Nov 16, 2021

Common Issues with Zippers and How to Fix Them



Any zipper can turn into a serious nuisance once it starts to suffer signature problems such as sliding open, separating, or simply getting stuck. The good news is that there are different ways to help you fix your faulty zippers. 

As far as fixing stuck zippers are concerned, there are actually several strategies you could try to make sure that it will zip properly again. These include the following:

  1. Use graphite pencil. Start off with a graphite pencil to fix stuck zippers. Rub the pencil’s tip along the closed teeth of the zipper and try working the zipper down. 

  2. Use petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly is best used when other methods don’t work. Apply petroleum jelly the size of a fingertip on the stuck zipper to help lubricate the teeth and make it easier to work out the zipper from the stuck position. But, if the zipper happens to be part of a fabric item or garment, the petroleum jelly may leave a greasy stain behind if you don’t clean it properly. 

  3. Use wax or bar soap. You can also try to use a lubricating substance such as lip balm bar of soap, or some chapstick to make it easier for the teeth to slide through. 

Fixing Zippers That Keep Sliding Open

If the locking mechanism of the zipper is out of place, it will be hard for the zipper to stay zipped. You might experience this issue more often on certain clothing items and garments that get lots of wear and tear. There is really no permanent fix for the issue unless you have the zipper replaced entirely.

But, if the problem happens on your favorite pair of pants, you can use household items such as a rubber band or key ring as a temporary solution to fasten to the zipper’s end and loop this around the button of the pants for it to stay up. This method can also be used for making new zipper pulls. 

For other garments and articles of clothing, one more temporary fix is the use of sticky hairspray to form a buildup in the zipper teeth and make it more difficult to fall down. 

Fixing Separated Zippers

Separated zippers don’t necessarily mean broken zippers. If the zipper separated from the teeth, there are several fixes you might want to try: 

  • Align the zipper teeth. There are times when the zipper slider separates from the teeth once they become misaligned or bent. You can use needle-nose pliers for straightening them out to guarantee an easy slide of the mechanism 

  • Check the slider. If the zipper doesn’t remain fixed to the teeth, inspect to see if there is any stretching in the slider openings. You can use a pair of pliers to help you slightly squeeze close the openings without being closed enough to the point that teeth no longer fit into them. 

  • Insert the slider again. If you already tried adjusting the openings with the zipper slider and the teeth of the item not staying connected, you can start over from scratch. For metal zippers, remove the tiny metal pieces above the zipper track, or called top stops, then slide off the zipper slider all the way. But, this method doesn’t work in the case of plastic zipper stops. You can use pliers for slightly stretching the metal stoppers’ openings and wiggling them free. After removing the slider, push the teeth of the zipper together tightly to realign the track evenly. Once the teeth are realigned, put back the slider on the track an opening at a time. When the slider moves as it should again, put the top stops carefully back in their respective places. 

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