How to Wax Skis at Home

How to Wax Skis at Home
It's a new ski season and you're looking at your dry skis, wondering how they'll perform on the slopes. The answer is not good, not good at all. Before you start making reservations, scheduling trips and checking the weather every few minutes, put a fresh coat of wax on your skis.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bench with ski vise Base cleaner or alcohol Rag or paper towel Wax iron (or household iron) All-temperature wax Plastic scraper Nylon or metal wax brush
  • Bench with ski vise
  • Base cleaner or alcohol
  • Rag or paper towel
  • Wax iron (or household iron)
  • All-temperature wax
  • Plastic scraper
  • Nylon or metal wax brush
Step 1
Create a work area. Find a ventilated area, such as the garage, and set up a small workbench with a vise to clamp your skis while you work. You can work without a clamp, but the skis tend to wobble and it's easier to have them clamped down.
Step 2
Get your equipment. Gather the equipment listed above from your local ski shop. You could use a standard iron in place of a ski wax iron, but the wax iron will provide a more regulated, reliable temperature for applying wax and not burning your base. For recreational use, all-temperature wax is a good choice, or you could look at more specific waxes which are good for the snow temperatures near you.
Step 3
Get your iron up to temperature. Give it a few minutes to heat. If you're using a regular iron, it will be a little more difficult to gauge the proper temperature, but you'll want it hot enough to melt the wax without causing the wax to smoke. Start low and increase in small increments as needed. You must be careful not to make it too hot as it can damage your skis.
Step 4
Pull out your skis and make sure they're at room temperature. Clean the bases down with base cleaner and a rag. Allow them to dry for 15 minutes or so.
Step 5
Press the pedal down and secure it to move the brake arms out of the way of the base. Lock the clamp around your first ski.
Step 6
Hold the iron two to four inches over the base of your ski. Point a corner of the iron down so that the wax will drip down the metal surface and flow off the point onto the ski. Grab the wax with your other hand and press it against the iron. It should start to melt.
Step 7
Drizzle wax up and down the base until you've covered most of it.
Step 8
Start at one end of the ski, lay the iron flat and iron the wax into the base. You'll want to repeat until the wax is a thin, uniform coat on the base. Allow this ski to dry for about 20 minutes. While it dries, wax the second ski in the same way you did the first, starting at Step 5.
Step 9
When the first ski is cool, put it back in the vise. Start at the front tip, place your plastic scraper down on the base at around a 45-degree angle and pull it in long, fluid strokes so that you scrape the outside layer of wax off. Scrape from tip all the way to tail and repeat until you have taken the excess wax off. Use the smaller end to scrape the wax from the edges. The wax that you need has already been absorbed into the ski's base.
Step 10
Start at the tip again and rub the base down with the brush to give it a fast-finishing touch. Repeat several times. Then scrape and brush the second ski.

Tips & Warnings

Never leave the iron in one place on the ski--move it constantly to prevent burning.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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