Learn How to Fix 5 Common Zipper Problems Easily and Inexpensively

Learn How to Fix 5 Common Zipper Problems Easily and Inexpensively.

How to fix a zipper

If the zipper on your jeans, jacket, backpack or any other clothing accessory is broken, all it could take is a simple DIY zipper fix OR it might mean replacing the zipper. Generally, if the zipper teeth are broken or several teeth are missing, you may need to replace the entire zipper. But, common problems like the zipper slider not securing the zipper or a broken zipper pull, the following DIY solutions and tips should help out.

Zippers consist of 3 parts. The zipper teeth are secured together by the zipper slider as you pull the zipper up using the zipper pull. Some zippers may also have zipper stops located at both ends of the zipper. They prevent the zipper slider from detaching as you pull the zipper up or down.


In terms of tools, all you really need is a pair of pliers such as lineman or long nose pliers. Depending on how much work is needed, you may need other supplies like replacement zipper stops or a zipper slider if replacing the zipper slider.

1) How to fix a zipper that is stuck.

Fixing a stuck zipper is one of the easiest zipper problems to fix. All you generally need is some type of lubricants such as a bar of soap, lip balm, or even Windex!. Before moving to lubricants, rub a graphite pencil on the zipper teeth that seem stuck. Then, jiggle the slider gently to loosen the teeth.

How to fix a stuck zipper.

If this doesn’t work, rub a bar of soap (or any other lubricant listed above) over the zipper teeth while moving the slider up and down an inch or two at a time. Do this in small sections over the entire length of the zipper until the zipper slides smoothly up and down the entire length of the zipper.

1) How to tighten a zipper slider when the zipper teeth don’t close properly.

If your zipper teeth don’t close properly or unzip easily, it could be the zipper slider. The zipper slider applies pressure to both sides to securely “clench” each tooth. But, if the zipper slider gets bent or worn out, it could prevent zipper teeth from connecting properly. Here’s how to fix zipper teeth that won’t close:

1) Slide the zipper slider to the bottom end of the zipper.
2) Position the pliers below the zipper pull so that it allows you to put pressure on one side of the zipper slider
3) Start by squeezing the right side of the zipper slider then do the same on the left side. If it doesn’t correct the problem, you may need to repeat the process using a little more pressure but not so much that you break the slider. Continue testing after each adjustment until the zipper slider secures each zipper tooth.

2) How to fix a zipper that won’t stay up.

This is often a problem with pant zippers but it’s one that needs the entire zipper replaced; however, there are temporary fixes that can buy you some time. In fact, life hacks like this one are so easy and ingenious that you may end up putting off replacing the zipper!

How to fix a zipper that won't stay up.

You can insert a keyring into the zipper pull and secure it to your pant button. Alternatively, you can also create a loop with a rubber band or fishing line and loop it around your pant button.

4) How to fix a zipper pull that broke off.

If the zipper pull breaks off the slider but the slider loop is still intact, you can easily insert other objects like a keyring, keychain, paper clip, or even these replacement zipper pulls from Amazon.

How to fix a zipper pull that broke off.

There are other products like ZipperMend which sells zipper pulls that provide a more permanent solution for a zipper pull that broke off. It’s generally not necessary to replace a zipper slider if only the zipper pull breaks; however, replacing the entire zipper slider is the only way to create a permanent solution.

5) How to replace a zipper slider.

Zippers on pants are different that zippers on jackets or accessories like purses or luggage. Nearly all zippers have zipper stops which are tiny metal teeth located at the end zippers. Generally, to get access to them on pants, you may need to unstitch a section of fabric; however, on most jackets, the zipper stops are easily removed. If you need replacement zipper sliders, try this zipper replacement kit on Amazon.

1) Gently pull out the zipper stops using a pair of pliers.
2) Pull the slider down until it reaches the end of the zipper and gently remove the slider from the zipper.
3) Grab your replacement zipper slider and align the two ends of the zipper teeth with the openings of your replacement zipper slider.
4) As you move the slider along the zipper, try to hold the zipper teeth closer together. This will help ensure that the first tooth “clenches” properly with the first tooth on the opposite side of the zipper. You only need to do this once so be patient and start over until the teeth close properly.
5) After you’ve installed the zipper slider properly, make sure to reinstall the zipper stops.

Hopefully, these DIY solutions will help you with common zipper problems. If you find that it’s beyond a quick DIY repair, most tailors can fix broken zippers for as little as $10 or $15 dollars. Please share how to fix a zipper with these DIY tips with your friends and family.

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