Proper hygiene in BJJ is not just a good idea--it’s imperative. After all, if you’re not careful, you can pick up (and/or spread) some pretty nasty skin infections. Whether you’re a brand new white belt who needs to know the basics or an experienced practitioner who could use a refresher, here’s ten things you need to do to keep your rolls squeaky clean.
- Wash your gi after every class; consider using a special laundry add-in like Super Shield or a cup of vinegar for extra protection.
- Wash your belt. Seriously, it gets just as sweaty and gross as your gi after class.
- Wear shoes when you step off the mat--ESPECIALLY if you’re going to the bathroom or locker room. You can grab some cheap foam sandals for 3 or 4 bucks at Walmart or Target--no excuses.
- Take a shower immediately after class--consider using a special soap that includes antibacterial/antifungal ingredients like tea tree oil. You can even make your own at home if you’re feeling ambitious. Just google “ diy tea tree oil soap.”
- If you can’t take a shower immediately after class, use some body wipes to cleanse. Defense Soap has some good ones that we’ve used, but there are plenty of others on the market as well.
- If you think you have a skin infection like ringworm or staph, stay off the mats and see a doctor. If you look at your skin and think, “Hmmm, that’s odd…” that’s enough doubt to warrant a professional’s opinion before potentially exposing your teammates.
- Make sure you’re training at a place that regularly cleans and disinfects the mats. Not sure? Ask. If they hesitate or can’t give you a straight answer, run.
- If you have a sore that a doctor has confirmed is not a skin infection, still best to cover it before rolling, preferably with gauze and tape.
- Hit your bag with an anti-fungal spray every now and then. More now than then would be good.
- If you carry a sweaty gi home in your bag, make sure to leave it open to dry out. Also see tip #9.
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