How to Fix Zipper Slips

Written by melissa j. bell
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How to Fix Zipper Slips
Zippers can become damaged and begin to slide downward. (zipper image by Radoslav Lazarov from

Zippers, although generally simpler and more practical to use than other types of garment closures, can develop a number of problems over time. Zippers can become jammed or break completely, rendering them unusable. They can also develop smaller issues like misaligned teeth, which leads to gaps, or loose sliders, which causes zippers to slip down during the day. To fix a slipping zipper without replacing the zipper completely, you must change the way the sliders operate.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Zipped garment
  • Pliers
  • Small hair elastic or safety pin

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  1. 1

    Unzip the zipper partway while you are not wearing the garment. Hold a pair of pliers and grasp one side of the bottom of the zipper tab.

  2. 2

    Squeeze the pliers gently, but do not deform the tab. Repeat this step on the opposite side of the tab. This will tighten up the zipper sliders so that the teeth do not simply slip through them.

  3. 3

    Squeeze the pliers horizontally on the bottom part of the tab, if the previous repair did not work. The slider may have begun to split apart at the bottom, causing the zipper to fall down.

  4. 4

    If tightening the sliders did not sufficiently solve the slipping problem, find a small hair elastic or safety pin. Fit the elastic or the pin through the holes in the zipper tab. Attach the elastic to a nearby button, if you are fixing the zipper on a pair of trousers, or attach the pin to the fabric. The elastic or the pin will manually hold up the zipper.

  5. 5

    If you need to fix the problem quickly and do not have time to perform a more permanent repair, spray a small amount of hairspray on the zipper. The sticky spray will keep the zipper from sliding down so easily.

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