How to Clean Muay Thai Shorts

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I love Muay Thai shorts. The first time I travelled to Bangkok, I became a little obsessed with them and bought too many pairs. And this was before I started training Muay Thai.

The funky Thai fonts and wild palette of colors attracted me. But they are also airy, and the satin makes them luxuriously comfortable as sleeping and lounging home shorts. Then as fate would have it, the stars aligned and I started training Muay Thai many years later and the shorts were put to their intended use.

However, I have to say that they are a bit of an acquired taste. First, they are awkwardly short compared to other stand up fighting sports like boxing or MMA. More distinctively, the colors can be exceedingly garish and the designs, excessively loud but that for me, is the beauty of it. The juxtaposition of brutal martial arts with brash, gaudy aesthetics. Stylized violence.

Some people prefer to train in MMA board shorts or compression pants but for the many who love the sport dearly, Muay Thai shorts are still the main outfit of choice.

About Satin

Muay Thai shorts are typically made using satin, nylon or even cotton. If you want the long-lasting high-quality shorts, the consensus is to go for satin. Satin shorts are loved for their smooth cool feel and are oh-so comfortable to wear.

Just so you know, satin is actually a type of weave that gives that glossy surface for which it is known for. Satin fabric can be produced using silk, acetate, nylon or polyester fiber.

Polyester is the most common type of fabric material used in Muay Thai shorts as it is stronger and more durable to withstand the rigours of the sport. So don’t be surprised to see “100% Polyester” on the clothing label of your satin shorts.

How to Clean Your Muay Thai Shorts

If you train on a regular or even daily basis, you will need to wash your shorts for cleanliness and hygiene. Just hanging them to dry without washing doesn’t cut it. If you take care of how you clean your shorts, they will also last longer. Here are some things to take note of when washing your shorts:

Check Care Label
Muay Thai shorts sometimes come with a care label. Whenever possible, check the tag to determine the right cleaning process.

Use Warm Water
It is recommended to wash your shorts in warm water as cold water may not effectively remove stains in polyester.

Inside Out
Turn your shorts inside out when you wash them. This helps to prevent the colors from fading because of direct exposure to the detergent. Additionally, doing this reduces the chance of the embroideries peeling when they rub against other clothes.

Machine Wash vs Hand Wash
Muay Thai shorts are usually tough enough that they will hold up well in a standard machine wash cycle. Use a mild detergent and avoid using bleach. If you wish to err on the side of caution, you can use the delicate cycle on the washing machine. Keeping the shorts in a net laundry bag will also minimize any washing damage.

For the best results, you can hand wash especially if it’s a really precious pair of shorts. Some Muay Thai shorts come with tassels so these can be rather delicate too. To hand wash, use a gentle detergent and soak the shorts in sudsy water for about 5 minutes before rinsing it thoroughly with clean water. You can wring them lightly but take care to not over twist them as doing this can strain the fabric, causing them to lose shape.

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Air Dry
Do not dry under the sun as direct sunlight will cause the shorts to fade and discolor easily. Polyester fabrics dry fast so air drying the shorts indoors is sufficient and recommended.

Avoid the Dryer
Avoid the dryer as much as possible. Tumble drying with heat can cause damage to fabrics. Not only does excessive heat reduces the tensile strength of the fabric, it can also cause shrinkage and fading.

Some Notes About Buying Muay Thai Shorts

Not all Muay Thai shorts are built equal. Some are more equal than others. Reputable brands like Twins Special, Top King and Fairtex have high quality satin shorts and good workmanship to stand up to the beating of Muay Thai. I have had shorts from lesser brands with stitches and seams coming apart in just a few months’ of training.

Avoid nylon shorts at all means. They are less durable and can become translucent when soaked with your sweat. Avoid shorts with glittery threads. These peel off very easily as I have experienced. Lastly, I personally avoid tassels. It’s Muay Thai, not ballroom dance.

If you only have 1 pair of Muay Thai shorts, it’s time to buy a few more pairs for rotation so you will always have a fresh pair to train in. (Looking to add more shorts to your collection? Don’t miss out on our Muay Thai shorts articles: “Best Muay Thai Shorts“, “Best Muay Thai Shorts for Big Guys” and “Women’s Muay Thai Shorts“)


Bottomline, take care of your Muay Thai gear and they will last their intended usage life or even longer. Train hard, train clean. Keep calm and train Muay Thai.

Chok dee!

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