How to fix a broken zip

A broken zip may just as much as a nuisance as a waste of money – there are so many things that can go wrong and all end up in the same way: a overpriced replacement, or your almost new pair of jeans in the bin.


Truth is, many of the problems that can occur in a zip can be fixed with a little effort and almost no expense.

The simplest thing that can go wrong, and more than often does, is for the pull of the zip to break off. Once that happens, using the zip becomes hard and unnerving. Luckily, this is also the simplest problem to fix: look around you, and you will find a paper clip, a keyring, a ring from a chain, or another everyday item that you can slide through the tab on the slider to serve as a new puller. It doesn't sound too stylish, true, but is functional and you could always use a funky little paper clip, instead of a dull one.

If it is the teeth that won't close, first of all you have to find the cause: if a piece of fabric is stuck in it, simply remove it. Check the individual are not sticking out: if they are, move them back into place with pliers. If the teeth are all nice and straight, it may be the zipper itself that is falling apart: try closing it together with pliers.

The most annoying of all: your zip is stuck! You're trapped inside your puffer jacket and it's 30 degrees! Quick, grab a graphite pencil and rub tits tip on the zip's teeth few times. If that's not enough, use your lip balm, or a soap bar, and slowly move the zip down inch by inch, always reapplying at every step. It will work in the end, even if the zip is stuck in the actual fabric. If it still doesn't, get yourself some water based lubricant like Windex, and try again.

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