Indispensable Hacks for Ice Show-Ready Skates
It’s SHOW SEASON! You are eagerly anticipating that moment when you skate out on the ice in the spotlight. Then, you look down and notice all the scuffs, scrapes, smudges and general badges of honor that now cover your skates. Here are a few fast remedies for what ails your precious bladed babies.
- Coverups never work! Never polish over dirty skates. It just won’t cover and gets really frustrating after the third coat. Clean before polishing, even if you’re in a hurry.
- Scuff happens! Use Soft Scrub cream cleanser with a soft cloth. It should remove most of the marks, but if you have a few stubborn streaks, try nail polish remover (Acetone). Always wear latex gloves to avoid the chemicals and prevent your actual nail polish from doing a disappearing act. Clean off all toxic chemicals by using a towel with some dish soap and clean water to wipe off any residue from your skates. Then dry thoroughly. You can use a hairdryer if you are short on time.
- To polish or not to polish? Once clean, skates often don’t need that extra layer of polish, but if they do, those sponge brushes at the dollar store are great for applying skate polish. Keep your skate guards handy to allow the skates to stand on their own avoiding that telltale “lean” mark from being against another surface. Don’t forget to buff with a soft cloth or everything in your skate bag will turn chalky white
- Blades need love too! Shine them up with WD-40 oil. It will not only remove and prevent any rust spots but will give the chrome a dandy sparkle. Check the soles for waterproofing ( although most of the new lightweight skates have no maintenance acrylic or nylon soles and heels) and tighten all the screws, to make sure blades are secured properly. Never sharpen your blades right before the show or your knees/derriere may make unexpected contact with the ice. Depending on your level and available practice time, allow at least 4-5 hours of skating to be comfortably secure on your edges. And don’t forget your guards! It may be a long walk from the locker room to the ice.
- Out with the old! Sometimes fraying laces can split at inopportune times. You should always have an extra pair of laces in your skate bag, so do the shift: use the older ones first. Want to make them last longer? Never use bleach; it weakens the fibers. Wax your laces. A little Snoseal and a hairdryer to melt it into the laces, will help prevent over stretching and splitting.
- Bag it! To keep them looking awesome, and prevent any knocks in your skate bag, use old pillowcases as boot bags. Add a fabric softener sheet inside each boot to absorb any moisture or odor.
- Duct Tape! Yep, you read that right, white or black duct tape. It can be a lifesaver in an emergency. If you are using the same boots that have gone through months of ice time, competitions, practices, but the timing is not right for breaking in new boots -, providing a little added support from a tape wrap may provide the extra stiffness that you need to land jumps confidently.. It’s also good for quick skate bag repairs, an emergency hem, lint or pet hair removal, even sealing up a snack bag so it doesn’t empty out in your makeup.
- There is a safety net, if you totally run out of time; wear over the boot tights and hide the flaws, but check with the costume chairperson, first, to make sure it follows show guidelines.