Cleaning is never high on my list of priorities, but I do like to be organized and even more, I like to be prepared when ski season rolls back around in 6 months.
So after the last turns have been made, the last used hand warmers thrown away and the last über-sized ski resort brownie has been consumed, we go home and clean.
1. Wash All Ski Pants and Jackets
Most water-resistant outerwear, including ski wear, is treated with a durable water repellent (DWR). This is what makes water bead up and roll off, instead of soaking into a garment. Over time, and with each washing, DWR wears off. To keep the DWR working, you need to take special care with your ski pants and jackets.
Wash Smart. To preserve DWR, wash your ski clothes separately and only when they really need it. Don’t thow them in the machine after every outing.
The experts at GORE-TEX recommend washing outerwear in warm water on the gentle cycle with a liquid detergent. Rinse everything twice to get rid of all detergent residue, dry everything on low and then run a cool iron over the outside of the garments.
Need a Refresh? If you find that DWR is less effective than it used to be, try using a spray-on waterproofing before tossing the clothes in a warm dryer. Again, follow-up with a warm iron.
Based on my experience of washing the DWR out of a “waterproof” jacket and then getting soaked in the rain, I flirt with overkill and substitute NIKWAX Tech Wash for the liquid detergent.
For spray-on waterproofing, I use NIKWAX TX.Direct every time I wash our ski clothes (other brands include Tectron and Revivex, but I haven’t used them).
It doesn’t matter how you store your ski clothing over the summer, but its a good idea to keep everything in one place so that you can find it easily when the snow starts falling.
We hang our ski jackets and pants in the closet, but everything else – helmets, gloves, neck gaiters, and so on — is stored in our boot bags. And we tuck these bags in the back of our closets right below the ski clothes.
As for the ski boots themselves, thoroughly dry them, buckle them (not too tight) and store them away from sunlight and heat. I’m thinking that catch-all boot bag is the perfect spot!
2. Clean, Tune and Wax Your Skis
Caring for your skis at the end of the season makes good sense from a financial and practical point-of-view.
On the financial side, you’ve got some serious money invested in your family’s gear, so you want to take care of it. And on the practical side, if you tune and wax your skis now, you won’t have to do it in the fall or early winter!
You’ve got two choices. Have your skis tuned and waxed for summer at your ski shop or DIY. If you go the DIY route, here are some tips.
1. Clean the bases, sharpen the edges and using an all-purpose wax, apply a 1/8 inch coating to the bases. Let the wax harden for at least two hours. Do not scrape it off.
2. Strap the skis together, base-to-base, but don’t let the bases touch
3. Store your skis (laying flat or hanging) in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and avoid humid areas like basements.
4. Scrape the wax off and go, when it’s time to ski.
Do you have any tips for cleaning and storing your ski gear over the summer?
- Spring Cleaning: Store Your Skis, Poles and More, April 26, 2013.
- Tune Your Own Skis, January 6, 2014.
- Wax Your Skis for Proper Summer Storage, April 15, 2013.
- Summer Ski Wax 101, April 26, 2011.
- Waxing While the Summer Wanes, August 26, 2010.
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