BJJ

How To Get The Smell Out Of Your BJJ Gi?

How To Get The Smell Out Of Your BJJ Gi?

It is mandatory for a BJJ practitioner to wear his BJJ Gi daily during training sessions. Some practitioners train daily while some train twice or thrice a week. It doesn’t matter how often you train because your Gi smells bad after just one day of training. So it is better to wash it regularly.


Below are some ways to remove the stench from your Gi.

1. Odor in BJJ Gi

Your BJJ Gi can turn smelly due to the buildup of bacteria and sweat from training. When you train, you sweat, and the sweat gets absorbed into the fabric of the Gi. The warm, moist environment created by the sweat is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, and if the sweat is not washed out of the Gi, the bacteria will continue to grow, causing the Gi to develop an unpleasant odor and can become a health hazard.


The type of fabric your Gi is made of can also contribute to the odor. Synthetic fabrics trap odors more easily than natural fabrics like cotton or hemp. If your Gi is made of synthetic material, it may be more prone to developing odors than a Gi made of a natural material.


Other factors that can contribute to the development of odor are the frequency of your training, the intensity of your workouts, and the temperature and humidity levels in your training environment. If you train frequently, sweat heavily, and train in a hot and humid environment, your Gi is more likely to be in need of a frequent wash.


It is important to wash your Gi regularly and take steps to prevent the growth of bacteria and sweat in your Gi. Hence, avoiding your Gi from turning smelly.

2. Why Does Your Gi Turn Smelly?

During BJJ training, practitioners sweat a lot. When this sweat remains in your Gi for a longer time, it accounts for a strong bad smell.

2.1. Sweating

During BJJ training, performing excessive workouts can result in sweating. This sweat when remains in your Gi for a long period of time, gives a bad stench. It deteriorates the health of your Gi and its average age. You then have to invest more and more in your BJJ gear.

2.2. Bacteria

When you sweat, the moisture from your skin is absorbed into your Gi. This moisture creates a warm, damp environment that is ideal for the growth of bacteria. As the bacteria multiply, they can produce an odor that can be difficult to eliminate.


The odor from sweat is intensified by certain types of bacteria that break down the proteins and fatty acids in sweat and produce a strong and unpleasant smell.

2.3. Poor Ventilation

The amount of airflow and ventilation plays an important role in inducing smell in your Gi. Poor ventilation causes your Gi to remain damp and the stench intensifies. Often after washing Gi, practitioners do not care for its dryness and that dampness accounts for a bad smell.

2.4. Low-Quality Fabric

The smell coming from your Gi also depends on the build quality of the uniform. Gi made from a low-quality fabric is more likely to become smelly than a Gi made from high-quality fiber. It will become worn out easily. That is why you must use cotton Gis which are friendly for your skin.

3. How to Get the Stench Out Your BJJ Gi?

Following are some of the ways to remove odor from your Gi, so that you smell good and other practitioners don’t run away from you.

3.1. Wash Your Gi Right After Training

Never let your smelly and sweaty Gi sit overnight. Wash your Gi right after class as you reach home. When your perfectly fine Gi sits in that sweat for the whole night not only does its fabric fibers get damaged but also the smell stays in it.


So your goal after training must be washing your Gi and then air drying it. Do not leave the wet and crumbled Gi or else the smell will remain intact.

3.2. Wash With Distilled White Vinegar

Washing your Gi with white vinegar can be an effective way to remove any unpleasant smells from the fabric. White vinegar is a natural deodorizer and can help neutralize any odors caused by sweat, bacteria, or other substances.


To use vinegar to wash your Gi, follow these steps:

  • Fill your washing machine with cold water.
  • Add one cup of distilled white vinegar with 5% acidity to the water.
  • Place your Gi in the washing machine and let it soak for about 30 minutes.
  • After the soak, run a normal wash cycle with detergent.

Make sure to use a good quality detergent that is specially designed for athletic clothing. Avoid using fabric softeners or dryer sheets, as they can leave a residue on the fabric and reduce its moisture-wicking properties.


Once the wash cycle is complete, hang your Gi to air dry. Avoid using a dryer, as high heat can damage the fabric and cause shrinkage. They also leave a waxy texture to your Gi. Using vinegar to wash your Gi can help eliminate any lingering odors and keep your Gi smelling fresh and clean.

You can soak your Gi in white vinegar for four hours and after that wash it regularly in the machine.

3.3. Use Odor-Eliminating Laundry Detergents

Using odor-eliminating laundry detergents can be a great way to remove any lingering smells from your Gi. These detergents are specially formulated to target and neutralize the bacteria and other substances that can cause odors in clothing. You can also add odor-defense pods for a nice fragrance.


To use an odor-eliminating laundry detergent to wash your Gi, follow these steps:

  • Check the label on your detergent to make sure it is safe for use with athletic clothing and does not contain any bleach or fabric softeners.
  • Fill your washing machine with cold water.
  • Add the recommended amount of detergent for your load size.
  • Place your Gi in the washing machine and run a normal wash cycle

3.4. Dry Gi in Sunlight

Once you have washed your smelly Gi, dry it in the sunlight. The UV rays are a natural odor killer. It will instantly kill the smell-causing bacteria.

3.5. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is an amazing agent for not only removing smell but also whitening your Gi which is turning yellow. Mix baking soda in water and soak your Gi for almost 5 hours. After that, wash your Gi with any detergent of your choice.

3.6. Disinfectant

Disinfectants are used to kill the bacteria that reside in your Gi permanently. They tend to keep the fabric fibers soft.

4. Air Drying - Important for Removing Smell from BJJ Gi

Yes, air drying your BJJ Gi is important for removing the smell from it. When you air dry your Gi, you allow air to circulate around the fabric, which helps to evaporate any remaining moisture and prevents bacterial growth. This is especially important for removing odor, as bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments, such as those found in a damp Gi.


In contrast, if you use a dryer to dry your Gi, you risk damaging the fabric and shrinking it, as well as setting any remaining odor. The heat and tumbling action of the dryer can cause the fabric to shrink and the stitching to come apart, which can weaken the overall structure of the Gi. Additionally, the dryer can cause any remaining bacteria to multiply and spread, which can lead to even stronger odors.


To air dry your Gi, simply hang it up on a clothesline or drying rack in a well-ventilated area. You can hang it outside in direct sunlight, which can help to kill bacteria and eliminate odors, or indoors in a room with good airflow. Make sure the Gi is completely dry before storing it, as any remaining moisture can cause bacteria to grow and odors to develop again.


Overall, air drying is the best option for removing the smell from your Gi and keeping it fresh and clean. By allowing air to circulate around the fabric, you can effectively prevent bacteria growth and eliminate odors, without damaging the fabric or stitching of your Gi.

5. Results of Wearing a Smelly Gi

Wearing a smelly Gi can have a number of negative consequences, including:

5.1. Increased Risk of Infection

A smelly Gi is often an indication that bacteria and fungi are present in the fabric. Wearing a smelly Gi can increase your risk of developing skin infections, such as ringworm, staph infections, or athlete’s foot.

5.2. Unpleasant Odor

A smelly Gi can emit a strong, unpleasant odor that can be distracting or offensive to others, making it difficult to train effectively and possibly leading to social isolation. No one at the gym would want to roll with you. In case, you are rolling with practitioners, they would tend to lose so that they could get away from you.

5.3. Reduced Performance

The smell and discomfort caused by a smelly Gi can be distracting and lead to reduced performance in training and competition. Even for you, it is difficult to train in the smelly Gi. Your overall performance drops to zero.

5.4. Damage to the Gi

Over time, the bacteria and fungi that cause the odor in a smelly Gi can also damage the fabric and stitching, leading to premature wear and tear. The life span of your Gi decreases and you have to buy more Gis.

5.5. Negative Impact on Hygiene Standards

Wearing a smelly Gi can be seen as a violation of hygiene standards in the BJJ community, which can lead to exclusion from your training partners.

6. Do’s & Don’t of Stenchy BJJ Gi

6.1. Do's

Wash Your Gi After Every Use: The best way to prevent your Gi from developing a strong odor is to wash it after every training session. This will help to remove sweat and bacteria before they have a chance to build up and cause an unpleasant smell.


Use a Mild Detergent: Use a mild detergent that is free of fragrances and additives when washing your Gi. Harsh detergents or fabric softeners can damage the fabric and worsen the odor.


Pre-Soak Your Gi: Pre-soaking your Gi in a solution of water and white vinegar can help to neutralize odors and kill bacteria before washing.


Hang Your Gi to Dry: Hang your Gi to dry in a well-ventilated area, preferably in direct sunlight. This can help to kill bacteria and eliminate odors.


Store Your Gi Properly: Store your Gi in a dry, clean place. Avoid storing it in a damp or humid environment, as this can promote bacteria growth and cause odors to develop again.

6.2. Don’ts

Don’t Wear Gi for too Long: Wearing Gi for too long without washing can cause sweat and bacteria to build up, leading to a strong, unpleasant odor.


Don’t use Fabric Softeners: Fabric softeners can damage the fabric of your Gi and make the odor worse. Stick to a mild detergent and avoid using fabric softeners altogether.


Don’t Dry Gi in the Dryer: Drying your Gi in the dryer can shrink the fabric and damage it.


Don’t Store Your Gi in a Damp or Humid Environment: Storing your Gi in a damp or humid environment can promote bacterial growth and cause odors to develop again. Store it in a dry, clean place instead.

7. FAQs

7.1. How Often Should You Wash Your Gi?

You should wash your Gi after every training session. If you are not able to do that at least air or sun-dry it so that bacteria do not cause it to stink.

7.2. Can I Use Fabric Softener on my BJJ Gi?

Fabric softener can leave marks on your Gi. So try to avoid them and especially do not pour them directly on the Gi. If it is necessary to use them, first mix them in water and then add the Gi.

7.3. How to Prevent Your Gi From Bad Smell in the First Place?

Wash your Gi after the practice and it won’t smell. You can also use various oil fragrances to make your BJJ Gis smell good.

8. Conclusion

Wearing a smelly Gi can have negative consequences for both your health and your social interactions within the BJJ community. It is important to maintain proper hygiene practices and care for your Gi to prevent it from becoming smelly and to ensure a safe and enjoyable training experience for everyone involved. You can use white vinegar and odor defense pods to remove the stench from your Gi. And make sure to wash or at least air dry the Gi after training sessions.

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