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Spring clean your skating essentials

Look over your laces
Look over your lacesFlickr Creative Commons

Spring cleaning has long been a part of the arrival of spring. If you’re like many, your home, car and closets are among the many to-dos listed on your cleaning list, but what about your skate bag? If your ZUCA or athletic bag can use a little spring cleaning of its own, read on for five quick and easy tips to freshen up your skating equipment.

Look over your laces
Look over your laces Flickr Creative Commons

Look over your laces

Inspect your skate laces on a regular basis and replace them if you notice fraying, excessive wear or if the aglets fall off the ends. It is also a good idea to keep a spare pair of laces in your bag in the event you break a lace. Check the length of your laces to ensure you are able to properly tie your ice skates. Your local rink pro shop should have figure skating laces in stock; if not, you can order laces online through companies like Rainbo Sports.

Inspect your screws
Inspect your screws Wikimedia Commons

Inspect your screws

Inspect the screws holding your blade to the boot’s sole (the mount). You’re looking for any screws that are loose. Loose screws are not only dangerous but can lead to a faster deterioration of the boot’s leather. A simple screwdriver can tighten your screws; just be sure you don’t tighten them to the point that you strip the existing holes. It is also recommended to keep spare screws (and a screwdriver) in your bag should you accidently lose a screw. Ask your skate technician for a few extras.

Polish your boots
Polish your boots Flickr Creative Commons

Polish your boots

If your boots are looking dull and scuffed, a simple coat of polish can help your skates look new again. Stock up on Harlick boot polish and be sure to have paper towels/rags and masking tape on hand. You’ll also want to purchase leather preparer, a fine grit sanding block, clear spray wax and white spray polish before you start. These instructions from “SKATING” magazine’s Mr. Edge has everything you need to know to bring new life to your boots.

Layer on some SK8TAPE
Layer on some SK8TAPE PuckStop.com

Layer on some SK8TAPE

Another option to renew the look of your boots while protecting them from scuff marks and scrapes is SK8TAPE. Made from a special vinyl material, SK8TAPE is specifically designed for use on leather figure skates and will not damage the leather. When applied correctly, SK8TAPE is virtually unnoticeable. Pick up a roll from Best Buy Figure Skating (about $6 for narrow and $9 for wide).

Wash away winter germs
Wash away winter germs Flickr Creative Commons

Wash away winter germs

As winter’s cold and flu season wraps up, it’s a great time to wash away any leftover germs that may be hanging around on your gloves. Wash your gloves in hot water using liquid chlorine disinfectants diluted with water or phenolic disinfectants, such as Lysol, to help kill the germs. Be sure to spot test a small area of your fabrics first to ensure that harsh products do not fade or damage your gloves.