Cleaning off Klister

Removing klister is the job most skiers hate the most, as it can devolve into spreading dirty, sticky wax all over their skis and expensive clothes. With some strategy and the correct tools, though, it’s a simple process. This portion alone should make the purchase of this DVD worth your money.

For harder klisters – purples and blues, for instance – you can simply scrape the klister off, rub in some wax remover and then towel off the solvent. Use a metal paint scraper or five-in-one tool – they’re usually found in the painting section of your hardware store. Make sure you have a sharp edge on one side of the tool – use a file and sandpaper to hone the edge. Hold the scraper so the flat of the scraper is facing the ski, and the angled side is facing away from the base – otherwise, the scraper will cut into the base. Run the cutting edge of the scraper under the klister, removing as much as you can. Use a separate paper towel to hold the removed klister.

After you’ve scraped most of the klister off, spray wax remover over the kick wax zone. A little bit of wax remover goes a long way – don’t spray too much on. We use the flat of the scraper to rub in the solvent, and then use a paper towel to remove the mess. Be sure to clean from the front of your kick zone, and the back of your kick, towards the middle of the ski to prevent wax remover and diluted klister from getting into your glide zone. If you need to, you can take another towel and get any remaining residue off the base.

For softer, stickier klisters – such are silvers and yellows – applying something over the klister to prevent it from spreading can be helpful during removal. Here, we use regular toilet paper over the klister. You can also try using baby powder or corn starch – the idea is just to keep the klister from sticking to itself and creating a terrible blob of gooeyness.

Once you’ve applied the toilet paper or powder, the process is the same – scrape the bulk of the klister off, spray with wax remover, rub in, and then towel off.
If klister has drifted into your glide zone, use a paper towel and wax remover to take it off. You should glide wax your skis soon afterwards, though – the wax remover will take the glide wax out of the base too, which may lead to base oxidation.
After we clean the kick zones of hard wax or klister, we make sure that the sidewalls of the skis are clean as well, as they come in contact with snow in the tracks. We use normal wax remover and a paper towel to remove and wax which has migrated to the sidewalls. Be sure that your kick zone marks are still visible after cleaning, and re-mark them with a permanent marker if they’ve disappeared.