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Why Gi Care Is Important

Your gi is the most important (and expensive) training equipment that you will have on your Jiu Jitsu journey. For the sake of your gis, your wallet, and your training partners (please don't be the stinky gi guy/girl), it is so important to take great care of your gis.

Below we cover how to care for your gi, including how to wash your gi, how to shrink a gi, and how to remove any stains or funny smells.

With this information your gi will be fresh for each session and live a long life as your Jiu Jitsu companion.


Washing Your Gi

After training, wash your gi as soon as you are able. Don't let the funk, sweat, and smells sink into your gi - get it in the wash ASAP. If you can't wash it immediately, leave it somewhere to air out. Hang it up if possible. Do not leave your sweaty gi rolled up in your gym bag for a few days. Every experienced Jiu Jitsu practitioner has smelled a sweaty gi that's been left in a tight space for too long and no one likes it.

The following are some guidelines for washing gis (and other cotton clothes):

1. Turn Inside Out

Protect the badges and stitching on the outside of your gi by flipping it inside out.

2. Wash in Cold Water

Wash your gi by hand or with a washing machine in cold water. Hot water risks shrinking your gi. You can use delicate settings to further decrease unnecessary mileage from friction and agitation. Use your regular detergent, but avoid bleach! It will destroy the fibers in your gi and cause it to wear out faster.

3. Air Dry

It is important that you let your gi air dry instead of machine drying it, which can cause it to shrink. Inside or outside is fine, but if you hang your gi up outside, make sure it is out of direct sunlight. UV light may damage the color and fibers of your gi and reduce its durability.

If you need to speed up the drying process, a fan works great, or you can use your drying machine on the lowest setting, but any heat can cause shrinkage.

How To Shrink a Gi

All Gold BJJ gis come pre-shrunk. This doesn't mean they won't shrink, just that we have already applied a shrinking process so that regular care won't change its size.

Why would you want to shrink your gi? There are several reasons. If you are gi shopping and you are on the fence between sizes, common advice is to buy big so that you can shrink your gi down to your perfect size. Gis can also stretch a bit over time through the sweat and rigors of training and you may want to reverse this effect.

Here are our guidelines on shrinking your gi to the perfect size:

1. Follow the steps above on General Washing, then try your gi on for fit. If it doesn't fit the way you want it to, continue to step 2.

2. Wash in warm/hot water

This adds heat and will start the shrinking process.

3. Dry at a reduced setting

We recommend starting at low heat and working your way up. All gis are different and shrink at different rates depending on weave type, weight, and other factors. You can take your gi out of the dryer while still damp to give it a try for size to help get just the right fit. Once it's right, you can air dry it the rest of the way (keep in mind it will continue to shrink as it air dries, so plan accordingly). If it still needs to shrink more, throw it back into the dryer for another 5-10 minutes and try again.

Once dry, the gi will loosen up when worn, just like a pair of jeans you just washed will relax shortly after you put them on.

With your desired fit achieved, you can switch back to air drying to preserve the size.

Removing Funny Smells from Your Gi

Let's say you somehow committed the cardinal sin of not washing your gi after training, and now it has is a funky smell that won't wash out. People make funny faces around you and your training partners don't want to train with you anymore. No worries, we've got you covered:

1. Make a Vinegar and Water Mixture

25% Vinegar, 75% Water is the mixture we use. Vinegar kills odor-causing bacteria that have grown in your gi. It is a time-tested remedy for smelly garments.

2. Soak Your Gi

Leave your gi in your vinegar/water solution for 5+ hours, to allow the vinegar to really soak in and do its work.

3. Wash/Rinse

Wash as usual. You can add baking soda to assist in smell removal, but it isn't necessary.

For really bad situations, you may have to repeat this process again - but for the most part, it will do the trick.

Removing Stains from Your Gi

Jiu Jitsu is a contact sport, so it is likely that your gi won't stay new-looking for long. Stains can come from anywhere and tend to ruin your style. Here's what we have found great success with for stain removal:

1. Wash in Cold Water

Follow the instructions for Washing Your Gi above, and do so as soon as possible. Do not use hot water, it will actually set the stain for good.

2.OxyClean Spray or Powder

Helps with tough stains and maintains the fabric and color.

Pro Tips

- For new colored gis, you can actually preserve the color by washing them in the vinegar solution above. You can't stop fading completely, but this technique will keep your gi looking newer for longer. Of course, you may want your gi to show the mileage from all the training you've been putting in, it's all personal preference.

- For white gis, you can use a minuscule amount of color-safe bleach to try to keep the white coloration. Beware, it can fade any color on the gi, and it will reduce the life of your gi. On the plus side, as the bleach breaks down the fibers, the gi will be a bit softer to the touch and so a bit more comfortable to wear - but you will be shopping a new gi sooner than if you avoided bleach.


Do you have any gi care secrets?

Let us know what you do to keep your gis lasting and feeling great at