How to Get Skin Glue Off Skis

how to get skin glue off skis

Glue residue has been the bane of winter skiers for decades, and unfortunately, it’s not going away any time soon. Residue from many brands of ski waxes, skin glue and especially the glue-type waxes, can be frustratingly difficult to remove, often leaving a sticky film behind that both looks bad and gathers dirt. 

Fortunately, help is on the way! The tips in this article will show you how to get skin glue off skis quickly and easily so you can get back out there on the slopes on a clean ski!

Why Are My Skins Leaving Glue On My Skis?

Bad skin is the most common reason adhesive remains after skiing. The other reason why skin glue might stick to your skin is when you keep the skin pasted for a long time

The theory goes that if you paste the skins and let them sit for some time, the glue will adhere to itself more and more strongly, to the point where it will want to break apart when you separate them to use them, reducing the quality of the glue and leaving a glue residue on the ski. 

However, if your skis are overly waxed, the adhesive on your skins will be ruined too. Last but not least, the skins can be rendered useless if exposed to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight, which can melt the adhesive layer and leave glue on the ski. 

Why Are My Skins Leaving Glue On My Skis?

How To Get Skin Glue Off Skis

Here is a method that may seem complicated at first, but will guarantee you a ski that doesn’t have any skin glue left on it.

If there is rust on ski edges, it might be worth that guide first. Before you start, you’ll need these equipment: 

Iron and Sock rags are made from scuffed medium-weight cotton socks with an interior surface that resembles a towel or terry cloth that is absorbent and fluffy. 

 Step by Step Process:

  1. Separate each used pair of medium-weight cotton socks into two sock rags by cutting them lengthwise through the holes in their heels.
  1. Raise the iron’s temperature just a little bit higher than the one you used to wax the skis.
  1. Keep in mind that the sock rags have an absorbent inner surface and a smooth outer surface.
  1. Lay the smooth outer surface of the sock rag on top of the glue that is adhered to the ski base, then lay the absorbent inner surface of the sock rag on top of that.
  1. Take note that the hot iron’s surface never makes contact with the ski base.
  1. While moderately fast counting to twenty (ironing time), press and slightly move the iron on the sock 
  1. Immediately use the heated rag to remove the softened glue.

Determine the best ironing time by first trying it for the minimum amount of time necessary to only melt the adhesive.

If you want to make sure the ski base doesn’t get too hot, you should remove the rag (with one quick glue wipe) and place your bare palm on the surface of the ski base immediately.

Repeat with a slightly longer ironing time to find the spot where the adhesive is pliable but the ski base is not overheated. It is necessary to periodically recheck the ski base’s temperature throughout the process.

Will Skins Stick To Waxed Skis?

Will Skins Stick To Waxed Skis?

Skins STICK to waxed skis more than they do to un-waxed skis. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure your skins stick to your new waxed skis.

First, make sure your skins are new and clean. If they’re not, they won’t be able to stick to the wax. Second, make sure that you’re using good-quality wax. The better the wax, the better it will adhere to the skin. More expensive waxes tend to stick better than cheap ones. 

Lastly, make sure you’re applying enough pressure when applying your wax by applying firm pressure with one hand while applying with the other hand. Remember, the better waxed the base is, the better the skin will stick. 

Is it Bad To Leave Skins On Skis? 

If it’s cold, then there won’t be much of a problem, at least not right away. If they are left in a warm climate, the glue will melt, resulting in a very messy situation for you to clean up.

Basically, you should NEVER let your climbing skins remain attached to your skis. You will destroy the ski bases as well as the skin glue.

s it Bad To Leave Skins On Skis? 


You should keep in mind  that the ski companies don’t want your skins to come off very easily. After all, if they did, then people would have to buy new skins all the time and no one wants that. Plus, your skis might have been stored in cold temperatures. But remember, the colder the storage temperature of your skis, the more permanent your glue will be when you go skiing on it.

In summary, we believe that leaving skin glue on skis is generally NOT a good idea. But don’t take our word for it; make your own decision with the information we have given you. It is important to remember that what may work well for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it will work well for everyone.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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