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How to Put a Zipper Back on Track

I'm a bit frugal by nature and like to share my experiences and tips on how others can save money.

This article will offer a step-by-step breakdown of how to get your zipper back on track.

This article will offer a step-by-step breakdown of how to get your zipper back on track.

If your zipper has come off the track—don't worry—it happens all the time. It is a common issue that can actually easily be fixed (although it might not seem that way at first glance).

In pretty much almost all cases, you're going to be able to repair it without having to replace it altogether.

Follow the steps below to learn how to put a zipper back on track after it has fallen off.


1. Locating the Misplaced Zipper

The first step is to take a close look at the zipper and locate where exactly the problem is. In most cases, the issue will be with the slider—either it has come off completely or it is not correctly aligned on the tracks.

If there doesn't appear to be anything obvious, then it's time to move on to the next step. Before you do anything else though, it's worth trying to zip the zipper up and down a few times. In some cases, this can actually fix the issue without you having to do anything else.

If simply trying to zip the zipper up and down didn't work, then the next step is to try using a toothpick or pin. Gently insert the toothpick or pin into the track and see if you can get the zipper to move.

The next step is to try lubricating the zipper track. The goal here is to make it easier for the zipper to move along the track.

There are a few different ways you can do this:

  • Use a pencil to apply graphite powder to the track.
  • Use a cotton swab to apply petroleum jelly to the track.
  • Use a dryer sheet to wipe down the track.

Once you've lubricated the track, try zipping the zipper up and down a few times to see if that does the trick.


2. Aligning the Track Slider

If your slider has come off entirely, then you will need to realign it so that it is in the correct position on the tracks.

Once you have done this, try gently pulling the slider to see if it moves freely along the tracks. If not, then you may need to use a pair of pliers to slightly bend the tracks so that they are aligned correctly.

Using pliers, grip the metal teeth on each side of the zipper and give a slight tug to see if they are still attached securely. If not, then you will need to sew them back on.

3. Replacing the Zipper Slider

If your zipper slider is completely broken (snapped off), then you will need to replace it. You can purchase replacement sliders at most fabric or craft stores. Simply match the new slider to the old one and attach it in the same way.

There are plenty of stores that will be able to sell you a new zipper, or you can always order one online. Just make sure that you get the right size for your particular needs.


4. Repairing a Damaged Zipper Track

If your zipper track is damaged, then you may need to replace it. If the damage is minor, however, you may be able to repair it using a needle and thread. Simply sew the tracks back together using a strong stitch.

Now if your zipper is still not working properly after following these steps, then you may need to replace it entirely. This is a fairly easy process that anyone can do, even if you don't have much sewing experience. Simply purchase a new zipper and follow the instructions on the package to attach it.

5. Taking It to a Clothing Specialist

Not like the idea of trying to place it yourself and if you have tried all of the above steps and your zipper still isn't working, then it's time to take it to a clothing specialist. They will be able to diagnose the problem and tell you whether you need to replace the zipper or if there is another solution.

That said, learning how to put a zipper back on track is a useful skill to have and one that everyone should know. It's a relatively easy process that can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. So, next time your zipper comes off the track, don't panic, just follow the steps above and you'll have it back on in no time.


Tips to Prevent Zipper Issues Going Forward

Now that you know how to fix a zipper that has come off the tracks, it's time to focus on prevention. There are a few things you can do to ensure that your zipper stays on track and doesn't give you any trouble.

1. Inspect the Zipper Regularly

One of the best ways to prevent zipper issues is to check it regularly. This will allow you to catch any problems early on and fix them before they become bigger issues. Simply zip and unzip the zipper a few times to make sure that it is moving smoothly.

2. Be Sure to Keep It Clean

Another way to prevent zipper issues is to keep the zipper clean. This means regularly wiping down the tracks and slider with a dry cloth. This will remove any dirt or debris that could potentially cause problems.

3. Lubricate

If you notice that your zipper is starting to stick, then it's time to lubricate it. This will help the zipper move smoothly and prevent it from coming off the tracks. You can use a variety of different lubricants, such as petroleum jelly or WD-40.

4. Replace Worn-Out Parts

Say if you notice that any of the parts on your zipper are worn out, then it's time to replace them. This includes the slider, tracks, and teeth. Worn-out parts can cause the zipper to malfunction, so it's important to replace them as soon as possible.

5. Be Careful When You're Zipping

One of the most common causes of zipper issues is simply zipping too forcefully. This can cause the slider to come off the tracks or even break entirely. So, be careful when zipping up your clothing and take things slowly.

The Bottom Line

Although you're not always going to use it day-in-day-out, making sure you how to put a zipper back on track is a valuable skill and will give your existing clothes going on for longer (especially the expensive ones).

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Elin Beck