When discussing the merits of various BJJ gi in the course of choosing my gi, Michelle and Brandon, friends of MegJistu on Facebook let slip an amazing tip on how they keep their kimono clean and fresh-smelling while only washing them every 6-8 weeks! In light of Megan William’s recent report on BJJ from a microbiologist’s perspective, it is serendipitous that Michelle and Brandon, white and black belts, respectively, out of Wolf Clan Combat Sports (Helio Soneca) in Knoxville, Tennessee, kindly agreed to let me share their laundry secrets with you.(1)
Here it is: tumble dry your gi with a dryer sheet for 10 minutes on a delicate setting/very low heat after class. I had to ask Michelle, do gi ‘washed’ in this manner start to stink as soon as sweat or moisture hits them? This is what she had to say:
Nope, no smell at all. People actually comment on how good they always smell! Because you are evaporating the sweat, there is no bacteria sitting in the fabric. It’s awesome! Brandon has been doing this for years and years. He has gis 8 years old that look brand new!
There you have it, you can save time and energy on your BJJ laundry duties, which we all know can be ardourous, while maintaining a proper standard of hygiene; a clean grappler is a beloved grappler. Moreover, by nuking the bacteria in the dryer, you are able to avoid those hotter washes that can kill germies but also fade your gi. Indeed, Michelle’s wisdom extends to this area of concern and she supplies a sweet tip on how to keep your dark gi looking new:
Soak [your new gi] in white vinegar to set the color: kitchen sink, fill with cold water, add 2 cups white vinegar, soak 30 minutes, wash as normal… voila!
I will definitely be trying this trick when my new Break Point Light Weight women’s gi arrives. Cheers, Michelle, for taking the time to share your domestic sorcery with us!
Fellow BJJ blogger, Georgette Oden, was suspicious of the efficacy of a no water wash, as were many readers, and she ran with it. Check out Georgette’s summary of expert opinion before deciding if this may be the right approach for you (and your club mates). As Georgette writes:
I know, as it comes up with the opposite conclusion that it might be interpreted as a slam of some sort, and that was NOT my intent. I love this sport and everyone who loves it too, and I only write from the spirit of genuinely wanting to foster knowledge and understanding and safety.
Big thanks to Georgette for going deeper into this issue and providing us with a more informed opinion than any of us non-experts may have. Big thanks again, too, to Michelle and Brandon who shared their approach with us; it ain’t easy putting yourself into public view!
(1) I haven’t tried this approach as I don’t have a dyer, so I can’t personally vouch for its efficacy or its safety for your gi. Michelle, however swears by it, and I’m passing on the tip for your information. Use at your own risk!