How to Clean Climbing Skins

How to Clean Climbing Skins
Backcountry skiing involves visiting areas untouched by other humans. The skiers need to find a way to access these areas, which do not have trails or ski lifts. The tools that can help skiers access remote areas include climbing skins, which attach directly to the bottom of the skis and give the skier more traction in rough terrain. Keeping your climbing skins clean can make them last longer.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Glue
  • Bucket
  • Dish soap
  • Brick
  • Chair
Step 1
Turn the skis over, and examine the climbing skins. The skins should be slightly sticky or tacky to the touch; this indicates that they still have traction. If you notice that the skins are covered in debris and are not sticky, you need to replace or reglue the skins.
Step 2
Fill a bucket with cool water, leaving enough space at the top to keep the water from overflowing when you add your climbing skins. Remove the climbing skins from the skis, and place the skins inside the bucket. Add a drop or two of dishwashing soap to help remove the dirt from the climbing skins.
Step 3
Push down on the skins with your hand to make sure that the skins are getting soaked with the water. Then place a brick or another heavy object into the bucket on top of the climbing skins to submerge them fully. Leave the climbing skins in the bucket overnight.
Step 4
Remove the climbing skins from the water, and inspect the skins for any remaining dirt. Gently rub your hands against the skins to remove the dirt, and then either rinse off the skins under running water or dunk the skins back in the bucket to rinse off the dirt.
Step 5
Place the climbing skins over the back of a chair, and let them dry overnight. Once the skins are clean and dry, check to ensure that they will still stick to the bottom of the skis.

Tips & Warnings

Inspect the skins regularly, and remove any debris after each ride. This allows you to clean the skins less frequently.
Be careful about placing wet climbing skins near any heat source, including a dryer or heater. The heat may cause the skins to dry too quickly, removing the stickiness that attaches the skins to the skis.

Article Written By Jennifer Eblin

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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