8 Ski Wax Alternatives: Eco Friendly, Household Items, and Cheaper Options

Last Updated on 22/07/2022

Ski Wax Alternatives

What Are the Alternatives to Ski Wax?

If you are looking for ski wax alternatives then this guide is for you. We share 6 different alternatives to ski and snowboard wax that you can buy or may already have around your house. We also try to debunk some common myths and explain why household items may not be the best option for waxing your skis.

Ski wax is a special type of wax to coat the underside of your skis or snowboard to help them glide better on snow and also to help protect the underside surface of your skis. It is considered good practice to maintain your skis every week or after every ski trip, but in truth, you can get away with doing it far less.

How often you wax your skis and making the decision to do it yourself or pay for a service are two common questions you may be thinking about. We answer these below along with some other more random questions about using household items as a ski wax alternative. First, these are some of the alternatives you can experiment with instead of proper ski wax.

8 Ski Wax Alternatives

Zardoz NOTwax Base Boost

Zardoz NOTwax Base Boost with Pocket Puck Applicator

Zardoz NOTwax Base Boost is pure liquid Teflon fluoropolymer from DuPont that can be applied as a base treatment or over the top of existing wax – no need to clean it all off. This makes it an excellent alternative to traditional ski wax that you can start using straight away. It is designed to be quick and easy to apply and doesn’t require any specialist equipment. On top of this, it is also great value for money.

To apply the Base Boost solution you simply drip around a quarter to a third of a bottle onto the sponge puck and run it up and down your skis or snowboard. You can do this after every trip or even on the mountain during the day, it only takes a minute and will last for two or three days of skiing.

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Phantom Permanent Waxless Glide

DPS Phantom Glide DIY Kit - Single Application

Phantom Permanent Waxless Glide is a base treatment for skis and snowboards that gets applied once and is then permanently active. It requires a completely cleaned surface with all wax removed and the surface thoroughly cleaned. This is a time-consuming job for most beginners and so taking it to a shop to have a fresh stone grind makes the most sense. 

Once the surface is totally clean you simply apply the solution, wipe it over the surface to get even coverage, and then let it cure in the sun for a couple of hours. Your skis or snowboard should run just fine without ever needing to be waxed again. Another benefit of Phantom is that it is ecologically friendly and is an inert substance which means it causes no long-term effects on the environment.

There is more information about how the technology works on the DPS website

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mountainFLOW eco-Wax Kit

mountainFLOW eco-Wax | Blue Square Wax Kit | Eco-Friendly Ski + Snowboard Wax (Cool + Warm) | Wax Iron | Wax Brush | Wax Scraper

MountainFLOW eco-Wax Kit contains everything you need to keep your skis maintained all year round. The reason we have included this as a ski wax alternative is because it features 0% fluorocarbons and 0% petroleum and instead is 100% plant-based. Not only that but this isn’t just an eco ski wax substitute, it is a full maintenance kit that includes wax iron, wax brush, and a wax scraper as well as two types of eco wax.

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Paraffin Wax

Blended Waxes, Inc. 1 lb. Block - Household Paraffin Wax for Canning, Candle Making, Metal Preservation, Waterproofing, and A Variety of Other Applications (1lb. - 1 Block)

Paraffin Wax has long been used to make skis faster and it is still the base material that most companies make ski and snowboard wax out of. You can buy it in big blocks for less than a third of the cost of ski wax and it works almost the same. The only difference is that it won’t contain any fluorocarbons designed to shed water and specifically improve the performance of recreational snow transport.

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Candle Wax

Blended Waxes, Inc. Microcrystalline Wax 1lb. Block - Wax for Everyday Use (2pk.)

Plain Candle Wax can be used on skis at your own risk but it is generally not recommended for snowboards. It is an emergency alternative that you only use if you are desperate to apply some wax in a hurry and don’t have anything better. There are plenty of guides on how to do it on Youtube but for the most part, you just buy a block like the one above and apply it by hand to your skis before polishing with a rag.

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Carnauba Wax

PremiumCraft 100% Carnauba Wax Bar - 3.1" x 1.8" x 1.2"

Carnauba Wax is often used as a hardener in other waxes and to raise the melting temperature of a softer wax. These both sound like excellent attributes to make it good for skis and snowboards. Well yes in the short term but what actually happens as it wears down is that it will actually begin to stick more than if you had left them unwaxed in the first place.

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Australian Botanical Soap, Goat's Milk & Soya Bean Oil Pure Plant Oil Soap, 6.8 oz. 193g Bars - 8 Count

Natural Soap is something we have never tried but have seen people recommend it multiple times so felt it deserved a mention – but only because it makes sense to us that soap would make your skis slipper and thus, improve their performance. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has experimented with soap on skis to see what they have tried. In theory, though, soap should provide a very shorty term alternative to wax.

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Furniture Polish

Pledge Moisturizing Oil Spray, Amber & Argan Scent, Nourishes, Protects and Revitalizes Furniture, 9.7 Oz

Furniture Polish is not really a practical alternative to wax because of how long it would (or wouldn’t) last. There have been stories of Olympic skiers applying mystery solutions to their skis before a race which are rumored to contain some form of dish soap and floor polish. But for a day on the slopes, it would be fairly futile to try and replace a wax treatment with a quick coating of floor polish.

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alternative ski wax substitute

Some Other Alternative Ski Wax Products

Here are some other products we found but have not yet tested that claim to be alternative options for waxing skis:

  • Looknowax Juice
  • Faststik Revolutionary Ski Wax Replacement

Are Ski Wax Alternatives Worth It?

Before you spend too much time researching and looking for alternatives to wax for skis (we are already about 4 hours down the rabbit hole), consider why you would even want to look for one. If you urgently need to wax your skis for an impromptu day trip to the slopes and don’t have any ski wax then this is the only time it is worth using an alternative.

If you are looking for alternatives to try and save money then check out these 1 pound (340 g) blocks of ski wax that will literally last for years even if you use it all the time. This is cheaper than a single day’s ski pass and so it really is worth getting the correct wax.

Are Ski Wax Alternatives Safe?

When considering whether different ski wax alternatives are safe we need to be clear that we are talking about being safe for you and the environment. The health risk of applying ski wax is if it contains any harmful chemicals, and it turns out it might. 

Ski wax often contains poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) which have been shown to contaminate environments and leach into water supplies. This is not good news for wildlife that either lives in the soil or in the streams and rivers.

Anything you put on the underside of your skis will rub off on the snow that will eventually melt into the ground – some treatments will rub off faster than others. If this is applied to a large enough percentage of skis then when ski runs melt in spring, all those chemicals will leech directly into the ground which over time can have irreversible effects on the local flora and fauna.

Do Ski Wax Alternatives Work?

In our search for the truth, we found that most ski wax alternatives will only last for one or two days maximum however carnauba and paraffin wax both last a bit longer. However, wax that is specifically designed for skis and snowboards lasts at least three or five times longer. This is because it is designed to work in cold and wet conditions whereas alternatives are not designed for this.

candle wax for skis and snowboard

Can I Use Candle Wax for Skis?

This might be controversial to some people but we have tried using candle wax on one ski and real ski wax on the other and there is next to no difference in performance. It is only after a day or two that you will notice the ski with candle wax maybe feel a bit slower.

So to answer this question, yes you can use candle wax on skis if you don’t have the real thing. Is it a good alternative in the long run? Probably not, you would have to reapply it so often that you would save a significant amount of cumulative time by spending a couple of extra bucks on some professional ski wax.

Can I Use Furniture Polish As Wax for Skis?

You can use furniture polish on your skis but it is not a good alternative to wax. Furniture polish works best when applied on top of the wax and will not last very long at all, may an hour or two tops. Furniture polish and other similar products are sometimes used on the top of skis to prevent any snow from sticking to them when in a competition where time is counted in milliseconds.

Can You Put WD40 on Skis?

I have never heard of anyone using WD40 on their skis or snowboard to increase speed but it is good practice to spray any metal elements to your bindings with WD40 or similar oil lubricant to prevent them from rusting.

Can I Use Car Wax on Skis?

This is much like candle wax in that car wax can work as a ski wax alternative for a limited period before it wears off. So in a pinch, yes you can use car wax on your skis if you have nothing better and it will work for the best part of a day but ultimately you need to use a proper wax.

Is Ski and Snowboard Wax the Same?

Ski and snowboard wax are completely the same and while most manufacturers cater to both sports, some brands niche down to one or the other but they are in fact the same. If you are wondering whether you can use snowboard wax on skis and ski wax on snowboards then the answer to both questions is yes you can.

How Do You Wax Skis Without Wax?

It is not really possible to ‘wax’ your skis without using… wax. You can however try some wax alternatives for skis but this is not really a viable long-term option if you are serious about skiing or snowboarding. If you just hate the process of scraping and applying wax then you can try using a liquid wax which is easier to apply and may save you some time.

Who Needs Ski Wax?

If you own your own skis or snowboard and head into the mountains somewhat regularly then maintaining your equipment with wax should be second nature. Snow gear costs a lot of money and so you need to learn to take care of it pretty quickly. But if you are new to waxing skis then you likely won’t have the proper wax and are looking for alternatives.

If you are renting your ski gear then you don’t even have to worry about waxing as it will already be done for you. If you don’t ski very often but own your own gear then you may be better off just paying for a service once a year.

What is Ski Wax Used For?

Waxing your skis or snowboard does two things; improves performance and increases protection. Both of these things are important to get the most out of your equipment and also make sure it lasts a long time.

Ski wax protects the underside of your skis from getting scratched up when you go over, grit, sticks, stray rocks, and even ice. It creates a sustainable barrier that can be reapplied if you get any deep gauges. Creating a wax layer on the surface also reduces friction to improve speed and efficiency.

How Often Should You Wax Your Skis?

If you know how to wax your skis up then you can reapply your wax as often as you like and you can usually tell if they need doing just by riding them or visually looking at the current condition of the waxed layer. For people who ski daily then once a week will ensure you never suffer from a lack of wax. For most other people a couple of times a year or after every two trips is absolutely fine.

Waxing skis and snowboards isn’t for everyone. In fact, we actually recommend that most people pay for a ski wax and edging service at the start of every season unless you have the time and equipment to do it yourself. You can also get it done at the end of every season before you put them into storage – this might actually be cheaper as there is less demand.

How Do You Remove Old Ski Wax?

The best and easiest way to remove ski wax is with wax removal solvents however you can also just heat the wax up a little and use a plexiglass scraper to remove it. Whatever you use to scrape the wax off with can’t be too hard or you risk scratching your skis. Here is a video to show you some tips to avoid when removing old wax and applying new wax:

Helpful Resource: Investigation of the most essential factors influencing ski glide

We hope you found what you were looking for in our guide to the best ski wax alternatives

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Gear Assistant

This article has been written and/or edited by Andrew N. 20+ years of hiking, mountaineering, and camping experience, with access to all the latest outdoor gear.

  1. […] first which doesn’t always save that much money in the long run. You can also try other ski wax alternatives that claim to allow you never need to wax your skis […]

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