Jiu-Jitsu Letter


I remember when I was just starting, a fellow white belt told me, “You really only need one gi. The trick is to air it out after class, and it’s good to go the next day. Then, at the end of the week, wash it with bleach.” I almost never partnered up with that guy except on Mondays.

Wash your gi after every class. If you don’t have a washing machine, you can get a big bucket or wash it in the bathtub. Hang dry the gi jacket and rashguard. Pants can be machine or hang dried.

What works for me:

  • Cold wash/cold rinse. At home, we have an HE top loader with a glass lid. But when I use the regular cycle, I can see that sometimes the collar is above the water, so I usually choose the “bulky/bedding” cycle. That fills the tub with more water.
  • Detergent and sometimes (usually) sodium percarbonate.1 The active ingredient in Oxi-Clean is sodium percarbonate. That’s sold in bulk without the fragrants for cheap. A little goes a long way.
  • Sometimes I use the “soak” option (when adding the sodium percarbonate). My previous washers were top loaders, and to soak, I would just leave the lid up after the tub fills.
  • Gi jacket and rashguard or undershirt (if it’s moisture-wicking material like Dri-Fit) are hang dried.2 The jacket could shrink in heat and I’ve ruined a few gis before so I don’t take any chances with dryers anymore. And moisture-wicking materials are ruined by dryer sheets. So if you want to use the dryer for them, just skip the dryer sheets. I find that there’s too much static cling so I just hang them. The dryer sheets leave a residue on clothes, and on material like Dri-Fit, that residue clogs the tiny holes, making the shirt ineffective at wicking. The eventual result is a mildewy stench that’s hard to get out. (Vinegar in the wash supposedly helps.)

  1. Sodium percarbonate (Amazon) ↩︎

  2. Drying rack (Amazon) ↩︎

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