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How to Store, Sharpen, and Clean Ice Skates

Maybe you like to go ice skating once or twice in the winter. Maybe you love playing recreational hockey with your buddies. Or perhaps you’re coaching a team of kids in your community, and you want to give them the best you’ve got. No matter why you’re interested in storing, sharpening, or simply cleaning your ice skates, following these simple tips can keep your boots and blades sharp for years to come.  

How to Protect Your Ice Skate Blade

Before we get into our tips for how to clean your ice skates, let’s talk about the one thing you should never do. Ice skates are made for the ice, not for the ground. Put your blade protectors on immediately after leaving the ice. 

How To Clean Ice Skate Blades

Right after you come off the ice, you’ll want to dry your ice skate blades with a soft cloth. Next, put your blade protectors back on to prevent scratches and to keep your blades clean. 

After cleaning your blades of dirt and grime, it’s time to figure out how to clean ice skate boots. Using ice skate polish on the boot will make sure the leather is staying in tip-top shape. The way you apply the polish depends on the type of polish and the color of your boot, but Mr. Edge’s Boot Polishing Method is easy to follow and try at home! 

If you clean them and still aren’t happy, or you realize you’ve grown out of them, consider donating them! Our charity partner, Skate to Great in Canada, donates skates to kids who can’t afford their own so they can participate in programs that include skating opportunities in a supportive environment. 

How Can I Get Rust Off My Hockey Skates or Figure Skates?

If your blades are beginning to rust or you have rusty ice skates you want to spruce up, it’s best to address the problem as soon as possible. Rusty skates are caused by moisture that corrodes the metal coating and base metal of your blades. If you let it go untreated for too long the rust will make the blades unusable and will force you to buy new skates. If the rust is minimal on your skates, no need to worry, you easily remove it with a few tools.  

First, determine the places on the blades where you see rust. If the rust is on the U-shaped groove of the blade you can get away with a quick professional sharpening at a skate shop that will remove the rust for you. If you see rust anywhere else the first step will be to make sure the blades are dry using a soft rag. Next, apply a few drops of rust remover to a fine steel wool scouring pad and gently rub the rust. Check your progress by wiping the blade down with the rag occasionally. Repeat the gentle scrubbing until you can see that the rust has been removed. Once the rust is gone, spray a rust-prevention product on the blade. 

To further prevent rust it is best to dry your skates off before you store them and do not store them with the blade covers on. Blade covers are meant to walk around off the ice without damaging your blades, but they will often keep the moisture in during storage and result in rusty ice skates 

Can I Sharpen Ice Skate Blades at Home?

There is no one correct answer to this question, as it depends on your weight, how often you skate, and how you like your skates to feel. 

A general rule of thumb is that skates need to be sharpened every 30 to 50 hours on the ice. You’ll know your blades need to be sharpened when you feel your blades slipping sideways when you skate.  

You might still be wondering how to sharpen figure skates or other ice skates at home. Although we advise taking your skates to a professional to be sharpened, sometimes this isn’t an option. If that is the case the best thing to do is to touch them up between skating sessions with a hand stone. Follow this convenient informational video on how to sharpen ice skates so, you can ensure you are always skating safely. 

How to Store Ice Skates

So far, we’ve explored some of the best ways to go about cleaning your ice skates, sharpening your ice skate blades, and preventing rust from dulling your competitive edge (no pun intended). These are all things you’ll want to do before placing them in storage in order to keep your skates pristine.  

Now we’ll share our best advice for how to store your ice skates, so they come out of hibernation just like you left them. 

Packing your Ice Skates for Storage

Knowing how to maintain ice skates and doing so regularly can extend their useful life. Keep your skates ready to go for many years to come by storing them properly. That means treating your boots with a leather protector, making sure the blades are sharpened, tightening blade screws, and replacing worn laces. 

Next, undo the laces a bit and open your skates up as wide as possible to promote air circulation and prevent mildew. If you feel the need to, undo the laces completely and fold the flap out to air out any unpleasant smells or residual moisture. When it’s time to box them up, you’ll want as little moisture as possible to prevent rusting. 

Store your ice skates in a cardboard box – they’re durable, affordable, and won’t trap in moisture like plastic bins. Before putting in your skates, wrap the blades in a dry towel to prevent any damage to other things in the box, like extra laces or other ice skates. Once the box is closed, it’s ready to store.  

Finding Space for your Ice Skates

Finally, don’t leave your skates in the car or in a basement. The fluxing temperatures and inconsistent humidity will yellow your leather or fabric, and potentially stress your blade. Storing them in a cool, dry place is best – like a hall closet. If that’s full of coats, Christmas décor, and all your other winter exclusive belongings, consider renting a storage unit. 

About StorageMart

Winter is what you make of it. Some of us like to cozy up by the fire with a good book. Others take advantage of every chance there is to ski, snowboard, sled, snowshoe, and ice skate. 

If that’s you, you might find yourself running short on storage space. The good news is there’s an easy fix for that. At StorageMart, you’ll find clean, well-lit storage units that can be rented on a month-to-month basis. Perfect to help you how to maintain ice skates, no matter what season you need to store them. Need more info? Check out our Self Storage Calculator or rent a unit online today. 

This article has been updated with new information on January 27, 2022.