How to Solve All Common Zipper Problems
Lightning hasn’t changed much since it was first invented, and neither have the problems we all face. Here’s how to fix all of the problems you’ll run into with any zip-lock device, from stuck zippers to teeth that just won’t snap into place.
Your lightning is stuck
When your zipper gets stuck, it looks like it’s caught on something. The zipper may not open at all, and until you fix it, you will get stuck inside the jacket.
How to fix it? Take a lead pencil and rub the tip over your teeth. Try again and it should work. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to move on to lubrication. Windex is nice because it is not oil-based, but you can also use bar soap or lip balm. Start with the zipper all the way through and slowly apply the lubricant to your teeth. Then slide the zipper one more time, reinstall it, and continue doing this until the zipper is fully lowered. This is especially useful for fixing a zipper stuck in fabric .
Teeth won’t close (or keep opening)
One of the most annoying problems with zipper teeth that won’t close. The problem can arise in several different scenarios. And sometimes the trick above using a pencil (or a bar of soap) flattens your teeth enough to make them work again.
Otherwise, the slider may not work properly. First, double check to see if a piece of fabric or thread is caught in the zipper. Then look at the individual teeth. If any of them are sticking out, take pliers and put them back in place so they are all straight.
If your teeth are straight and clean, look at the slider itself. Over time, the slider starts to fall apart, and when this happens, it stops closing the zipper teeth. Take your pliers and try to close the slider until it snaps into the teeth again.
If you have a zipper on your jeans, the solution is a little tricky. If possible, remove the metal bumper at the bottom and replace it with a stitch, or simply secure it in the middle if the teeth are missing at the bottom. Unfortunately, this only really works with pants that allow access to the lower bumper.
If this fails, or you are working with trousers that lack the full length of the zipper, you may need to replace the zipper entirely. While you can do it yourself with pliers, scissors, and thread, replacing the zipper on a pair of trousers costs only around $ 5-10 at most tailors.
Lightning does not linger
A common problem with zippers on trousers is non-zip fastening. This can lead to any awkward situations. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to fix this problem permanently unless you completely replace the zipper.
However, there are two easy interim fixes. The easiest is to thread your key ring through the zipper and through the button on your pants . It just keeps the zipper in place. If you prefer a little more flexibility, you can also try an elastic band.
Slider cut off
If the slider comes off completely or does not cover the teeth correctly, it must be replaced. Use pliers to remove the slider. Once this is done, reattach the new zipper slider by sliding it over the prongs. That’s all, done.
Replacing a slider is usually pretty easy and only takes a couple of minutes.
The zipper came off
When the zipper comes off, it becomes incredibly difficult to close the zipper. The good news is that this is the simplest solution. You can turn a paperclip, keychain, or even a phone jack into a zipper. Just pull it through the pull tab on the slider and voila, you have a new zip fastener. Of course, this is not exactly a stylish solution, but at least you will be able to put on and take off your clothes.
This story was originally published in January 2013 and updated on September 3, 2020 with updated links and images and in line with the current Lifehacker style.