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How to get a suitcase zipper unstuck

A stuck zipper on a suitcase can slow down your travel plans, though hopefully not so much as to make you miss your flight, train or car. Rather than throwing the luggage out and looking for a new suitcase use one of several home remedies for dislodging stuck zippers, any of which can help prolong the life of your luggage for years. While not much can be done about zippers that have broken off from the zipper teeth, stuck zippers have an easy fix.

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  1. Check the back of the zipper for any thread or piece of zipper lining that is stuck in the zipper. If you do find a piece of stuck thread or zipper lining gently tug at the thread/lining back and forth to dislodge the fabric from the zipper.

  2. Rub a candle or unscented bar of soap over the zipper's teeth to encourage the zipper to slide more readily and become unstuck.

  3. Dab a bit of liquid dish soap on a cotton swap or your hands and place the soap along the teeth of the zipper where it is stuck.. Work the zipper back and forth till it moves freely.

  4. Lightly dab at the zipper with a wet washcloth to remove the soap or wax, then quickly dry off with a clean rag or paper towels to avoid rusting.

  5. Tip

    Lead pencil tips are another option for dislodging metal zippers as the graphite acts as a natural lubricant. Use this method for metal zippers only.

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Things You'll Need

  • Unscented bar soap
  • Candle
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Cotton swab
  • Lead pencil
  • Wash cloth
  • Clean rag or paper towels

About the Author

Kent Page McGroarty has worked as a writer since 2006, contributing numerous articles to various websites. She is a frequent contributor to the health and fitness sections of the online magazine EDGE Publications and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Joseph's University.

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