How to wax skis at home: A Complete Guide to avoid mistakes

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Yearly, the approaching ski season seems to catch many completely off guard, leaving eager skiers scrambling to be ready for the first day on the slopes. During this season, wait times for a good ski tune at outlets around the region may be excruciating. This season, take control of the situation by learning how to wax skis at home.

Learning how to polish your skis is similar to figuring out how to make a good cup of coffee. When you have the correct information, mastering your approach is easier than it sounds, less expensive, and incredibly fulfilling. Although freshly waxed skis help you ski faster, this is not the major purpose for polishing them. When your skis are in good shape, it is simpler to shift and ski in general. Wax also prevents oxidation of your bases.

How to Choose a right wax

Temperature-Sensitive Wax:

Most glide waxes are sensitive to temperature and should be applied with a waxing iron. Temperature-specific waxes are intended to function in a specific outdoor temperature range specified on the container. For high temperatures, you can mix two temperature-specific waxes (e.g., one for temperatures over freezing and one for temperatures below freezing). The correct wax will allow you to move more quickly.

Wax for All Purposes:

Choose a universal wax if you are solely a leisure skier seeking decent results with minimum effort. Universal waxes are applied in the same way as temperature-specific waxes are, but they are meant to function well at all temperatures.

Rub-On Wax:

In the ski area parking space, apply a rub-on wax using a sponge. But don’t get too comfortable; this isn’t a replacement for regular hot waxing.


Waxes with a higher fluorocarbon content glide more quickly. Nevertheless, the more and more fluorocarbons there are in the wax, the more expensive it becomes, and high-end wax might be prohibitively expensive.

For most recreational skiers and boarders, a basic hydrocarbon wax will suffice. For enhanced glide, use a low-fluorocarbon wax. Racers usually use expensive high-fluorocarbon waxes for the optimum glide.

Why would anyone want to do their ski waxing?

If you’ve been skiing for a time, you’ve probably noticed that carrying your skis into a store may be expensive. Of course, taking them to a shop might be advantageous at times, but with a few items of equipment and about 15 minutes of polishing time, you could save a huge amount of money.

There are several methods for waxing your skis, but the one detailed here is an at-home warm wax, which is the most productive and long-lasting.

How to wax skis at home

Wax Principles

Waxes are lubricants used on the base of a ski to reduce friction between the base and the snow. There are three types of friction, each of which necessitates a distinct sort of lubrication.

Dry Friction

Something happens when dry snow particles come into contact with the ski base. Use a hydrocarbon wax that is slightly harder than the snow particles to increase glide. Snow crystals will penetrate a wax that is too soft, resulting in a sticky base. When the wax becomes overly solid, the coefficient of friction rises, making the baseless smooth.

Wet Friction

Wet friction happens when snow with a high moisture content generates suction between both the ski base and the snow. To minimize wet friction, a fluorocarbon additive is required. It is vital, however, not to apply too much fluorocarbon, since this will increase dry friction and impair glide.

Electrostatic Friction

When a ski base runs on snow, it generates static electricity due to the electrostatic attraction between the ski and the snow. Consider the allure of socks that have been dried in the dryer. To minimize static electricity, graphite is routinely added to ski wax.

What is Iron Temperature?

Adjust your waxing iron heat to be as low as possible while yet being warm enough for the wax to melt readily. When the iron comes into touch with the base, it will initially lower the temperature because the colder base material absorbs the heat from the iron. A high-quality ski wax iron will keep a temperature considerably longer than a domestic iron, resulting in a more efficient waxing.

Is Fluorocarbon Wax More Efficient?

While fluorocarbon is used in the most costly waxes, don’t expect more expensive to necessarily be faster. Fluorocarbon is a moisture-repellent hydrophobic material. Because it efficiently enhances dry friction, a strongly fluorinated wax may impede speed in low humidity or low moisture. To meet the circumstances, fluorocarbon is added to hydrocarbon wax in various amounts. The actual quantity of fluorocarbon in wax is not given; however, the chart below offers a good estimate.

To meet the circumstances, fluorocarbon is added to hydrocarbon wax in various amounts. The actual quantity of fluorocarbon in wax is not given, however, the chart below offers a good estimate.

TypeFluoro AmountHumidity Range
Lo-fluoro2-3%Under 35%
Mid-fluoro3-7%35-70% +

What do you require to learn about ski waxing?

Waxing Iron:

This is perhaps the most costly piece of equipment on the list, but it can be obtained for roughly $40 online or in most ski stores. They look like standard irons, but the temperature can be adjusted. Do not use an ordinary iron since they have small holes in them that will be the end of that iron.


The type you’ll need is influenced by the temperature of the snow, which is why ski racers and their experts monitor snow conditions to choose the ideal wax for performance. For recreational skiers, though, it is frequently unneeded. We recommend a general-purpose all-purpose wax unless you intend on waxing your skis before every adventure. Swix also provides an excellent online tool that analyzes your local snow conditions and connects you with the optimal wax for your local mountain.


A plastic scraper which is cost $8 is being used to extract the majority of melted wax from the ski’s base.

Set of Vise:

Although vises aren’t essential, they will make waxing much easier by keeping your skis securely in place. Swix provides a wonderful set that clamps to any desktop or table for $160


Brushing is the final stage in the waxing process. The majority of the wax may be scraped off with a scraper, and any remaining wax can be removed using a finishing brush that can penetrate a highly permeable ski base. Ski tuners will have a plethora of brushes, ranging from metal to horsehair. If you want to construct an arsenal, go ahead, but a specialist nylon ski toothbrush will suffice most of the time.

Rubber bands:

These are used to hold the brakes on your skis in place. Specialized rubber bands can be purchased, but a few basic rubber bands will be sufficient.

Recommended to read: How to Adjust Ski Bindings

The Step by Step process of waxing skis

Before you begin waxing, clean up your workspace. Working outside or in a garage is ideal, but keep the temperature in mind. One of the most typical ski waxing blunders is waxing in a chilly garage. You want your skis, as well as your working space, to be at a comfortable temperature.

Once you’ve decided on a location, wrap a rubber band over the brake arms and the top of the heel piece to secure your ski brakes. Turn your skis upside down and, if you have one, place the toe piece of the binding in a vice.

  • Before you can wax, you must first clear your brakes. Hook a strong rubber band over one brake arm, drag it over the top of the heel piece, and then hook it onto the other brake arm.
  • Secondly, on the vice, flip the ski upside down. To keep everything in place, secure the binding toe piece in the vice.
  • Wipe down the base with a clean, dry towel. You may brush any junk out of the base with a metal brush if you have one.
  • Warm up the iron to the proper temperature. The optimal temperature is usually listed on the packaging of most waxes. If yours does not, a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit is a safe bet. Next, apply the wax on the iron and enable it to trickle onto the ski’s base. I prefer to make an S pattern down the length of the ski. When unsure, include more wax instead of less.
  • Iron the wax onto the ski with rapid, back-and-forth strokes, working from tip to tail. Check that the wax has been melted all the way, from edge to edge. To avoid burning the foundation, it is vital to keep the iron moving. Remove the ski from the vise after coating the base and leave it aside for at least 30 minutes. This helps the wax to penetrate the base correctly, thus the longer you let it sit, the better. While you’re waiting, wax the other ski.
  • Return the original ski to the vise after 30 minutes and scrape off as much wax as possible using the scraper. Begin at the tip of the ski and work your way down, keeping the scraper at a 45-degree angle. This will take some time, but don’t be scared to put in the effort—you won’t harm the base of the ski. It may take numerous attempts to remove all of the wax.
  • After scraping, use your nylon brush from tip to tail to remove any leftover wax fragments from the base. Repeat with the horsehair brush after a few strokes with the nylon brush. Brushing is comparable to polishing an automobile in that the more you brush, the better the results, and you can never do too much.

How to wax skis at home : Video Tutorial

wax skis at home

3 Common Ski Waxing Mistakes

Waxing in a freezing garage:

A heated iron is used to apply ski wax. However, if this gets cold too quickly, it will not have enough time to sink into your foundation thoroughly. Turn on a space heater if you’re waxing in your garage. Alternatively, apply the wax to your basement or house. Even if you scrape in a cold garage, let the skis cool slowly before scraping.

Using an extremely hot iron:

A heated iron is used to apply ski wax. However, if this gets cold too quickly, it will not have enough time to sink into your foundation thoroughly. Turn on a space heater if you’re waxing in your garage. Alternatively, apply the wax to your basement or house. Even if you scrape in a frigid garage, let the skis cool gradually before scraping.

Scraping in the wrong direction:

Scrape in the same direction from tip to tail to achieve the best performance on the slopes. But sometimes scraping can be done in the wrong way.

Recommended to read: Why Skiing is better than Snowboarding 

How to remove ski wax:

  1. Remove the sticky wax as quickly as possible (while it’s still cold) after skiing. If the wax is still cooled, you’ll have less of a mess. Otherwise, it may be simpler to scrape off at room temperature, but the wax will be sticky gooey, flow, and get everywhere.
  2. Using a grip wax scraper, remove as much wax as possible.
  3. Allow a minute or two for the wax remover to rest on the grip zone.
  4. Wipe away any remaining kick wax from the base with a dab of Fibertex while leaving the wax remover on the grip zone until the wax remover is a nasty slurry. Use the Fibertex to thoroughly clean the ski’s sides and groove.
  5. Wipe the slurry off the grip zone and sidewalls with a piece of Fiberlene or a shop towel.
  6. Wipe off the grip zone and sidewalls with a length of Fiberlene or a shop towel soaked in wax remover until there is no longer any stickiness.
  7. Your skis are now ready for transport or storage, and your future self will appreciate your attention to detail.
Video: Removing Ski WAx

Is ski wax safe for the environment?

Ski wax is divided into three categories:

  • Fluorinated, 
  • Hydrocarbon, and 
  • Eco-friendly.

Fluorinated ski wax is very harmful to the environment. It is rarely utilized by the ordinary recreational skier because of its exorbitant cost. It is commonly used by racers since it is well-known for helping individuals to glide swiftly. This wax includes perfluorochemicals, which are toxic to both animals and humans, causing disruptions in the immune, hepatic, and endocrine systems. Through snowfall, this wax enters our water system and, eventually, our bodies.

The most common type of wax is hydrocarbon wax, which is less toxic than fluorinated wax. It contains oil byproducts, which poison the local water supply and cause respiratory problems. By choosing eco-friendly wax, you are not introducing poisons into the environment.

Hydrocarbon-based wax is a non-toxic, biodegradable replacement wax that is good for the environment. As a result, no harmful pollutants enter the rivers during the spring thaw, causing no harm to either fish or humans. 

There are many more environmentally friendly waxes available, but they are only accessible from hardcore ski resorts that recognize the significance of good wax that is also good for the environment.

How long does a ski wax last?

The time it takes for your freshly waxed skis to stay waxed is entirely dependent on the type of waxing you choose. Simple rub-on waxes typically last one to three days before requiring reapplication. A thorough iron-on waxing of your skis, on the other hand, may last up to ten days. Of course, the length of time your ski wax lasts depends on the weather and how frequently you ski. Cold weather may hasten the deterioration of your wax job, and if you go a few days or weeks without skiing, your skis will dry up, needing another waxing.

What color ski wax should I use?

There are three primary types of RaceWax hydrocarbon waxes:

Red or Yellow: Above 25 degrees Fahrenheit, warm-rated hydrocarbons operate best. It’s an excellent wax for skiing, but it’s also great for conditioning fresh bases and removing hot-wax scrapes.

Green or Blue: Cold-rated hydrocarbon performs best when temperatures are below 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

White: Universal all-temperature (White) hydrocarbon is a fantastic one-wax option for non-racers. Although the performance difference will be modest for recreational skiers, no wax is universal (fractions of seconds).

If you ski in severe cold or aggressively and have dryness in your bases (especially around the bindings), you may want to experiment with adding Swix CH3 powder to your wax of choice to harden and strengthen it. Simply apply the wax, disperse it with the iron, sprinkle on the CH3, and iron everything in place.

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