How to Wash a Gi: The Ultimate Guide to Gi Care

Last updated on 28.09.2023 by

Taking care of your gi is essential for any Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner. A clean and well-maintained gi will last longer, keep you more comfortable on the mats, and make sure you look your best. In this article, we’ll give you an in-depth guide on how to wash a gi properly and keep it in great shape.

Taking Care Of Your Gi

Your gi is an essential part of your BJJ training, and proper care is essential to keep it in excellent condition. Regular washing of your gi not only helps in preventing the buildup of bacteria and unpleasant odors but also extends its lifespan. understanding how to wash a gi is crucial to extending your gis lifespan, as well as help you adhere to the common hygiene standards of Jiu Jitsu.

If you’ve never washed a gi before, do not sweat it (pun intended) – Learning how to wash a gi is as easy as tapping out!

How to Wash a Gi Properly?

Before washing your gi, it is essential to remove any loose dirt and debris. One way to do this is by shaking it outside, or you can rinse it off with water to remove any loose debris.

Once the gi is free of any loose debris, it’s time to wash it. Turn the gi inside out to protect any patches or embroidery during the wash. Tying any drawstrings will prevent them from becoming tangled with other items during the wash cycle.

When to Wash Your Gi?

It’s recommended that you wash your gi after every use to prevent bacteria buildup and unpleasant odors. Bacteria can accumulate in your gi after each training session, and washing it regularly ensures that it stays hygienic and clean.

If you train more than once a day, it’s best to wash your gi between sessions to prevent bacteria buildup.

If you can’t wash your gi immediately after training, hang it up to dry as soon as possible to prevent bacteria from growing.

Pre-Wash Procedure

Jiu Jitsu Gi Washing Instructions

Before you start washing your gi, it’s important to take a few precautions. Shake off any excess dirt from your gi before putting it in the washing machine. Also, be sure to check all of the pockets for any items you may have left behind.

You can also fill your bathtub or sink with cold water and add a cup of white vinegar. Soak your gi in the water for an hour, then drain the water and rinse your gi with cold water. This pre-wash will help set the color and prevent shrinkage during the first few times you wash it.

How to Wash a Gi in a Washing Machine

While hand-washing is the preferred method for washing your gi, you can also use a washing machine.

Set your washing machine to the delicate cycle and use cold water. Add a gentle, fragrance-free detergent, and avoid using fabric softeners or bleach. Remember to let the machine run its cycle, then remove your gi promptly. Don’t leave it in the machine for too long, as this can lead to wrinkles or damage to the fabric.

When washing your gi in a washing machine, temperature and detergent are the two most important factors.

BJJ Gi Washing Machine


It’s best to wash your gi with cold water. Hot water can cause shrinkage and may fade the color of your gi. 40°C (104°F)is a cold temperature better suited for sturdy fabric the likes of a BJJ gi.


Choose a mild detergent that won’t damage the fabric of your gi. Avoid harsh chemicals such as bleach and fabric softeners.

Absolutely NO Bleach!

Bleach is a harsh chemical that can damage your gi and cause discoloration. Avoid using bleach at all costs!

Washing Colored Gis

If you have a colored gi, it’s best to wash it separately or with other similar colored items. This will help prevent any fading or discoloration of the fabric.

How to Wash a Gi for the First Time

If you’re washing your gi for the first time, use cold water and a mild detergent. Do not use bleach or any other harsh chemicals as this could damage your gi. It is always a great idea to follow the washing directions that come on the label of your gi, especially during the first few times you wash it.

How to Wash a Gi without Shrinking

Shrinking can be a common issue when washing your gi. To avoid shrinkage when washing your gi, always use cold water and avoid using hot water or putting it in the dryer. Hang drying is best to help maintain the shape of your gi.

If your gi still shrinks, try stretching it out while it’s damp to restore its original shape.

How to Dry a Gi?

Drying Jiu Jitsu Gi

Speaking of drying, after washing your gi, it’s important to dry it properly as well. Drying your gi is just as important as washing it correctly. There are several different ways to dry a gi, including air drying and using a dryer.

Can You Put Your GI in the Dryer?

You can put your gi in the dryer, but it’s best to hang dry it instead. Drying your gi in the dryer can cause shrinkage and damage the fabric over time. If you do decide to use the dryer, make sure you use the lowest heat setting possible.

Hang Drying Your BJJ Gi

Hang drying is by far the best way to dry your gi. It helps maintain its shape and prevents any shrinkage or discoloration of the fabric. Hang dry your gi in an area with good air circulation, such as outside or on a clothesline. Make sure it’s completely dry before folding and storing it away. Avoid hanging your gi in direct sunlight or high humidity, as this can cause discoloration or mildew.

Cold Weather Drying Tips

If you live in an area with cold weather, hang drying your gi may be difficult. In this case, you can use a fan or space heater to speed up the drying process without damaging the fabric of your gi. Avoid placing the gi directly on a heater or fan, but rather use a chair for the gi and place it I front of the heat source.

How to Wash a Gi Belt

Your gi belt is just as important as your gi jacket and pants, and it needs to be washed regularly as well. Gi belts should be washed separately from your gi using cold water and mild detergent. Air dry your belt after washing and don’t put it in the dryer as this could cause shrinkage or discoloration of the fabric.

FAQs About BJJ Gi Cleaning

Here are some commonly asked questions about how to wash a gi and caring for it:

How often should a Gi be washed?

Ideally, you should wash your gi after every training session. If that’s not possible, make sure to wash it at least twice a month to keep it clean and fresh.

What’s the risk of having an uncleaned and unwashed Gi?

A dirty or unwashed gi can harbor bacteria and lead to skin infections or other health issues. It can also cause unpleasant odors that can put off other people on the mats.

What to do if you can’t wash your Gi right away?

If you can’t wash your gi right away, hang it up to air out and sprinkle baking soda on it to help absorb any odors or moisture. This will help keep it fresh until you can wash it properly.

Does a Gi shrink when you dry it out?

Yes, a gi can shrink if you put it in the dryer or if you hang it out in direct sunlight for too long. To avoid shrinkage, always hang dry your gi in an area with good air circulation or use a fan or space heater to speed up the drying process without damaging the fabric of your gi.

How to correctly shrink a Gi

If you find that your gi has shrunk after washing or drying, there are several ways you can attempt to restore its original size: Soak the gi in warm water for 15-20 minutes; stretch out the fabric while it’s still damp; lay out on a flat surface and let air dry; or put in low heat setting in dryer (for minimal shrinking).

How do you keep your gi color from fading?

To help prevent fading of your gi color, always wash in cold water, use mild detergents, and avoid bleaching or using fabric softeners when washing. When drying, avoid direct sunlight or putting it in a high heat setting of the dryer as this can cause discoloration of the fabric over time.

How do you keep your gi soft?

To keep your gi soft and comfortable for rolling, use mild detergents when washing and avoid using fabric softeners or harsh chemicals such as bleach that may damage the fabric over time.

Can you wash your gi with other clothes?

Yes, but make sure to separate light-colored items from dark-colored items as this will help prevent discoloration of either item due to color run-off from one item into another during the washing cycle. Also, avoid washing heavier items such as jeans with lighter items such as t-shirts as this could cause abrasion on lighter fabrics due to weight imbalance during tumbling cycles of washing machines.

Can you iron your gi?

Yes, but be sure not to set the iron temperature too high as this could damage the fabric of your gi over time. Use a medium heat setting when ironing and make sure not to leave the iron on one spot for too long as this could cause burning of the fabric which may cause permanent damage over time.

Hot or cold water for stains?

For stubborn stains that won’t come out easily with cold water, try using warm water instead as this may help bring out tough stains more effectively than cold water alone would do so. But be careful not to use hot water as this could cause shrinkage of fabric over time if used excessively on delicate fabrics such as those used on most BJJ Gis today.

Pro Tips For Keeping Your Gi Fresh

Tips for BJJ Gi

Here are some additional tips for keeping your BJJ Gis looking their best, now that you know everything about how to wash a gi:

  1. Regularly rotate your Gis so they don’t get too overused in one training session; this will help them last longer!
  2. Follow manufacturers’ wash and care guides for specific Gis; some brands may have different instructions than others so be sure to follow those guidelines when cleaning specific Gis types/brands for optimal results!
  3. Washing Jiu Jitsu pants’ drawstrings every few weeks helps keep them from becoming frayed and worn out over time!

In Summary

figuring out how to wash a gi is not a big issue to solve. Following these steps will help ensure that your gis stays clean and look their best: Pre-wash the gi, wash with cold water and mild detergent (no bleach!), separate colored gis when washing (to prevent color run-off), hang dry preferably (avoid dryer!), wash Jiu Jitsu pants drawstrings regularly, follow manufacturer’s wash/care guides (for specific brands), and rotate regularly (to prolong life). With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy many years of comfortable training sessions while looking great on the mats!