BJJ gi in the dryer

How to Dry a Gi (Without Shrinking It)

There’s a lot of conflicting advice about how to wash and dry a Jiu Jitsu gi and whether or not you can put a gi in the dryer, and with good reason: not all gi’s are created equal. In this article I’ll tell you about the pros and cons of putting your BJJ gi in the dryer and share some alternative ideas for how to dry a gi. (To learn how to wash your gi, read this article.)

Can I Put My Gi in the Dryer?

The main concern with drying a gi in a hot dryer is that it might shrink, and most gi’s made from traditional gi fabrics most certainly will. If you want the convenience of being able to dry your gi in the dryer, you could try purchasing a gi one size larger than you need and deliberately shrink it.

That is what I have done with several of my gi’s, and I’m happy with this solution. Only one of my gi’s continued to shrink after the first time I dried it, and that was my Sanabul gi, but I still got about a year of use out of it, which was worth it to me for the price.

Benefits of Drying a BJJ Gi in the Dryer

Personally I prefer to dry my Jiu Jitsu gi’s in the dryer for a few reasons:

  1. It’s more convenient for me.
  2. I don’t have to find a place to hang my gi while it’s drying.
  3. My gi is softer when I put it on. A gi that has been hung to dry feels very stiff.
  4. The hot dryer can help kill bacteria and prevent my gi from becoming so stinky.

BJJ Gi Brands that Won’t Shrink in the Dryer

I own two BJJ gi’s made from a type of fabric that doesn’t shrink much if at all when dried in a hot dryer.

The first is the Starlyte Gi from Hyperfly. This is my favorite gi. It’s super lightweight and comfortable, and even though it has now been washed and dried in a hot dryer probably a hundred times, it is still the same size that it was when I bought it. Flow Kimonos is the only other brand I know of that sells gi’s made from the same material (their Alpine and Alpine Pro gi’s), but I haven’t yet bought one because they never seem to have my size in stock.

Close up photo of my Hyperfly Starlyte gi kimono

The other gi I have that hasn’t shrunk is my BJJ Globetrotters gi, which has a jacket made from ripstop fabric (the same fabric as gi pants are often made of).

Neither of these gi’s are competition legal due to their light weight, but both of them are great training gi’s.

How to Dry a Gi Without Putting it In the Dryer

There are several reasons you might not to put a Jiu Jitsu gi in the dryer. For instance:

  • You might have already purchased a gi that you don’t want to shrink.
  • You might not want to waste electricity.
  • You might not own a clothes dryer.

In these cases, you fortunately have some other options available to you.

Method 1: Hang your gi indoors to dry.

Back when I had gi’s I didn’t want to shrink, I would always hang them on the back of a dining chair. Usually they would be fully dry in about 12 hours and the chair helped them to dry in a nice shape. An added benefit to this method is that it puts moisture into the air, which is a good thing in a dry climate but maybe not so much in a humid climate. The downside to this method for me was that my dining area constantly looked messy, since my husband and I were training nearly every day.

Of course there are other places you could hang a gi to dry indoors. You might purchase a wall-mounted drying rack, an over-the-door drying rack, or use a hanger to hang your gi on your shower rod or the wall of a glass shower.

Method 2: Put your gi in the sun to dry.

Hanging or laying your gi outside in the sun is one of the best ways to dry a Jiu Jitsu gi when the weather is nice and sunny, because sunlight acts as a disinfectant and deodorizer. Whenever one of my gi’s is starting to develop permastank, I soak it in a tub with some type of laundry disinfectant and then lay it on my driveway in the sun for a few hours.

How to Hang Dry a Gi Faster

If you don’t want to put your gi in the dryer but need it to dry faster than it would by just hanging it normally, you could try rigging up a gi drying system similar to this one created by a family at my gym which employs a box fan underneath a rack. They say this system keeps their gi’s from shrinking and that the gi’s dry faster than they would without the fan.

Did I answer your question? Do you have any other tips for drying a Jiu Jitsu gi? Leave a comment to let me know!

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