How to Fix Jacket Zippers

by Rebekah Martin

Don't throw away your favorite jacket simply because the zipper is broken; try a couple different things to get the zipper to work again.

Jupiterimages/ Images

Jackets typically have tooth zippers. This simply means that they have plastic teeth. A #5 is a normal, medium-sized zipper for a jacket. If you are making your own jacket, you can purchase a zipper at any fabric or craft store. You can also replace the zipper on a store-bought jacket. Zippers can break or stop working for a variety of reasons; typically you can fix them without completely replacing the zipper.

Items you will need

  • Zipper
  • Pliers
  • Thread, zipper pull or key chain
  • Candle wax

Slider Does Not Work

Step 1

Place the teeth of the zipper into the correct grooves of the slider.

Step 2

Squeeze the sides of the zipper slider with a pair of pliers. Make sure to do it gently and not to over-squeeze them. You want it to be able to still slide up and down.

Step 3

Gently pull the slider up and down to ensure that it is fixed.

Zipper Pull Breaks

Step 1

Pull open one end of the arch that holds the pull to the zipper slider, using a pair of pliers. Be sure not too pull it open too far, or it may break. You just need it open enough to extract the zipper pull.

Step 2

Slide the zipper pull off.

Step 3

Place another zipper pull under the arch. This can be a purchased item, a key chain, or a simple thread loop.

Step 4

Using pliers, close the arch back again.


  • Rub candle wax on the zipper teeth to help it open and close more smoothly.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images

About the Author

Rebekah Martin is a freelance writer and tutor. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Mississippi College. Martin teaches her young children at home and also teaches Sunday School to preschoolers.