So it’s finally summer, and your first clue into the rising temps is not the sound of robins in the morning or the budding green of the trees, but the self-induced sauna that is your gi, and the toe-curling stench wafting out to greet you when you open your car door after letting your sparring gloves bake in the heat after a sweaty morning training session. Summer brings a whole new level of suffering, er, joy to training, and that means a whole new level of taking care of your gear. Not only so you can get more mileage out of those $100 gloves, but so you don’t irritate your teammates, significant other, and children with that special stench. Heat breeds bacteria, and sweat + high temps is the perfect incubator for some nasty additions to your gym bag and whatever you put in it. Follow our tips to keep your sanity when training this summer. Your loved ones will thank you.
Don’t Let It Linger
If you only follow one of our suggestions, let it be this: Clean your gear asap. Pack disinfectant wipes, or fungal spray, or whatever cleaning product warms your heart, and take the time to wipe down your gloves and shin pads. Don’t pass go, don’t collect that sparkling water waiting for you, just stop and take five minutes immediately after training to clean your stuff. Take that sweat-soaked gi or rash guard and get it in the laundry asap. The worst thing you can do is let it sit for a few days while odor-causing bacteria use your gi as their love shack.
Air Is Your Friend
After you clean your gear, don’t shove it into your gym bag or chuck it in your trunk. Find a well-ventilated spot and let it sit out. And no, inside your car doesn’t count. Unstrap your gloves, and leave your gear to air out. If you can find a spot to set it outside, even better. And for the love of jiu jitsu, again, do not shove your gi into your gym bag and let it sit there.
So Is The Sun
UV rays help kill the bacteria that causes odor, so once or twice a week, give your gear some time out in the sun to help sunlight do its part to keep things fresh. As a bonus, you’ll get that much-needed fresh air that we mentioned above. A great way to incorporate this is to hang your gi outside to dry in the sunny weather. You’ll also get the brightening affects of UV rays, so the yellow armpits of your gi will contrast better to the sparkling whiteness of the rest.
Consider Alternative Methods
High temps may mean upping your game and including some new or extra cleaning options. Consider using tea tree oil, vinegar, or baking soda when washing your gi, rashguard, and spats (check item care guide first). Make sure your personal hygiene is up to snuff, and not contributing to stinky gear. Don’t hang out in a sweaty gi or soaked training clothes. Give yourself a quick swipe with body wipes (Defense Soap makes great ones) before putting your gear on if you’re coming to the gym after a long day.
Long story short, summer means heat, heat means sweat, and sweat means odor and bacteria. Clean your gear asap, give it some extra TLC, and you won’t send your teammates or your wife running for the door when they see you take your gi out.