How do I replace a zipper slider?

Updated February 21, 2017

A zipper that has lost its slider can be very annoying or potentially embarrassing. Replacing a zipper slider is a quick and affordable project that can save an outfit or accessory from being thrown out.


Zipper sliders can be metal or plastic. Measure your zipper and broken zipper slider, if you have it, to determine the size of the zipper slider you need to replace it. Use a metal zipper slider for a metal zipper and a plastic zipper slider for a plastic zipper.


To replace the zipper slider, remove the lower zipper stop with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Slide the new slider on the teeth from the bottom of the zipper. Realign the zipper teeth and place the zipper stop 12 mm (1/2 inch) below where you want the zipper slider to stop. Press the lower zipper stop back into place with the needle-nose pliers.


Zipper stops are very affordable, ranging from a few pence to a few pounds, depending on the type and amount you order. You can buy zipper sliders in a variety of colours in sewing supply or craft stores, or online.

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About the Author

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Arin Bodden started writing professionally in 2003. Her writing has been featured in "Northwest Boulevard" and "Mermaids." She received the Huston Medal in English in 2005. Bodden has a Master of Arts in English from Eastern Washington University. She currently teaches English composition and technical writing at the university level.