Zippers can be a nightmare when they get stuck, come apart or snag on a fabric. They’re a necessary evil in everyday life, but there are a few simple steps you can take to make zips easier to deal with.
What type of plastic zipper do you have and what type of lubricant should be used?
Plastic zippers come in two types: Toothed and coil. Both kinds are metal with plastic teeth, but the teeth of toothed zips are individual pieces attached to an open piece of metal (like a brush), while coil zips’ teeth are wrapped around a string.
Make sure you know what type of zipper you have before you head out to buy some lubrication.
For coil zippers, acetone-free nail polish works well as a lubricant because it dries quickly and doesn’t damage the zipper’s teeth or leave behind any oily residue. For toothed zips, try using lip balm – petroleum jelly (e.g., Vaseline) works too.
If your zipper is still sticky or catching after using a lubricant, try one of the following tricks:
Stick in some tissue paper to fill in any gaps between the fabric and teeth in order to help pull them closer together. If that doesn’t work, try both ends of the zipper at once (instead of one end) to see if the zipper catches less. If that doesn’t work, try applying Vaseline or lip balm (for toothed zips only) on both sides of the zipper – this should help it slide up and down more smoothly.
If your zippers are still stubborn after trying all these tips, you may have to replace them.
How to lubricate a plastic zipper
If you’re using nail polish, apply it evenly with a Q-tip. If you’re using Vaseline or lip balm, rub the item of clothing that has the stuck zipper against your body to warm up the fabric and then apply Vaseline or lip balm. Make sure not to use too much jelly because this can attract dirt and make the zipper stickier.
What not to do when lubricating your zippers
Don’t use butter, cooking oil or spray lubricants – these can make fabric and clothing items sticky and greasy.
Don’t use toothpaste or shampoo to lubricate your zippers – these items often leave behind a residue that attracts more dirt and dust, making the problem worse.
How to ease a stuck zipper pull on pants
Gently tap each side of the zipper with a hammer until the pull slides down, or use pliers to pull the zipper down.
How to ease a stuck zipper on jeans
If you can’t get your hand inside of the clothing, slide something thin (like a bobby pin) between the teeth on each side of the zipper before giving it an upward tug. You can also hold both sides of the slider with pliers, then try tugging the zipper up.
The results you can expect from using a lubricant on your plastic zipper
A lubricant should make your zipper slide up and down more easily, but there’s no guarantee that it will prevent sticking. If you find yourself stuck with a sticky zipper despite using a lubricant, it may be time to replace the slider on your zipper or buy a new pair of pants/jeans.
Zippers can be a real pain, but hopefully these tips will help you deal with yours more easily!
In conclusion, lubricating your zipper can keep it running smoothly and help you avoid a sticky situation. Make sure to use a grease-free or water-based lubricant on a coil zipper or a petroleum jelly on a toothed zipper – too much vibration from the ocean would cause grease to wash out of the teeth and accumulate sand. Proper lubrication can prevent this.