How To Wash Your BJJ Gi For The First Time - A Beginner's Guide for 2021

bjj gi washing for the first time

Since you’re going to practice for a long time wearing the clothes, you’ll need to wash them regularly almost after each training session. Moreover, if you want to maintain hygiene and don’t want your training clothes to stink, then I’d recommend you better wash them before your next practice. However, you should be careful about washing your Gi for the very first time because the first wash is more crucial than the later ones to sustain the quality of the fabric. And washing your Gi without knowing the must-do things can ruin the dress and leave it unusable. So, here are some steps to follow while washing your BJJ Gi for the very first time.

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Steps of washing your Gi for the first time

  • Before washing your new Gi, have a look at the instructions specified by the brand which produced it. The instructions, in general, are given as washing or laundry symbols and labels on clothes. All brands don’t have the same production procedure or use the same raw materials. So, washing methods and instructions will vary too. Remember and consider every direction carefully. 
  • The very first step to follow is turning your Gi’s inside out. This is necessary to do to protect the color, stitch, and fabric. Especially when your Gi is not white but blue or black, if you still choose to wash it without turning it inside-out, then the color will fade very soon. Not only the color but the stitch and shape can also be affected after drying. If you want to wash it more carefully, you can wash every piece separately. 
  • The next essential thing to remember is that you should use cold water for washing your BJJ Gi, as too much warm water will damage the fabric. Use cold water and low or medium spin in the machine.

If you’re planning to shrink the fabric, then you can use a little bit of warm water. But shrinking for the very first time is not needed. If your cloth doesn’t fit well even after the first wash, then you can go for shrinking. To shrink, you need to set your washing machine at a moderate warm mode, low spin, and moderate temperature at the dryer. It will be advised not to shrink for the very first time. Air drying is more effective rather than drying through a dryer. 

  • Do not use chlorine/bleach to wash the Gi. Chlorine directly engages with the inner material of the Gi as it’s highly oxidizing. It chemically reacts with the materials, which eventually affects the texture of the material and shortens its durability too. So, if you want your Gi to be long-lasting, avoid chlorine, bleach, and other strong oxidizers. 
  • Air drying is good for the first time you wash, but be sure that your Gi doesn’t come in direct contact with the sunlight because the UV rays will reduce the integrity of the fabric and will decrease the ultimate quality of it. Moreover, it won’t last long. So, it’s good to hang it indoors for drying or where direct sunlight doesn’t enter.
  • Another small piece of advice that can be given is not to wash the Gi with other clothes, especially while cleaning for the first time. Because it’s not made like other cotton clothes which we use, so the cleaning method is quite different. Also, there’s a risk of the color getting ruined, as color from other clothes can discharge and get mixed with the Gi. 
  • You can use vinegar in the first wash in two cases. One, if your Gi stinks and the other is if your Gi brand permits you to use a vinegar solution. A vinegar solution is known for moving out any sort of bad smell. So, if you experience any unwanted odor in your Gi, you can use the vinegar solution in the recommended proportion. Remember, not every brand-made Gi can tolerate vinegar. So, ensure before using it.

Why is the first wash so important? 

After reading the main purpose of the article, the first question that might come to your mind is why the first wash is given so much priority, isn’t it? The first wash can be compared to preparing the dress for the upcoming pros and cons it’s going to face. Moreover, it encounters the water and cleaning agents for the first time after the manufacturing stage. So, during the first wash, you need to be more careful and handle it more delicately than the later washes. The next washes are important too. But the risk of damage is more in the first wash. One small mistake can fade the color, damage the fabric, or damage the stitches as well. So, the first wash is very important to be taken care of.

How will you clean the stains?

If you somehow get stains on your Gi before the first wash or even afterward, what should you do? You should wash it immediately with cold water. If you delay or use hot water to clean the stains, it will set permanently on your Gi. 

What if you have a colored Gi? 

Protecting the color of Gi is vital for long durability. You should be more careful if your Gi is dark-colored (blue and black). For dark colors, you must use appropriate detergents, that damages the colors and fabrics less. Using vinegar in a small proportion is also an effective way to protect the colors. White Gis, too, can be washed using vinegar and lukewarm water. 

Users have shared their experiences regarding this. And they recommend using vinegar, Borax, or Oxyclean for cleaning helps. We have a full review on detergents for BJJ Gis as well.

Should you wash your belt?

Some people prefer not to wash their belts because they think it’s not necessary; also, there’s a chance it might get damaged while cleaning. But it’s also a part of Gi, and it needs to be cleaned as well, maybe not regularly. It’s just that the belt must be cleaned according to its materials. If the belt is made of cotton, then there is no problem with washing it. 


What to do after the first wash?

Is washing properly the only thing that makes a Gi long-lasting? No, only washing is not enough to take care of it; it’s just a step of care. So the things you can do is:

  1. Use a fan to dry it faster, and it’s good to dry it in the air as soon as possible. 
  2. Don’t wrap your wet Gis and keep them in your training bag. This can damage the fiber, lead to growing microorganisms, and create an unwanted foul smell too.
  3. Using an iron is not always necessary. But if you want, you can iron it at a low temperature. But make sure not to run the iron on the logo, also avoid the patches and embroidery.  
  4. Wrap it properly before storing it anywhere. 
  5. Don’t use a single Gi exhaustively; it creates pressure on the fiber, stitches, and patches. As a result, it tears within a short time. So you must keep multiple sets of Gis
  6. The last thing you should follow is not to lend your Gis to others because everyone doesn’t have the same body shape, and it’s not hygenic either. Additionally, others won’t take care of your belongings the same way you would.

Some more tips

  • Buy your Gis from a renowned brand.
  • Follow the shape chart and buy according to your body shape.
  • Choose a high-quality fabric because its washing and caring methods should be easier.
  • Use a fragranced washing powder while washing to remove any kind of odor.
  • Buy a new Gi if your Gis tear, get discolored or have got any stain you cannot remove, or if the Gi doesn’t fit well after multiple washes.

Bottom Line

The points above are the main essentials related to the first wash of your Gis. Washing it for the first time is not too hard; you just need to be careful with it. Buy from the brand you prefer; you can choose a color according to your preference. All you need to do is follow the rules of washing and caring according to the color, shape, and fabric so that you can use your Gi for a long time. Buy a perfect Gi, maintain it properly, that can show up your personality.




I'm Timmy and I'm the chief-editor and co-founder of Jiu-Jitsu Street. You'll usually find me on the mats and also cross-training Muay Thai. Besides martial arts I'm also into functional fitness and all things health. Jiu-Jitsu Street was created to provide useful information for BJJ beginners and seasoned practitioners alike to help you on your journey and love for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Oss!

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Jiu-Jitsu Street is a community of fun loving and hard rolling BJJ enthusiasts. Born out of our passion for the gentle art, we have decided to create this blog and help you on your journey. Let’s grow and learn together on this never-ending journey. Oss!

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