Unilever logo

Zip it! How to fix a broken zipper

Zipper drama? Don’t worry – you won’t need to replace your favorite bag or jacket when you follow our simple guide on how to fix a zipper.


Surf power combo! linis at 2x bango, wais sa presyo!
Zipper of a jacket with the label on.

Key steps

  • Take care to regularly clean the zipper teeth to keep it functioning well.
  • Use pliers to fix bent zipper teeth.
  • Don’t overfill your bag to prevent zipper damage.
  • Trouser zippers falling down? Use a paper clip to attach it to the button and hold it in place.

Whether it's your bag's or the zipper on your jeans that got stuck or simply broke, don't despair. There's a way to fix it. Follow this step-by-step guide for how to fix a zipper so you won't have to replace it or throw away your favorite clothing items.

Make sure that you regularly keep on top of your zipper cleaning. A good cleaning routine for the zip will ensure you keep preventable issues at bay.

What topics would you like to read about?

How to fix a broken zipper: bag

With the following steps we’ll show you how to fix a broken zipper on a bag, easily at home. These steps can be applied to any type of bag from make-up bags to handbags:

  • Is the thread stuck? Here’s your simple fix:
  1. You will need a sharp toothpick and scissors.
  2. Check to see where the thread is stuck.
  3. Using the toothpick, pry the threads away from the zipper teeth.
  4. If they are loose but not coming away, use scissors to cut the thread.
  5. When removing the thread, take care not to warp the zipper teeth.
  • If your bag zipper has crooked teeth, use these steps to fix it:
  1. You will need pliers, warm water, mild soap and cotton buds.
  2. Use the pliers to realign the crooked zipper teeth with the straight ones.
  3. Alternatively, try pulling the zipper head to straighten them as the bent teeth enter into it.
  4. Once the teeth are inside the zipper head, give it a gentle squeeze to straighten the teeth.
  5. Reopen the zipper. Using a cotton swap dipped in your warm, soapy water, clean the zipper teeth, paying particular attention to the area which was previously crooked.

Is your zipper head broken or loose? Simply replace it with a paper clip!

How to repair a zipper: clothes

Use this simple guide to fix the zipper on your jacket or other clothing items:

  • You will need a graphite pencil or wax candle.
  • Rub the pencil or candle back and forth over the front and back of your zip.
  • Pull the zipper head up and down. This should smooth out the movement of your zipper.
  • You can repeat the above steps until your zipper is moving normally again.
  • Once you’re sure it’s working fully, clean your zipper teeth using warm water and a soft cloth.

With the above hacks for how to fix a zipper bag and more, you can rest assured that your favorite fashion item won’t need to be thrown away. If DIY zipper fixing isn’t you thing, or there is something else wrong with your clothing, why not check out our guide for how to recycle old clothes and give your clothing a new lease of life.


Originally published