Liquid Ski Wax | All you need to know (2023)

Liquid Ski Wax | All you need to know

Von Jakob Huseby

Originally published on December 11, 2020. Updated for the 2022/2023 season.

2023 update:When I originally wrote this article in 2020, that was the beginning of the move away from fluorinated waxes in the US. While the USSA has phased out fluorinated waxes from sanctioned competition, hair removal in other countries is still somewhat tricky. As an example:Canada allowedfluorinated sliding waxes in only three competitions and fluorinated kicks in all. New liquid waxes were also introduced at this time. While there was resistance at first, liquid waxes are now standard in almost every wax booth. Here is my article again on the performance, use, and potential risks of liquid wax. Some of the new waxes contain ingredients that (still) stink.

To our readers (hey, that's you!): I hope this can serve as a comprehensive, but not exhaustive, guide to all liquid wax questions. If you have reached the end of the article and still have questions, feel free to email me.

What is liquid ski wax?

To understand how a liquid wax works, let's first look at how skis interact with snow. When skiing, you slide on a thin layer of water that is created by friction between the surface of the ski and the snow. Snow can take many different forms depending on the weather, which affects the wax chosen for the day. When you wax your skis, you put a layer between the ski and the snow to better create and manage the water you slide on. If you iron a solid wax and scrape it off, the wax penetrates deep into the sole of the ski. If using a liquid wax, apply a thin layer of wax and evaporate the support solvent to leave the wax in the base. Liquid wax penetrates into the base material, but not as deeply as with ironed wax work. Depending on how durable and long you want your foundation to be, there may be different ways to use liquid wax.

(Video) Alpine: Easy ski care using Express Wax

What is liquid wax made of?

In the case of Start Liquid, we use a paraffin wax suspended in an isopropyl alcohol solution. When rubbed on the ski, the solvent evaporates and the wax soaks into the base material and settles on the bottom of the ski. We also offer paraffin gel-based solutions and our new ceramic finishes. Our gel-based paraffinUltra-Gelis an easy-to-use and eco-friendly alternative that uses a water-based solution mixed with paraffin. Our new ceramic finishRG Ultra-FinishThey are a finishing powder but suspended in a gel for easy application.

Liquid Ski Wax | All you need to know (1)

Other brands have their own shipping agents. You should consider its ingredients before using it, as some may require extra precautions.

How liquid waxes work:

Are liquid waxes as durable as solid waxes?

The life of a liquid wax application depends on several factors, including ski base preparation, ski conditions, and any additives you use. A liquid wax applied to a damaged, dirty, or dry ski will be less durable. To get maximum durability from liquid wax, it should be applied to a ski that already has hot wax on the bottom. Also, durability is affected by the method of applying the wax to the ski. While rubbing with a natural cork is the easiest way to stick the wax to the ski, it's also the least durable. Higher heat is required for durability, so we recommend a quick pass with a cork breaker or iron. Take care not to burn the sole of your skis, as there is no solid layer of wax on the surface to protect the sensitive materials on the base. If you follow these practices, you can easily run a marathon with your liquid wax and liquid finish product.


Depending on snow conditions, your choice of wax will affect the durability of your wax job, no matter what application method you use. A good rule of thumb is to grow on the cooler side. This is because waxing too hot on a cold day can be disastrous, while waxing too cool on a warm day won't ruin your session. Fresh snow often has sharp, pointy crystals in it, which may mean that it's a good idea to use a colder wax. A general discussion of snow crystal shapes and their interaction with the ski base is warranted, but is beyond the scope of this article. Dirt has a negative effect on the durability of your wax work. In slushy snow conditions consider using a molybdenum disulfide wax or our new RG series ceramic wax as it will also repel dirt. If you want to learn more about molybdenum disulfide, please read my article on molybdenum disulfidehere.

Are liquid waxes as fast as solid waxes?
With our liquid wax, the speed is identical to that of a solid block in the same temperature range. The block and the liquid differ in durability because the block soaks the sole of the ski more deeply than the liquid. Multiple applications of liquids can be used for greater saturation.

Liquid Ski Wax | All you need to know (2)


To apply a liquid wax, first make sure that the sliding area of ​​your ski is free of dirt. Although it may not be visible, even fine-grained dust, dirt or debris can remain on the base and ruin the wax work. We recommend applying someslip zone cleanerto any serviceHand toweland clean the ski.

After the ski has dried, shake the liquid wax or gel bottle to mix the release agent and wax. From there, remove the cap from the bottle and press the sponge onto the ski to get the solvent to flow. Once you see something coming off, keep pressing and rubbing the sponge over the ski to apply a thin, even coat of solvent. When you're done, put the cap back on the bottle to keep the sponge clean.

From here you have a few options. As I mentioned before, the durability of your wax work depends on your application. For liquid wax, it can be rubbed in with a cork, broken-cork, or a light application of an iron set to the temperature of the solid wax of the appropriate color. Again, be careful with the iron and the roto-cork as there is not a significant amount of paraffin to protect the base of the ski from the iron. The final step would be to take a stiff white nylon brush and lightly buff the surface of the ski. You will want to clean up if you want the skis to be fast from the start. Otherwise you can skip brushing if you ski around 1 km to polish the surface.

(Video) How to Wax Your Skis - Everything You Need to Know || REI

Liquid Ski Wax | All you need to know (3)


Some brands recommend applying a fleece to the surface of the ski after application. Although this is the recommended application method for these products, we have found that our products are best applied with a cork. Start with liquid waxes using propan-2-ol, which is a fancy way of saying isopropyl alcohol. Waxes are a special solution of alcohol and paraffin created by combining them in a pressure vessel. Once combined, they are placed in little shoe shine style sponge bottles. Although this method is expensive and complicated, it is an effective wax that is quick, easy, and safe to apply.

Most other brands use a spray with their own active ingredient. Fortunately, although each brand uses a proprietary blend, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are publicly available and are required by law to be provided upon request. These sheets contain important information for safe use, storage, and care in case something goes wrong. I encourage everyone to contact your local store and order sheets if you are concerned about the safety of your wax. The store will contact their representative and the representative will provide them with the sheets.

Here's what I learned and what you should know when looking at the MSDS:

Know what's in your liquid wax.There are some potentially harmful things to be aware of:

Propan-2-ol:That's what we use. Another common term for this is isopropyl alcohol or denatured alcohol. This will dry out your skin if you drop something on it. We also use alcohol as a carrier in our skid zone cleaners.

(Video) Cold Application of Liquid glide wax on Nordic ski

Nafta:A mixture of liquid hydrocarbons derived from petroleum. A good example of a naphtha is the wax remover typically used for grip wax. This material is odorless and can be absorbed through the skin. Most brands that use liquid spray waxes use naphtha. We only have naphtha in a few of our products, mainly our wax remover bottles, but the harm is when it is atomized like a spray can. Naphtha contains benzene, which can cause a variety of health problems. Mist can leave naphtha in the air and make your wax room, garage or basement toxic. With enough exposure, you'll get dizzy and pass out. Long-term exposure may cause kidney damage.

Methylenedimethylether or dimethoxymethano:You can tell by its smell, as it has a chloroform-like odor (this stuff stinks). This can be done by mixing formaldehyde and methanol. While it has similar health effects to gasoline, it's also incredibly flammable. If used from an aerosol can, this could fill your wax room with flammable gas. This could also harm your respiratory system once you're airborne, as it not only irritates your skin but also your lungs.

Safety Tips for Liquid Ski Wax:

  • 1. Wax your skis in a well-ventilated room. This is good general advice for waxing skis with liquid or hard wax. While most of us don't have a fume hood like a pharmacist or WM tech, your local hardware store has respirators. I use 3M Organic Vapor Pink filters. Get a full face mask, it's worth the extra money.
  • 2. Beware of liquid spray waxes! Most liquid spray waxes use naphtha or dimethoxymethane. For a more secure application, use a liquid wax that you rub on the ski.
  • 3. Wear gloves. I recommend Hestra beryllium gloves or any thin nitrile glove.
  • 4. Wear an apron, no one likes wax powder on their pants.
  • 5. Store your wax in a warm room. Liquid, klister and soft block waxes are not compatible with hot attics. I recommend storing the wax in a box in a room below 70 degrees.
  • 6. Maintain a clean and organized work environment.
  • 7. Look at the back of your wax packaging!look for these symbolsand understand the risks of the specific wax you are purchasing. At the end of the article you will find the four most common symbols I have seen and what they mean. You must be informed about what you are buying and understand the risks associated with some products.
Liquid Ski Wax | All you need to know (4)Combustible
Symbol: Flame
Liquid Ski Wax | All you need to know (5)Serious health hazard
Symbol: health hazard
Liquid Ski Wax | All you need to know (6)Harmful to health / harmful to the ozone layer
Icon: exclamation mark
Liquid Ski Wax | All you need to know (7)acute toxicity
Symbol: skull and crossbones

Hears! You made it to the end. I hope you enjoyed reading the latest issue."All you need to know"Series. If you have any questions, please send me an email. I will write again and update the article to answer the

The alternate title for this article was "Time in a Bottle: A Complete Guide to Liquid Wax," but that's not quite as search engine friendly.



Is liquid Ski Wax any good? ›

Empirically, liquid glide waxes have been proving to have excellent performance for both speed and durability, for most skiers as good as ironed-in waxes.

How do you use liquid ski wax? ›

To apply, spread the liquid on the glide zones of your ski base. Let dry for 10 minutes, then rub your bases with a natural cork. The friction this creates helps get the wax into the pores. As a final step, brush your bases with a nylon brush.

How long does liquid wax last on skis? ›

In addition to increased glide, liquid waxes also protect your base from drying out and oxidizing (just not as well as a hot wax). After every couple of liquid wax jobs you should clean the dirt from your bases with some base cleaner before you wax again. Generally each application will last about 20 miles.

How do you use Vauhti liquid wax? ›

Press the sponge against the ski base and squeeze the bottle lightly, which makes the bottle valve open and the product can trickle onto the sponge. Apply a thick layer by rubbing it back and forth on the gliding surfaces. Allow to dry completely, at least for 10 min. Brush thoroughly, using a nylon brush.

How often should you use liquid wax? ›

Whether you do it yourself or hire someone, a thorough wash of the exterior and applying a good-quality paste or liquid wax by hand at least twice a year can keep the paint finish on your vehicle looking almost new for years.

Is liquid wax better than spray wax? ›

Easier to Apply: The liquid wax tends to be the easier of the two. Spray versions are easier than the thicker liquid substance. Lasts Longer: The average liquid wax will hold up for up to 6 months. When you get into the paint sealant department (which is a liquid wax on steroids) that can expand to up to a year.


1. Wend Non-Petroleum (NP) Liquid Ski Wax Demo at the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show 2020
2. Application of Liquid glide wax on nordic ski with cork buffer
3. How to wax your snowboard or ski’s with liquid wax
4. Do "Waxless" Skis Need Wax? Gorham Bike & Ski Answers the Question
(White Mountains TV)
5. Application with cork buffer of Liquid glide wax on Alpine ski
6. Explaining the Different Types of Ski Wax
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