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Tips for Maintaining a Pristine, Clean Jiu-Jitsu Gi

Anyone who trains in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) knows the importance of maintaining a fresh and clean gi. A jiu-jitsu gi is the official uniform of fighters worn during training and competition. 

The kimono-like attire consists of pants and a robe that is loose-fitting and protects fighters from mat burns as they grapple with opponents. The upkeep of a BJJ gi represents respect for the practice as well as allows you to maintain good hygiene. 

In combat, there’s no avoiding the buildup of sweat that accrues when wearing a gi, but there are ways to prevent it from looking and smelling dingy. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to care for BJJ gis to keep them in prime condition.

Step-by-Step BJJ Gi Washing Instructions

As with any other athletic apparel, it’s important to wash BJJ gis after every use. Any lingering sweat or dirt can cause bacteria to accumulate and break down the fabric. Plus, it allows odors to set in.

Additionally, a dirty jiu-jitsu uniform can irritate the skin and potentially cause infection if a fighter experiences even the smallest open wound. To err on the side of safety and proper hygiene, here’s the best way to clean a jiu-jitsu gi:

Wash BJJ Gi and Keep your Hayabusa Essential Gold Weave Jiu-Jitsu Gi clean for easier battles.

Pre-Wash Care for BJJ Gis

Pre-wash care helps to preserve BJJ gi materials and prevent any unnecessary shrinkage. Make sure to:

  • Check the label - Every gi is made with a combination of materials. While most are primarily made of cotton, some have unique fabrics that may be more prone to shrinking than others. 
  • Treat stains - Even when your gi has been washed, lingering stains can make you look unpolished and unprofessional in competition. Immediately soak any stains with a mixture of cold water and white vinegar. This will help to prevent it from sinking in before it goes into the washing machine.
  • Tie the pants string - It’s easy for the string of your uniform’s pants to come loose during the spin cycle. Avoid it from getting stuck in the waistband or coming out altogether by tying it before washing.

Washing

Most modern gis are machine washable, although double-check the label to ensure hand washing isn’t recommended instead. The goal is to prevent shrinkage and ruining the fit of your uniform. Tips for machine washing your BJJ gi include:

  • Opt for cold water. Hot water will likely shrink your gi. The best way to clean a jiu-jitsu gi is to use cold water, which is as effective at getting your uniform clean but not as harsh. 
  • Skip the bleach and fabric softeners. Bleaching a white gi may seem like the easiest way to clean it. However, chemicals can break down the fabric and make the material itchy and more prone to rips or tears.
  • Wash alone. Don’t add other laundry when washing your gi. Colors from other clothing may bleed into the fabric and towels may cause pilling to shed. Instead, give it a spin solo to avoid disrupting any parts of the fabric or patches.

Drying

Never allow your gi to sit in the washer for longer than necessary because it could cause mildew and may appear rumpled as it dries. 

Pick an area with adequate airflow for the drying process versus using a machine. However, avoid line drying in the sun which could result in color fading and sun damage to the material. Also, skip the excessive heat of ironing your gi, since extreme temperatures could cause shrinkage. 

Quickly take your gi out of the washer and let it air dry in a well-ventilated area to Care for BJJ Gi

Post-Wash Care for BJJ Gis

A clean jiu-jitsu gi is the first step. It’s equally important to properly store it so it maintains its shape. 

Fabric wrinkles look sloppy and don’t provide the best first impression. To prevent this, hang your gi on a wide hanger with clips or a plastic hanger so as to not “dent” the fabric or risk rusting with metal hangers.

Also, avoid stuffing your gi into a duffle bag or backpack. Rather, store it in a garment bag for transport to allow the uniform to keep its shape. 

If you’d prefer to pack in a suitcase, take care when folding it. Brush out wrinkles as you fold pants and sleeves in half.

Common Questions About BJJ Gi Care

Preserve BJJ gi materials and its shape to ensure you always show up as your best. In addition to washing and storage instructions, here are a few other answers to frequently asked questions about maintaining the quality of your gi. 

Is There a Difference in Cleaning a White Gi vs. a Colored Gi?

No. Bleach, harsh detergents, and hot water should all be avoided whether you’re washing a white gi or a colored gi. This will help to maintain the brightness of the fabric and prevent fraying hemlines.

Men in the blue and white Hayabusa Essential Gold Weave gi

How Often Should I Wash My Jiu-Jitsu Belt?

As with your BJJ gi, you should wash your jiu-jitsu belt after every wear. It is exposed to the same dirt, sweat, and bacteria and deserves an equally thorough wash.

Which Wash Setting Should I Use for BJJ Gi Maintenance?

Stick to the gentle cycle when washing your uniform. It helps to prolong BJJ gi maintenance since you’re likely wearing and washing it several times a week. 

Also, wash a BJJ gi immediately after wearing it. Allowing it to sit with your other dirty laundry can promote bacteria buildup and cause body odor to settle into the fabric. 

Keep a fresh and clean jiu-jitsu gi with immediate, constant washing. 

How Many Gis Should I Have?

Those just starting their jiu-jitsu journey may start with a single gi. However, for those who are constantly training and competing, having at least two in rotation assures you always have a clean jiu-jitsu gi ready to go. 

What Color Gi Should I Wear?

Wearing a gi is optional for fighters during training. However, when choosing whether gi vs. no gi is better, those who compete should pay attention to each organization’s criteria. 

The fit and color of the gi is important. To help narrow down your choices, Hayabusa jiu-jitsu gis are available in IBJJF-compliant colors for those in competition. 

Hayabusa Essential Gold Weave Jiu-Jitsu Gi

Hayabusa Essential Gold Weave Jiu-Jitsu Gi
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Hayabusa Ascend Lightweight Jiu Jitsu Gi

Hayabusa Ascend Lightweight Jiu Jitsu Gi
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Hayabusa Goorudo 3 Gold Weave Jiu Jitsu Gi

Hayabusa Goorudo 3 Gold Weave Jiu Jitsu Gi
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Marvel's The Punisher Jiu Jitsu Gi

Marvel's The Punisher Jiu Jitsu Gi
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Choose from the Ultimate Collection of BJJ Gis

A gi’s construction and comfortability are of the utmost importance. The material should be durable but lightweight to allow for confident mobility, which is why BJJ gi maintenance is so important.

The Hayabusa Ascend Lightweight Gi is a fighter’s go-to hat that can withstand intense training and competition. Made with pearl weave cotton and ripstop cotton-polyester pants, the materials are pre-treated to prevent color fade. 

In addition, reinforced lapels, knees, and sleeves prevent wearing and rips to stress areas. And fighters love the comfort and fit, making it a natural winner for all levels.

Meanwhile, more advanced jiu-jitsu fighters often prefer the heavier fabric of the Essential Gold Weave Jiu-Jitsu Gi. For those who are training or competing almost every day, an ultra-durable fabric is necessary. 

Though, despite the thicker fabric, this gi remains soft to the touch and delivers a streamlined aesthetic. Professional fighters are fans of this design due to its quality craftsmanship and eye-catching appearance. 

Look and Feel Good for Your Next Jiu-Jitsu Fight

Hayabusa offers a vast jiu-jitsu gi collection to choose from. Whether you want the simplicity of a classic white, lightweight gi or the flash of a character-themed, colorful gi, there’s an option for everyone. 

And knowing all gis are made with the utmost comfort and performance in mind, you’ll be dressed for excellence as you prepare for your next fight. Just make sure you follow the right BJJ gi washing instructions to keep your uniform intact and looking its best.