Hygiene in activities like BJJ is crucial. The sport's nature places us close to other people and creates warm and humid conditions where germs and fungi thrive. This is something we must live with, but there are things we can do to minimize the chances of infections like ringworm, staph, and impetigo.
Gym hygiene comes first, and the mats must be regularly cleaned. Next in importance is how clean the bodies rolling on the mats are, and this is what you have control over. Showering before and immediately after practice are the two key steps, but what you use for the shower also matters, especially if a skin infection is suspected.
BJJ soaps are created to protect you from infections, which are treatable but can keep you off the mats for weeks. I've spent considerable time skimming through reviews and testing products to give you a roundup of the best BJJ soaps you can buy.
Best BJJ Soap
Runner Up Best BJJ Soap
Best BJJ Shower Gel
Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Organic Palm Oil, Hemp Oil, Shea Butter, Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil, Cajeput Essential Oil, Peppermint Leaves
Glycerin, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Tea Tree Leaf Oil
Potassium Olivate, Tea Tree Essential Oil, Glycerin, Coco Glucoside, Peppermint Essential Oil, Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Aloe
12 fl. oz
The Gold BJJ soap is perhaps the most popular soap among jiu-jitsu practitioners, which means a lot of people are happy with it for a good reason. It comes in three different scents- peppermint tea tree, classic tea tree, and activated charcoal, all of which are strong and pleasant.
The Gold BJJ soap is all-natural and hand-milled in the USA. It's full of essential oils with varying degrees depending on the scent, but Tea Tree oil is present in all three, which is well known to have anti-fungal qualities.
This soap is also vegan, cruelty-free, and GMO-free, which can be a deal breaker for some people, so everyone should be happy with how the soaps are made in addition to the ingredients and qualities.
The product is offered in different packs, with bigger packs having better value as expected. If you are looking for a high-quality soap created with grapplers in mind, the Gold BJJ soap is for you.
Gold BJJ Tea Tree Oil Submission Soap
Best BJJ Soap
Best Runner-Up BJJ Soap
The Defense soap is the oldest and most well-known brand for martial arts soap and could have been my top choice, but Gold BJJ makes great jiu-jitsu-specific products, which is why I chose their product.
You will not go wrong in buying Defense soaps. Their entire range of hygiene products is excellent and is well-trusted in combat sports academies everywhere. The product is made with all-natural ingredients, including tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil, which offer a wide range of benefits.
Another great feature of the Defense soap is its triple-milled, guaranteeing consistency and longevity. Given the price of natural soaps, lasting for longer is a rather important feature.
It's also made in the USA, and there are a few options for scent, which also have slightly different qualities.
Best BJJ Shower Gel
Gold BJJ Submission Body Wash
The same trusted combination of tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and aloe vera from the Gold BJJ Submission Soap can also be found in shower gel.
The choice between solid soap bars and liquid soap boils down to personal preference more than anything else, so if you prefer shower gels, Gold BJJ Body Wash has the option (and so does Defense).
While I prefer soap bars, the shower gel version of the Gold BJJ soap is better for those who have problems with dry skin after washing, and it works great as a moisturizer.
Aside from that, the tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil battle the fungi just as effectively as in the bar version.
Gold BJJ Submission Body Wash
BestBJJ Shower Gel
Best Budget BJJ Soap
Dove Men Care Soap
As you've noticed, all the options thus far have hefty price tags, which is to be expected for all-natural products. But not everyone can pay 10-15 bucks for a bar of soap, and among the cheap regular soaps, the Dove Men Care soap is the best.
The smell is more artificial, there are chemical ingredients, and there is no BJJ branding, but the Dove Men Care soap will get you clean, smelling nice, and has a much better moisturizing effect than other ordinary soaps. So, if you are on a tight budget, this one should do the trick.
Other Notable BJJ Soaps Worth Mentioning
Dr. Squatch All-Natural Bar Soap
Another super popular option for an all-natural soap great for grapplers and athletes in general is the Dr. Squatch. This one is specifically marketed for men, which doesn't mean women can't use it, but the scent is intentionally manly.
The downside of this soap is it's not explicitly anti-bacterial, meaning it doesn't contain oils lab-proven to be effective.
This doesn't mean it's not going to kill the germs, though, and the mix of cypress, lavender, and clary sage oils works great for the skin. The scents are strong and masculine, and the soap has a strong exfoliation factor.
Art of Sport Soap
You have the tea tree oil to battle with the fungi, but the difference with other soaps on this list is the addition of shea butter, which works as a moisturizer.
Two distinct scents, Rise and Defy, have slightly different ingredients. The Art of Sport soap is also well regarded on Amazon, with over 11,000 reviews so you can be certain of the quality of the product.
High-profile NBA stars also endorse this soap, so some high-demanding athletes use it.
Botanic Hearth Tea Tree Body Wash
This is the Botanic Hearth Tea Tree to add another body wash to the mix. While not marketed as a BJJ, combat, or even a sports product, this shower gel has all the ingredients we seek in a quality product.
The main ones are the important tea tree oil for angi fungal properties, in addition to sea buckthorn oil and peppermint. The compound also helps remove unpleasant body odors easier and promotes healthy skin.
The Botanic Heart body wash is ethically sourced and cruelty-free for those interested in the product's origin.
How To Pick The Best BJJ Soap
The most important aspect of a soap is the ingredients. In recent years, much light has been shed on the harm of artificial elements in hygiene products and everything, so the best choice is to go for natural and organic products.
The ingredients vary between manufacturers and between models, but the main ingredients are always some form of vegetable oil, and the more common ones are:
Other essential ingredients exfoliate the skin by creating friction and removing tiny particles. The most common exfoliator used in soaps is active charcoal.
Other ingredients mainly add scents or extra moisturization and can include:
Regular soaps are made mostly with artificial ingredients and are inferior to natural products. But I assume you've washed more regularly with regular soaps than natural ones and haven't had many issues.
It's always the best option for an all-natural anti-fungal soap, but the price difference is quite significant, and for some people, it's too much.
But remember that if there is a ringworm outbreak or other skin infection in the gym, you should immediately switch to a good BJJ soap and do everything you can to avoid the nasty infection.
Antifungal vs. Regular
The most important feature of a cleaning product for grapplers is to be antifungal. Every soap will clean off the dirt and sweat of the body, but not every soap will deal equally effectively with the fungus we need to battle.
Ringworm is the most common infection found in BJJ gyms, but it's not the only one, and there are more dangerous problems.
Washing yourself with an antifungal soap will not eliminate the possibility of developing a skin infection, but it has been proven to have a positive effect.
The extent to which antifungal soaps work is not entirely proven or tested enough. Still, some studies show improvements after using them as opposed to a placebo, so even if they are not as effective as advertisements want us to believe, the natural ingredients in high-quality soaps have their value.
Liquid Or Solid
Choosing between a solid soap bar and a liquid body wash is personal. The soap bar is easier to use because you can rub your skin directly with the bar. This makes getting grime and dirt off the skin easier. Bars also tend to last longer.
You need a sponge to use body wash effectively, which is one extra thing you should use. But on the flip side, body wash is more convenient to carry and use at the gym or if you have to share it with others.
Both types of soap have their benefits and drawbacks, and the choice is all up to you. Their cleaning properties are equal, and this is all that matters.
What is A “Martial Arts” Soap
If we are honest, the BJJ and other martial arts soaps are comparable to many other offers on the market but have specific marketing aimed at martial artists and grapplers in particular.
This does not mean they do not work. All the BJJ soaps listed above are great products with all the necessary features and high-quality ingredients.
But sometimes the price tag is a little higher precisely because of the marketing. When choosing a soap to protect you from skin infections, any anti-bacterial, anti-fungal soap with natural ingredients will do the job.
The good thing is every BJJ branded soap already has the features, and in picking one from the list, you will be making a solid choice.
Jiu-Jitsu Hygiene Fundamentals
If we are honest, using a good soap is only a small part of personal hygiene in jiu-jitsu. And in a sport where we spend almost the entire time rolling on the ground pretzeled with other people, hygiene is paramount in a hot and humid place.
An essential part is how clean the gym is. Most BJJ academies keep pristine conditions, but if yours doesn't, be prepared to face consequences sooner or later. On the personal front, there are a few things you can and must do:
Shower before practice - showering after practice is generally accepted, but getting yourself clean before you enter the gym is also highly recommended.
If it's not possible to shower, use wet anti-bacterial wipes and clean yourself as best before practice. If everyone follows this simple advice, I am confident the amount of rampant skin infections will be minuscule.
Shower immediately after practice - Shower as soon as you can after practice. Don't let the germs and fungi infect skin irritation; remove the offenders as quickly as possible. Use good BJJ soap for the job.
Use clean clothes every practice - NEVER use the same clothes twice before washing.
The Gold BJJ soap is created for grapplers and ticks all the boxes a good soap should- all-natural ingredients including anti-bacterial oils and incredible scents.
The Defense soap is another equally good product well-known among combat sports practitioners who need to protect themselves from skin infections more than other athletes.
While not mandatory, using natural soaps and body washes is an excellent way to treat your body well after grueling training sessions, and this list should give you all the info you need to choose the best BJJ soap for your needs.
Gold BJJ Tea Tree Oil Submission Soap
Best BJJ Soap