How to Fix a Zipper (how to fix both stuck AND separated zippers)


A lot of people will actually throw out an otherwise perfectly good piece of clothing simply because the zipper stopped working properly for

whatever reason (usually their attempts at fixing it simply consist of tugging on it really hard and cursing–hey, I’ve done that, too), which is a shame because this is such an easy fix regardless of precisely how your zipper is broken: whether it’s stuck or separated, we can show you how to fix it up very quickly and very

cheaply. If this seems to happen to you a little too frequently, you might want to consider picking up a cheap universal zipper repair kit like this one. Ok, I’ve got several videos here showing you exactly what to do (all of them are from this vintage clothing repair shop in Oregon or something), but they’re both only about 2-3 minutes in length, so no big deal, this really isn’t a complicated procedure, I promise, it just has to be done properly and carefully; first we’ll deal with the most common problem, a stuck zipper, then we’ll show you how to fix a separated one.

How to fix a stuck zipper

First, a few tips:

  • Don’t force it–it won’t help and you’ll break it. You know this. Stop. Curse as much as you like, however.
  • Adding a bit of lubricant if the below technique isn’t cutting it will probably take care of it: the best choice is liquid hand soap because it will easily wash out with water and is the least likely to stain your clothing.
  • Needle-nosed pliers work great at grabbing hold of that bit of clothing that’s jammed in there if you can’t get ahold of it with your fingers.

Ok, here’s what to do:

How to fix a separated zipper

This is a completely different problem and will require you to do just a tiiiiiny bit of stitching–it’s extremely simple stuff, a retarded gorilla could do this, I promise. So you’ll need a needle and thread, and possibly some needle-nosed pliers (those things are so universally useful, everyone really should have a pair around)–if you don’t have any but you’ve got a friend with a multi-tool like a Leatherman or something, those almost always have some needle-nosed pliers on them. Ok, here we go:

Additional Resources and Further Reading

I understand that the separated zipper repair bit is a bit difficult to understand, so I found a really nice article from eHow that gives you a bit more detail plus diagrams that should really help if you need some clarification.

Here’s a different article on the same thing: fewer words, much better diagrams.

If you don’t have a needle and thread handy, may I suggest that you purchase a cheap little sewing kit like this that you can get for less than 5 bucks and, believe me, will save your ass countless times?


  1. I am needing instructions on how to fix a seperated reversible zipper.
    Do I need to replace the slide pull or what?
    any hints would be helpful

  2. my plastic zipper is stuck fully zipped and the pull is missing. Is there anything I can do to get it unzipped?