Zippers may be among the handiest inventions known to man. Not only do they hold up pants and skirts and help our outerwear hold in the heat, they seal tents shut and sometimes even close shoes. When a zipper fails, however, things can quickly become frustrating. Sometimes a zipper fails because the teeth and the slider don't engage properly. Zippers are also a problem, particularly on pants and skirts, when they refuse to stay closed because the zipper slides too easily down the teeth. Knowing how to deal with a poorly-functioning zipper can save the day.
Fix a zipper that won't hold the teeth together by working the slider back to the starting point. This is the bottom on a jacket, but usually the top on a tent door.
Squeeze the sides of the slider together with pliers. Don't over-squeeze or the slider will lock up. You can also damage the teeth this way. Try zipping. Repeat the process until the teeth stay closed.
Keep a zipper from falling down by tying a girl's hair tie to the top of the zipper slider. Push one end of the tie through the loop of the handle you use to close the zipper. Half the tie is now on either side of the handle.
Feed one end of the tie through the other end and pull, creating a loop with the hair tie. Attach that loop to a button if there is one or to whatever other fastener was used on the garment.
Buy a new slider from your local outdoor or craft store if squeezing the slider doesn't work.