Rain, snow, mud, or sludge, my zippered riding boots have been my go-to shoes for these past few winter seasons. So you can imagine my dismay when the zipper got stuck midway up its track as I was trying to zip them up over my skinny jeans. I was about to chuck my broken boots in the Goodwill pile, but luckily I came across a tip to use a waxy substance, and it totally worked! Since then, I’ve discovered some solid ways to get a stuck zipper unstuck.
Rub each of these substances up and down the track on both sides of a stuck zipper then gently start shimmying the zipper until it’s no longer caught.
1. Use Band-Aid First Aid Friction Block Stick to release a caught zipper.
Pick up a Band-Aid brand First Aid Friction Block Stick from Walmart ($4.76) or from your local drugstore.
2. The wax from an (unlit) candle will help a zipper glide back into place.
I recommend using a natural-colored candle, since the wax from a colored candle could rub off on your boots/purse/zippered jacket and stain the material.
3. Apply clear-coated beeswax lip balm and set your stuck zipper free.
4. The pencil tip from a non-mechanical graphite pencil works best on stuck metal zippers.
5. Use a crayon and color the teeth on both sides of a stuck zipper—just make sure it’s the same color as the fabric!
6. Choose a translucent or natural-colored bar of soap to get a smooth zip!
7. Unstick the most stubborn zippers by soaking the fabric surrounding the zipper with Windex.
After soaking the fabric, slowly pull the zipper in the “un-zip” direction in increments. Maintain tension with each pull and try to get just past the point where you think it won’t go. Relax your grip and then repeat this process until you have worked your way all the way down the zipper.
Note: With all of these methods, you should spot-test the fabric first to make sure the candle wax/bar of soap/beeswax lip balm/etc. does not damage the fabric surrounding the zipper. Suede fabrics and silk are especially prone to damage or staining from these lubricating agents, so proceed with caution.