You completed the free trial session and would like to continue with your BJJ journey. 
  • Does my Gi still fit well? If no, then get one already.
  • Can the bad odor still be removed? If no, then get one already. 
  • Are there holes and tears on my Gi? If yes, it’s about time. 
  • Do I train for more than 1 day in a row? If yes, then get another set. 
  • I am competing. Then, you should definitely get a competition approved Gi to avoid being disqualified.

Link: Our bjj gi buying guide with over 60 gis reviewed

How Many Gi’s should you own?

If we talk about practicality. You can consider how many times a week you train. If you are the type who  trains every other day, then having one Gi is fine. However, if you train two consecutive days or more per week then I would suggest having another set that you can alternate. 

Regardless of how many times a week you train, you can still get as much as you want. Some of my teammates like to collect different styles from the brands they like.

How to wash a fuji gi?

You can wash a Fuji gi by putting it in the washer on the cold water setting with a strong detergent that doesn’t contain bleach, and let it hang dry.

However, Fuji does have some pre shrunk gis. While this doesn’t guarantee it won’t shrink in the dryer, you can likely put it in the dryer on the low heat setting for quicker drying times.

What is a Pre Shrunk Gi?

You probably heard about people shrinking their Gi. But did you know that there’s such a thing called a pre shrunk Gi?

A pre shrink Gi is the type that does not get smaller when you wash it unlike regular Gi. If they do shrink, this will be minimal and not that notable. The pre shrunk is not baggy and does not need adjustment to fit. It was built to remain the same size after each use. 

How much will my Gi Shrink after washing?

Is this your first time washing your Gi? Expect that it will shrink during the first wash. The usual shrinkage will be around 1-2 inches. 

Note that if you are not satisfied with the shrinking of your Gi and still want something more snug and fit, then you shrink it some more. What you can is:

  1. Wash in warm water.
  2. Air dry 
  3. Check if you are satisfied already. 
  4. If not, then repeat the process. 

Should you wash your gi belt

Definitely! Make sure that you wash your belt every after use. Your belt had the same exposure as your uniform. It has been exposed to sweat and bacteria during class.

 Moreover, you don’t want your clean Gi paired with a dirty belt. So make sure you wash your belt every time you wash your gi as well to keep it clean and kept.

Link: Here’s a Full Guide on BJJ Belt Progression

Can I iron my gi?

If you think your Gi has become wrinkly and want to straighten out your Gi, then by all means you can iron it. But make sure that when you do, you do it inside out. The reason?  You don’t want the heat to break the cotton fibres of your uniform.

If you think your Gi has become wrinkly and want to straighten out your Gi, then by all means you can iron it. But make sure that when you do, you do it inside out. The reason?  You don’t want the heat to break the cotton fibres of your uniform. 

Should you let you Gi dry in the sun

The sun is not only damaging to our skin but to our Gi as well. Never expose your Gi to direct sunlight. Keep it away from it as much as possible. It can damage your Gi, making it less durable. The best way to dry your Gi is always by air drying in a non wet/moist environment.

How to remove blood stains and other stains from gi

As much as you would love to maintain your Gis pristine. There might be times where you will encounter blood or other forms of stain on it. 

Do not worry though! You can still do something about it by immediately scrubbing affected areas with soap and warm water. 

Again, never use any product on your Gi that contains bleach. Even if your goal is to remove stains, do not use it.