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ski base cleaner question

AndrewPayton

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So I typically purchase expensive products marketed for being a "base cleaner" as I do my own tuning and waxing. However, recently I met someone who told me to just use rubbing alcohol, can anyone confirm this wouldn't damage the ski?
 

Glade Monkey

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Unless the base is visibly dirty, the goal of a cleaner is mainly to remove any remaining wax, so anything that dissolves wax should work.
Citrus based are most popular, but alcohol works too.
There is also a school of thought which says to skip cleaners altogether because they dry out the base and to just do a hot wax and hot scrape.
 

ss20

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I regard it as a waste. A scrubby pad with a dot of dish soap and a tad of water works fine. If I'm wrong (which I probably am) I know my local shop uses it when they see my skis for more extensive work...so the bases are getting cleaned with a bases cleaner 2-3 times a season which I'm sure is fine. But if you're using it every time you tune and you're tuning weekly during ski season there's probably more credit to the theory of the bases drying out.
 

drjeff

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Just do a hot scrape and move along!

Agree with this!

Still have about 2/3rds of the bottle of base cleaner that I last bought maybe 20 years ago.....

A soft, warm weather wax and a quick scrape, give another pass with the iron and another a quick scrape is all I do now (when needed)
 

BenedictGomez

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There is also a school of thought which says to skip cleaners altogether because they dry out the base and to just do a hot wax and hot scrape.

This is what I do.

I have no idea what the "correct" answer is, but I'm skeptical of applying an alcohol-based cleaning product to a somewhat porous base, so I dont do so.

EDIT:

This is a confusing subject, because when I was learning how to wax my skis a handful of years ago, I'd get conflicting information from any number of Youtube videos I'd watch. And no, I wasnt watching random Joey-Juice-doing-his-skis-in-his-Staten-Island-basement-apartment videos, but videos from actual ski shops in ski country or ski industry professionals. You'd think there'd be a known "correct" answer, but if there is, I couldn't find it. So I just went with my logic that it doesn't seem chemically logical to apply an alcohol to a porous wax base. If I'm right about this it may be the first time in my life that my dual Chemistry major actually came in useful.
 
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mister moose

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My skill level is frequent self tuner that knows the difference between freshly and appropriately waxed skis and not. No chemical degree. No world cup points. I almost never apply any solvent, except to prep for melting in P-tex. Exception: On not so perfect late spring skis I do wipe down with mineral spirits to get the pine pitch forest litter brown goo off the bases.

If I'm going with a different wax temperature range than what was on there, (whispers so as not to be embarrassed) I just wax right over what little old wax is left on the ski. On rare occasions I've scraped before hot waxing. Rare, meaning visible wax remaining. My-non chemical brain says "You can blend waxes for intermediate temps, so why not blend what's already on my ski?

Hasn't been a problem.
 

drjeff

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My skill level is frequent self tuner that knows the difference between freshly and appropriately waxed skis and not. No chemical degree. No world cup points. I almost never apply any solvent, except to prep for melting in P-tex. Exception: On not so perfect late spring skis I do wipe down with mineral spirits to get the pine pitch forest litter brown goo off the bases.

If I'm going with a different wax temperature range than what was on there, (whispers so as not to be embarrassed) I just wax right over what little old wax is left on the ski. On rare occasions I've scraped before hot waxing. Rare, meaning visible wax remaining. My-non chemical brain says "You can blend waxes for intermediate temps, so why not blend what's already on my ski?

Hasn't been a problem.

Tons of truth in this thought process.

After attending a tuning class from a TOKO wax rep who was brought in last Fall to give some info for my kids highschool ski team, a semi paradigm shift happened to my thought process after having been tuning my skis since the mid 80's!

The TOKO rep was advocating that on all but the warmest of days, that you put a base layer of hard, cold weather wax down, and then use some of the AMAZING new liquid paraffin spray wax that is more temp specific for that day. Wax and scrape the cold wax (it's resilient enough that you only realistically need to re wax with the cold temp wax every 4 or 5 days), and then spray the liquid paraffin temp specific over it, and just brush it out about 15 minutes later.

I was impressed with the glide that combo got me this past season. While I was still sharpening edges more than I was re applying the cold temp base wax, the quick coat of the liquid paraffin worked well, and on the few warm days that I got out on the hell before everything shut down, I was able to do a quick re application of the warm weather spray paraffin when I went in for lunch, and the wet snow glide had far less "suction" than when I just would hot wax.

On days like that, even if it was say 50 out, my base wax was still the "arctic blue", with the TOKO rep's theory being that underneath, that snowpack is still COLD, and then you just top dress off of that cold base layer of wax
 

thetrailboss

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Unless the base is visibly dirty, the goal of a cleaner is mainly to remove any remaining wax, so anything that dissolves wax should work.
Citrus based are most popular, but alcohol works too.
There is also a school of thought which says to skip cleaners altogether because they dry out the base and to just do a hot wax and hot scrape.

My thoughts as well.
 
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