BJJ Advice Newbies

7 Secrets to Defunk Your Gi

Would you want to roll with someone who has a funky gi?

Of course not!

If you train Jiu Jitsu long enough, your gi(s) will stink from time to time. It’s only natural with all that sweat. Your gi can pick up bacteria and other foul-smelling germs from the mat or just from rolling with your training partner.  Your gi might smell fine when you put it on, then out of nowhere it starts smelling really bad a few minutes into training.  You might forget to wash your gi after training and the ok-smelling gi might turn into an “OMG what is that horrible smell?!” gi in a day or two.  

washing-machines-540 Let’s be honest, stuff happens and you may not always have time to wash your gi right away.  Nobody will
really bother you if you have a stinky gi once or twice. But if you’re always stinky, no one will want to roll with you.

So let’s make sure that you’re not known as the person with the stinky gi!

“Gi Funk” is real and it happens to the best of us.  If your gi still smells badly when it’s freshly washed, your gi will smell just as bad or worse when you sweat all over it in class.  No one wants to smell that and you don’t either, so it’s time to get rid of the gi funk.  

Here are 7 Secrets to defunk your gi and make sure that your gi is as fresh as your BJJ skills:

  1.  Wash your gi as soon as possible after training in it.  The longer you let your gi sit before you wash it, the harder it will be to get the stink out.
  2. If you train multiple times a week and can’t wash your gi after each use, buy another gi.  It’s incredibly gross to train in a dirty gi that has been growing mat germs.
  3. Think about spraying or pouring some peroxide on the underarms and crotch area of your gi before washing.  Peroxide is pretty not expensive and you can get it from just about any pharmacy or local supermarket.

20140419-143409Believe me!  It makes a BIG  difference! Especially if your gi will be sitting for a while before you’re able to wash it.  Smell the gi after washing it.  If it still stinks, repeat the peroxide step and wash your gi again! You won’t harm your gi by rewashing it directly after.  

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  1. Wash stinky gis with both laundry detergent AND color-safe bleach.  Seventh Generation color-safe bleach is a bit expensive, but it works well and won’t discolor your colored gis.  You can also choose to add Borax to your load of laundry for a cleaning boost.  You can find borax in the laundry detergent aisle (not to be confused with boric acid).
  2. If your gi is super stinky, you can pre-soak it in a vinegar and water solution in your washing machine before washing it.  Start with 1 or 2 cups of vinegar per gi and enough water to cover the gi(s).  Use trial and error with the amount of vinegar and the time you need to soak it in order to get rid of the smell.  Once the gi no longer stinks, wash it as you normally would.  Smell the gi when it’s done washing; you may have to repeat the vinegar step more than once.  
  3.  If you have  problems with gi funk a lot, think about trying a gi-specific laundry detergent.  One gi detergent that claims to remove regular laundry detergent build-up, embedded sweat, and bacteria is Absolute Natural Fiber Laundry Detergent.  Also, Defense Soap makes a laundry additive called Super Shield that you might want to try out.
  4. Always, re-wash a stinky gi that still stinks after a fresh wash.  If your gi stinks after washing (before drying when it’s still wet), then it will stink when it gets wet again due to your sweat.  If you notice that your gi is stinky during or after training, make sure to treat the gi funk with one of the above methods as soon as possible and wash your gi.  Repeat until your gi no longer stinks.

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gi-funk-pic-5Regularly washing your gis with an all-purpose laundry detergent and color-safe bleach will typically keep your gis smelling fresh.  However, sometimes gi funk is going to happen no matter what you do! When that happens, you have to do a re-set with peroxide, vinegar, or a gi-specific laundry detergent.  You might even want to plan to wash it in a “deep cleaning” session every so often. For example every 1 or 2 months, as a way to keep your gi funk from building up! You can use one of the odor-fighting methods listed above even if your gis are not stinky.

It may seem like extra work, but it’s totally worth taking the extra steps to not stink : )  

Trust me, your training partners will love you for it!  You will benefit because you’ll have partners to roll with and they’ll benefit because they won’t have to deal with your funky gi!

If someone jokingly or seriously makes a comment about your gi being smelly, take it as a sign that it’s time to put some effort into making sure your gi is fresh.  These secrets work for freshening up stinky rash guards, spats, shorts, etc. as well.  

As always, see you on the mats!

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