Zipper has been one of the most common fastening devices out there and has been one since the early 1900s. However, ever since its invention, the problems and malfunctions have been surrounding it.
Here are the most common zipper malfunctions and practical ways to get around it.
Fixing a Stuck Zipper
One of the most common zipper malfunction is when it gets stuck in its surrounding fabrics, thus, preventing you from opening or closing it. It can get annoying when you’re in a hurry, especially when you’re trapped inside your own jacket or trousers.
However, fixing it is actually easy and you’ll only need common items in your household. You can either use graphite pencils, soaps, or non-oil based lubricants like Windex. You can also make your lubricants by mixing vinegar with water. Once you have decided on your lubricant, here are what you should do.
1. Apply your lubricant to a small area of the fabrics, preferably on the insides. Check whether your lubricants damage the fabrics. If it’s safe and can be cleaned thoroughly, move on to step two. If not, you’ll need to use other lubricants.
2. If your lubricant is liquid, soak the area around the zipper. If you use a pencil, rub both sides of the teeth/elements of the zipper until it’s covered with the pencil.
3. Slowly pull the zipper until it’s stuck while your other hand maintains the tension of the zipper. Repeat until it’s unstuck completely. If the fabrics bunch, pull a little harder carefully to unstick the fabrics.
4. You may need to re-apply lubricant and repeat step three.
More tips in this post below.
Unsticking a Stuck Zipper – Easy Solutions Using Common Household Items
Fixing Zippers that Won’t Close
Sometimes, a zipper won’t close no matter how you try to zip and unzip it. This can be caused by many things, and can be really frustrating sometimes.
Utilizing lubricants like what we’ve discussed in the previous section can fix this issue completely. However, when the sliders or teeth are misaligned or malfunctioned, using lubricants won’t solve the problem. Instead, you’ll need yourself a pair of pliers.
One of the most common cause is when the teeth/elements are misaligned, and can be recognized when one or more elements stick out from the others. Grab some pliers and move it back to its place .Usually, this will solve the issue.
If the teeth/elements are seemingly fully functional, and none is sticking out, the problem may lie in the slider. Check whether the slider is not clinching properly, and use some pliers to tighten it if so.
Missing teeth/elements can also be the common cause, especially in jeans and trousers. When this happens, you can stitch a new stop around the broken teeth, so that the zipper becomes shorter. However, this can only be an option when the broken element is near the bottom end, or the zipper will be too short for proper use.
Fixing Zippers that Won’t Stay Up
Ever got a zipper that is seemingly always re-opening by itself? This is also a common problem especially on jeans and pants and can lead to a major embarrassment.
The only way to completely eliminate this is to replace the zipper itself. However, you can do a temporary fix by using rubber bands to create a ‘hook’. Tie the rubber band around the zipper pull and hook it onto your pants’ button. A more permanent yet similar fix is to use a key ring in place of the rubber band.
Replacing Broken Zipper Parts
When the malfunction is severe, some parts might be broken. Not to worry, though, some of the zipper parts can be easily replaced.
If the slider completely breaks off, you can replace the slider by simply sliding the new one onto the teeth. Use some pliers to remove the broken one quite easily.
In other cases, the pull might break off the zipper. Then, closing and opening the zipper will be a frustrating process.
When this happens, you can use keyrings, paperclips, or other similar material to replace the pull by just sliding it where the pull used to be. You can get a pull replacement, however, usually it means you need to replace the slider completely.
On more severe cases like when the teeth break off, you might need to replace the whole zipper.
Replacing a Zipper
When all things fail, you might consider replacing the whole zipper. You can either take your garments to your local tailor and get it replaced quite cheaply.
Or if you’re more a DIY guy, you can replace it yourself.
First, remove the stitches of the old zipper with scissors and pliers, and then simply stitch the new one onto its place. It shouldn’t be too hard of a process.
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