Everyone has dealt with a zipper that didn’t close as expected. Sluggish performance and quirky components can make it look like you have no choice but to try and find an expensive professional drain to replace it, or just throw the item away. But there’s no reason to spend a lot of money on repairs or give up on your favorite jacket, bag, or pair of jeans, as many zipper problems are easy to fix if you identify the problem and invest in a few basic products.
When trying to fix a zipper that just isn’t working properly, it’s important to understand its components. Although a zipper is a fairly simple device, it is made up of several key parts, each of which makes the zipper easy to open and close.
To understand how a zipper works, first look at its base, called the ribbon. This is a piece sewn into another material to hold the zipper in place. On top of the tape are teeth that serve as zipper paths. The slider is the part of the zipper that fits over the teeth to open and close them. The linkage is attached to the slider and does exactly what its name suggests – pulling the slider over the teeth in the open or closed position. Finally, small items called stops are located at both ends of the teeth to prevent the slider from slipping.
When a zipper is not working properly, one or more of the main components may be the problem. Fixes for issues that typically affect zippers are often fairly easy to perform. Below are the zipper issues you may encounter and how to fix them.
Zippers that are tight or get stuck halfway are usually easy to fix. Take a cotton swab and moisten it with lotion or Vaseline. Use it to wipe the teeth and the place where the zipper can jam. This provides lubrication that helps the slider move easily over the teeth.
Sometimes zippers get off track, making it impossible to open or close them. Use small tip pliers to grip your teeth while you slide the slider into place over your teeth for a quick fix.
This is another problem that prevents the lightning from working accurately. To correct the angle, place a piece of string next to the tie rod and tie it. Operate the track in place with one hand by pulling the slider with the string, moving it back and forth along the track until the angle is accurate.
When the zipper teeth separate on both sides of the slider, the problem often seems insurmountable. However, using pliers to tighten the slider where it contacts the track will usually fix the split. Lightly squeezing the pliers on both sides of the slider, move the zipper back and forth along the path until you fix the cut.
While most sliders are made of metal, some are made of plastic. Keep in mind that this hack won’t work on a plastic slider as it can’t be shaped like most metals.
When the lightning slider has fallen off, the slider is difficult to maneuver. Luckily, interchangeable zippers are available in a wide variety of sizes and colors. Before buying, test your zipper and be sure to choose one that is similar in size so that it fits well and fits securely.
Sometimes zippers wear out and cannot be repaired. Missing teeth and damaged sliders are all signs that you may need a new zipper. Installing a new zipper is fairly easy but requires some sewing skills. It’s easier with a sewing machine too. Whether you’re using a needle and thread or a typewriter, tutorials are available online to walk you through the process of replacing a zipper.
Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly This quality petroleum jelly is made by a trusted brand and is suitable for numerous cosmetic, personal care and home uses. Provides long lasting lubrication when used to fix stuck zippers.
Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Hand Cream Gold Bond is not only inexpensive, highly hydrating and great for hands, but its rich formula provides enough lubrication for zippers to work properly.
With soft, thick real cotton tips and flexible and durable Q-Tips, Q-Tips are one of the most popular cotton buds on the market. This large package contains 500 tampons.
This set contains seven multi-purpose pliers, including several with narrow tips that are suitable for gripping small items such as zipper components. Made from forged steel, they are durable.
The durable tips of these pliers are long and thin, making them ideal for demanding tasks. They are made of carbon steel, which will last for many years in many types of do-it-yourself work.
Replacing a missing zipper is easy with these interchangeable lobster zip fasteners that snap on easily. They are made from durable zinc alloy and come in multiple finishes.
Despite its reasonable price, this sewing machine is packed with features that beginners and professionals alike will love, including 70 stitches and an easy-to-use control panel. It is produced by one of the most trusted brands in the industry.
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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers make their buying decisions easier, saving them time and money.
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