How to Fix Teeth on My Zipper That Won't Close


3 Ways to Fix a Stuck Zipper

When it comes to fixing a stuck zipper, there are many different strategies you can try to get it zipping again, such as:

  1. Use a graphite pencil. To fix a stuck zipper, start with a graphite pencil. Rub the tip of the pencil along the closed zipper teeth, trying to work the zipper down.
  2. Use bar soap or wax. Try using a lubricating substance like a bar of soap, some chapstick, or lip balm to make the teeth easier to slide through.
  3. Use petroleum jelly. When all else fails, you can use petroleum jelly. Add a fingertip’s worth of petroleum jelly to the stuck zipper to lubricate the zipper teeth, making it easier to work the zipper out of its stuck position. However, if the zipper is part of a fabric item, the jelly can leave a greasy stain if not cleaned properly.

The teeth dont close (or they keep popping open)

One of the most annoying problems with a zipper is

One of the most annoying problems with a zipper is when the teeth won’t close. The problem comes from a few different reasons. Sometimes the above trick of using a pencil (or a bar of soap) will smooth out the teeth enough so they’ll work again.

If that doesn’t work, the slider might not be working properly. First, double-check to make sure a piece of cloth or thread isn’t stuck in the zipper. Next, look at the individual teeth. If any of them are sticking out, grab a pair of pliers and move them back into place so they’re all straight.

If the teeth are straight, and clean, take a look at the slider itself. Over time, the slider starts to come apart, and when that happens it stops clinching the zipper teeth together. Grab some pliers and try closing the slider together until it catches the teeth again.

As for jeans, the solution is a little more complicated. If you can, you need to remove the metal bumper at the bottom and replace it with a stitches, or just tie it off in the middle if teeth are missing at the bottom. Unfortunately, this only really works with pants where you can actually get to the bottom bumper.

If that fails, or you’re working with pants where you can’t get to the entire zipper run, you might need to replace the zipper completely. While you can do it yourself with some pliers, scissors, and thread, replacing the zipper on a pair of pants is only around $US5 ($7)-$US10 ($14) at most tailors.


2) How to fix a zipper that wont 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!

You can insert a keyring into the zipper pull and

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.

A Zipper That Separates on a Backpack

Usually, backpacks have plastic zippers attached to them so the following instructions will focus on fixing that type of zipper. First, try to straighten any bent teeth you may find at the separation. Also, look for any string or thread that may have gotten between the teeth and separated them. Remove that if it is there.

Next, clean the teeth as any particles that have built up may move the teeth out of line causing the slider to skip those teeth and let the zipper separate. Third, you need to check the slider itself.

It may have separated a little and doesn’t align the teeth anymore. Just take a pair of pliers and squeeze the slider closed but not so much it doesn’t do its job.

How To Fix a Misaligned Zipper

The first step in this situation is to remove either the two bottom stops or the two top stops. Next, move the slider towards the end you removed the stops. If it is stuck use a little oil to lubricate it.

After that, check for any twisted or bent teeth and use a pair of pliers to straighten them. Once that is done realign the bottom of the two zipper tapes and slide the slider back down. Put one side of the zipper through the slider into the retainer box and slide the slider up and check your work.

If it works put the stops back on.

How to Unstick a Zipper

Zippers can get stuck for several reasons. They may snag on a bit of fabric or one of the teeth gets out of line or the metal or plastic teeth break or become a bit worn. But there is usually something you can do to save the day.

  1. Stop Struggling

    If you begin to feel the zipper getting stuck and not moving smoothly, STOP zipping before you make it worse! If you are wearing the garment, Remove it if possible and examine the problem.

    The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

  2. Slowly Retract the Fabric

    If there is fabric caught in the zipper, gently pull it away. Apply a pulling motion to the fabric, not the zipper. Use needle-nose pliers or tweezers to get a better grip.

    Do not pull on the zipper. Pulling on the zipper may separate the teeth, especially on zippers with plastic or nylon teeth. Slowly ease the fabric out of the zipper slider and gradually slide the zipper pull tab up or down for the final release.


    Hold the zipper slider by the body, which is closer to the zipper teeth, rather than the little pull tab. This will provide more power and control.

    The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

  3. Realign the Zipper Teeth

    If the teeth of the zipper look out of place, use your finger to smooth them back together, if possible.

    The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

  4. Inspect the Zipper and Garment

    Before rezipping, check along the zipper to be sure that the fabric is moved away from the zipper and that any loose threads have been removed.

    The Spruce / Georgia Lloyd

How to Fix a Separated Zipper

A separated zipper does not necessarily equal a broken zipper. If your zipper has separated from the teeth, here are a few solutions you can try:

  • Check the zipper slider. When the zipper doesn’t stay attached to the teeth, check to see if the slider openings have been stretched. Use a pair of pliers to slightly squeeze the openings closed (but not closed enough that the teeth can no longer fit in them).
  • Align the zipper teeth. Sometimes a zipper slider will separate from the teeth when they’ve become bent or misaligned. Use needle-nose pliers to straighten them out to ensure the mechanism has an easy slide.
  • Reinsert the slider. If you’ve tried to adjust the openings and the teeth of your item and the zipper slider still won’t stay connected, try starting over from scratch. If you have a metal zipper, remove the small pieces of metal at the top of the zipper track, also known as top stops, and slide the zipper slider all the way off (however, this method will not work for plastic zipper stops). Use pliers to slightly stretch the openings of the metal stoppers and wiggle them free. Once you’ve removed the slider, push the zipper’s teeth together tightly, realigning the track evenly. When you’ve realigned the teeth, put the slider back on the track one opening at a time. Once the slider moves normally again, gently put the top stops back in their place.

How to Fix a Zipper with a Broken Pull

 Another common thing to happen is the stops at the top of the zipper fall or get pulled off, and then the slider comes free. In order to put the slider back on, you’ll have to open the bottom of the zipper. It’s not possible to put the zipper back on from the top. If you did, you would reverse the direction of the zipper and it would be useless.

2) Cut the thread tack on the inside like in step

2) Cut the thread tack on the inside like in step 7 of the first demo.

3) Using pliers, pull off the stop at the bottom o

3) Using pliers, pull off the stop at the bottom of the zipper.

4) Slide one side of the zipper into each side of

4) Slide one side of the zipper into each side of the slider. The slider should be upside down as you’re looking at it. If you do it with the zipper tab facing you, the zipper will function inside out.

5) Keeping even tension on both sides of the botto

5) Keeping even tension on both sides of the bottom of the zipper, gently pull the slider to start the zipper. Be careful not to pull too hard so that you don’t pull the slider off the top again.

6) Zip up the zipper most of the way and push the

6) Zip up the zipper most of the way and push the tab down to lock the zipper while you’re closing things up.

7) Like in the previous demo, close the bottom of

7) Like in the previous demo, close the bottom of the zipper using a prong stop. Butt the stop against the last tooth leaving no gap.

  View from the inside:

View from the inside:

After the crimp:

After the crimp:

8) Because the top stops were originally missing,

8) Because the top stops were originally missing, you’ll need to put some on to keep the slider from coming off again.

9) Place the stop over the edge of the zipper tape

9) Place the stop over the edge of the zipper tape directly on top of the first tooth.

10) Crimp the stop with pliers. Make sure you get a good clamp on it and crimp it a couple of times if you have to.

Do the same to the other side.

Do the same to the other side.

11) Re-tack the inside as in step 12 of the first

11) Re-tack the inside as in step 12 of the first example.

You did it!

You did it!

Tips to Keep the Zip in Your Zipper

  • To protect zippers and keep them working well, always close them completely and turn garments inside out before washing.
  • For metal zippers that aren’t moving smoothly, rub the teeth with the lead of a Number 2 pencil. The “lead” is actually graphite and it will help lubricate the metal teeth and help the zipper slider move more smoothly. Rubbing the zipper teeth with a bar of soap will do the same thing.
  • You can also use a bit of WD-40 lubricant to help metal zippers move more smoothly. Spray the lubricant on a cotton swab and apply it carefully to prevent staining the fabric of the garment.

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