Skaters require a clean, sharp blade to interact with the surface of the ice for a smooth, fast glide and sharp, crisp edges. Any amount of rust on a blade will affect skating performance. The best way to avoid rusty skate blades, is to prevent it from forming, by keeping them clean and dry; however, even well cared for blades can develop rust from time to time. You can remove small amounts of rust from an ice skate blade with a few simple steps.
Add a few drops of oil to a scouring pad. You can either use oil designed specifically for skates or cooking oil; both work similarly.
Gently rub the part of the blade that has the rust with the pad until the rust comes off.
Spray the rust-prevention product on the blade and wipe it down with a clean towel.
Bring the blade to a professional skate sharpener who you trust. Once you’ve used a scouring pad on your blades, you will have dull edges and require a sharpening.
It is crucial to wipe the "snow" that forms from skating from your blades, and to wipe your blades down with a clean, dry towel as soon as you leave the ice.
Put your blades into clean, absorbent skate soakers as soon as you dry them. Replace your soakers if they are worn.
In some cases, if the rust is minimal and confined to the hollow of the blade, a sharpening alone might take the rust off.
Spraying the rust-prevention product or putting oil on blades might prevent further rusting.
If rust has attacked your blades and worn them down, you may have to replace them. Once rust penetrates the blade, it will not be able to hold an edge properly, even after removal and sharpening.
Clean your blade guards with a toothbrush and liquid dish soap. Any gunk accumulated on the guards can damage your blades. Replace blade guards if they are worn down or damaged.
Bonnie Crowe is a mother of two teenagers; a teacher and author of children's books, curriculum and articles on English grammar, literature, technology, art, parenting and career guides for high schoolers. She's a former director of AOL Parenting, a member of SCBWI, and a graduate from the University of California,Berkeley.