How to Clean your Gi

How to Clean your Gi

14th Feb 2014

Always wash your Gi on cold and allow to air dry. Washing at higher temperatures can cause excessive shrinking. Make sure you don’t put too many other dirty clothes in with it when you wash it since you don’t want to restrict the movement of your Gi in the wash so it gets cleaned properly. Afterall, the 3 essential parts of the cleaning process are agitation, water, and soap. Also, always remember to turn you Gi inside out before putting it in the wash to help fight the bacteria buildup after those sweaty workouts.

Be sure to plan ahead and allow yourself plenty of time to allow your Gi to be completely air dried before your next trip to the gym. Working out in a damp Gi breeds bacteria and over time when combined with sweat causes funky smells to appear. If you ever run into a funky smell from forgetting to wash it soon after a workout a great solution is to use a mixture of 5% white vinegar diluted with water. Many fighters have said this as a tried a true way to get rid of these smells and remove stains while not damaging the Gi fibers. You can put white vinegar into the bleach area of your washing machine and will need between ¼ to 1 cup of it depending on the size of the load. Never use bleach on your Gi. This is one sure fire way to damage your Gi and you will not be impressed with the results.

Another great way to get rid of blood, sweat and other stains is with Oxyclean. Plenty of fighters can attest to the great job Oxyclean stain remover does while avoiding any damage to the Gi material. If you live somewhere warm and sunny its best to allow your Gi to dry in the sun, especially if you haven’t been washing it as soon as you are done with a workout since the sun naturally kills bacteria buildup.

Still can’t get rid of a funky smell? Well, while this solution can come at a cost of shrinking your Gi, you may need to try washing it on hot and include the ¼ to 1 cup of white vinegar and this should do the trick. If you typically use each Gi several times a week and make sure it is fully dried before your next workout, our Gis should last you at least 3-4 years or more.

On a side note, some fighters as well as other athletes have complained about developing a certain ammonia smell during their workouts that they just can’t seem to get rid of. Sometimes it has nothing to do with their gear and is a smell produced by their body. Some athletes have said they are concerned that maybe they are breaking down protein when this happens. Here is a link to an interesting article about this that explains how this is commonly caused by a chemical reaction caused by ones diet.

Some guys say they don’t want to wash their belts for a variety of reasons but take my advice and always wash your belt. Even if you’re concerned about it in the wash for any reason, you can at least use a solution of 5% white vinegar to keep it clean by hand.


● Plan ahead for the next time you hit the gym so your Gi will have plenty of time to air dry. (Using the dryer if you run out of time puts unnecessary wear on your Gi and nothing sucks more than brining a cold damp Gi to the gym.)

● Use the fighter recommended mixture of 5% white vinegar diluted with water or Oxyclean stain remover to remove blood and sweat while avoiding any damage to the Gi fibers.

● Try to remember to wash your Gi within the first 24 hours (or sooner) after returning home from a workout to limit bacteria growth and prevent stains from setting in.

● Turn your Gi inside out before putting it in the washer to avoid bacteria growth from blood and sweat.


● Don’t even think of putting bleach on any stains on your Gi. Bleach damages the Gi material and you will not be impressed with the results.

● Don’t leave your sweaty Gi in your Gi bag after returning home from a workout.

● Don’t just leave your dirty Gi balled up in a pile of your other dirty clothes waiting to be washed. Give your Gi priority of getting washed.

● Don’t stuff your washer with a full load of other dirty clothes when washing your Gi. It needs room for agitation in the washer to come completely clean from your last fight.

● Lastly, and this probably goes without saying, don’t use the same Gi for 2 different workouts in the same day. If you hit the gym in the morning, switch to a different Gi for the afternoon or evening for the second trip.