The ban on fluoride: Equipment you must get new and that which can be cleaned
The ban on fluoride will come into force from the coming winter season. This has consequences for your ski collection and other equipment. Here is the essential you need to know about cleaning skis and related equipment.
From the 2023/24 season, the ban on fluoride will be in force and enforced at all levels, both nationally and internationally. But what does this mean for your ski collection? And what about your other equipment? The simplest measure to ensure that your skis pass the fluoride inspection is of course to acquire brand new equipment. However, this can be an expensive affair, and is often unnecessary. The majority of skis and accessories can be washed and cleaned, and you can therefore continue to use them, even if they have previously been treated with fluoride products.
Experts in the field have shared guidance on how to clean different types of equipment, what should be bought new and what is absolutely necessary to replace to avoid disqualification in skiing after the introduction of the fluoride ban. Researchers specializing in the development of fluoride-free products and cleaning methods for fluoride have discovered that most equipment can be cleaned of traces of fluoride. However, there are some exceptions.
In their research, they found that the cleaning method is effective, but also that fluorine compounds in the sole material can migrate to the surface, especially in competition shoes that have previously contained high levels of fluorine. It is therefore essential to repeat the cleaning process several times, both before and during the season, to ensure that the soles are free of fluoride compounds.
It is emphasized that the exact execution of the purification procedure is critical, without skipping steps. It is also crucial to keep clean and "unclean" equipment separate to avoid cross-contamination.
In relation to the equipment that can be cleaned, it is important to be careful with the cleaning procedures, as almost everything can be washed clean if you follow them carefully.
When it comes to purchasing new equipment, brushes that have been in contact with fluoride are difficult to get completely clean. It is therefore recommended to get new brushes to guarantee a fluoride-free result. Nevertheless, the old brushes can still come in handy in the initial stages of the cleaning process to remove fluoride from the skis.
To start the cleaning procedure, you can use an old, cleaned washing brush as this will collect fluoride from the skis anyway. It is important to note that this should not be used after the first washing step.
Here is the cleaning process, step by step:
Apply the ski cleaner over the entire ski with a fiberlen drying paper. Use a wire brush to work the cleaner into the sole.
Warm up a soft glider with a grease iron, scrape and then brush the skis with clean brushes.
Repeat with a cold glider, scrape and brush again with clean brushes.
Start the process again from point 1, but now with clean brushes in all steps.
Finish by adding a layer of glides adapted to the day's conditions, and the skis are ready.
If the skis are not to be used immediately, it is recommended to treat them with a storage wax or a liquid transport/storage glide.
It is also important to remember everything other than the skis themselves, such as changing rooms, clothes and other equipment:
Everything must be fluoride-free before the start of the season. Make sure that:
Dispose of old fluorine products in accordance with local environmental regulations.
Growing rooms, bags and work clothes are thoroughly cleaned.
Brushes that have been used with fluoride products are replaced with new ones to ensure fluoride-free skis.
Wax residues are removed and all scratches are cleaned.
After you have ensured that all equipment is clean and ready, you can look forward to a new season with a clear conscience, in line with the new environmentally friendly regulations.