Wax brushes serve to clean your skis and remove excess wax from the bases. Keeping wax brushes clean is necessary to ensure you don't accidentally brush dirt particles into your race wax and so the brush actually removes wax instead of adding it the base.
The number one rule for keeping your brushes clean is to never put them bristle-side down on your wax bench. Your bench is dirty, with wax shavings, dust, and grit. In my case, I have grinding dust from sharpening my rollerski ferrules on a carbide grinding wheel. No matter how much you clean your bench, there will still be foreign materials to clog brush bristles.
As you brush, part of the wax is brushed off the ski, but some wax becomes embedded in the bristles. Over time, you may find a brush looses its effectiveness because of too much embedded wax.
If you have only one or two brushes, you also run into the problem brushing the wrong wax into your skis. For example, last weekend you brushed out a pair warm-waxed skis. This weekend, the temperature has dropped to the single digits and you're waxing with cold wax. Well, guess what, some of the warm wax from last weekend is going to end up your cold skis when you brush! This does not make for the fastest pair of skis.
Over the next four articles, I'll show four different ways to keep your brushes clean, in order of increasing mechanization (bear with me....). Thanks to fellow Team NordicSkiRacer Bill Kaltz for providing the "demonstration hands".
Today: the slap and scrape method of brush cleaning.
Cleaning Wax Brushes: The slap and scrape method
The slap and scrap method requires only three items, all of which you have:
Step 1. Hold the scraper in one hand, the brush in the other, and slap (hard!) the bristles against the flat side of the scraper several times (first two photos). This loosens and dislodges the wax from the bristles.
Step 2. Scrape the edge of the scraper over the bristles to "fling" the loosened wax into the trash (third photo). Do this scraping action several times.
Best practices: Slap-and-scrape works best if you do it well before the wax has a chance to deeply embed in the bristles. I brush a ski, then slap and scrape the brush, brush the next ski, then slap and scrape, etc...
|Hold the scraper in one hand, the brush in the other, and slap (hard!) the bristles against the flat side of the scraper several time. This loosens and dislodges the wax from the bristles.|
|Pull the edge of the scraper over the bristles to "fling" the loosened wax into the trash. Do this scraping action several times.|
Tomorrow, we add an extra item to our brush cleaning arsenal....