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How To Recycle Ski Wax

by: Tim Kelley


Question:  Where does most of the ski wax that you buy often end up?

Answer:  Landfills.

A small percentage of the wax that you apply to the base of your skis (or snowboards) actually is absorbed into the base material.  Most of the wax is scraped off the ski base.  And most people throw these hydrocarbon based wax scrapings into the trash.  Which then heads off to the local landfill.

So why not use 90% of the wax you buy instead of throwing away 90% of the wax you buy?  It's very easy to be less wasteful and have less of an adverse environmental impact when it comes to the use of ski wax.  And you can save a bunch of money by being environmentally responsible too.  Here's how ...

Steps For Recycling Ski Wax

Step 1 At the beginning of the ski season label Ziploc bags with the types of waxes you will commonly use during the winter.  During the winter you can separate wax scrapings by brand and color and put them in their respective bags.
Step 2 After a winter of saving wax scrapings you are ready to recycle them.  You will need a Pyrex cup in which you will melt the wax scrapings.
Step 3 You can melt the wax scrapings on a kitchen stove (use medium-high heat) ...
... but a safer place to melt wax is outside on a gas grill burner.
Step 4 Wait until all of the wax scrapings have turned to liquid wax.
Step 5 Using a pot holder to protect your fingers, CAREFULLY pour the molten wax through a sieve into the original wax containers.  The sieve will get any P-tex shavings or dirt out of the molten wax.  To get a good quality of wax you must use a sieve.
Step 6 When the wax cools you have some environmentally friendly and "FREE" ski wax.  Thanks for not throwing 90% of the wax you bought at the ski shop into your local landfill !!!

NOTE: Don't use a gas burner, such as an outdoor grill to melt ski wax.  The gas burner may cause the Pyrex cup to heat unevenly and crack.  And the flame will cause the molten wax to catch on fire.  Only use electric heat, such as a stove or hot plate.  And use it outside.  The following picture shows the result of an unevenly heated Pyrex cup, partially filled with molten wax, that exploded on an outdoor gas grill ...


Melting wax srapings outside on an electric hot plate is the safest way to recycle ski wax. Tip: If you want a hotplate to melt fax faster, wrap a camp stove wind screen around the container of wax scrapings and put something, like a board, on top to trap the heat.


A Wax Collection Trough

Kevin Turinsky of Anchorage, Alaska sent these pictures of a removable trough he rigged up next to his ski waxing bench.  Wax shavings are directed into the trough as you scrape your skis.  And then it's easy to collect the scrapings to recycle them.  Great idea and nice job Kevin!

BE SAFE: Wear gloves and eye protection.  Molten wax can cause 3rd degree burns.  Consider using a hot plate out of doors.  Melt the wax slowly, so no fumes are emitted, and pour it as soon as it becomes liquid.  Don't leave the wax that is being melted unattended.