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How to lubricate vinyl zips

Updated April 17, 2017

A stuck zip can be a nuisance, but a solution is easily found. Several household items as well as specially made lubricants can get your vinyl zips running smoothly again. Whether your zip is snagged or just running roughly, a simple application of a lubricating agent can fix it. Don't throw your favourite clothes in the back of the closet just because the zip is stuck.

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  1. Unzip as far as you can.

  2. Clean your zip with water to remove dirt and grime. If your zip is particularly dirty, use a small brush, such as a toothbrush or the brush that came with the lubricant to clean the teeth of the zip. Dry well.

  3. Apply a few sprays, drops or rubs of zip lubricant to both sides of your zip. If there are snags in your zip, add a little extra lubricant at the snagged spot.

  4. Zip and unzip a few times to distribute the lubricant. If needed, reapply lubricant and repeat the process again.

  5. Wipe away excess lubricant with a clean cloth.

Soap, candle or lip balm

  1. Zip up as far as you can.

  2. Rub either the bar of soap or a wax candle over the teeth a few times. If your zip has a stubborn spot, rub a little extra soap or wax into that area.

  3. Zip and unzip a few times to distribute the soap or wax. If needed, reapply and repeat the process.

Liquid soap or shampoo

  1. Zip up as far as you can.

  2. Put a small amount of liquid soap or shampoo on your finger tips, and rub it into the teeth of the zip. Move slowly and methodically to work the soap into the teeth and loosen any snags. Work a little extra soap into any snags to loosen that part.

  3. Gently zip and unzip to distribute the soap. Reapply soap if needed.

  4. Wipe away excess soap with a clean cloth.

  5. Tip

    For particularly tough snags in a zip, liquid lubricant or liquid soap are the best solutions.

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Things You'll Need

  • Zip lubricant (spray, stick, gel or liquid)
  • Cloth
  • Bar of soap
  • Wax candle
  • Lip balm
  • Liquid soap or shampoo

About the Author

Based in New York City and Chicago, Hillary Esqueda has been writing fashion and hobby articles, as well as product reviews, since 2010. Her work can be found on eHow. Esqueda holds a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from New York University.

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