How to Fix Teeth on My Zipper That Won't Close

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You can repair a zipper refusing to close by using a few items from home. Needle nose pliers, candle wax, graphite pencils and a clean cloth can help you quickly repair the zipper without having to remove it from the garment. Two main types of zippers, open-ended (both ends are open) and closed-ended (one end is closed) have teeth which wear down after repeated use. When problems within the teeth keep the zipper from closing, the zipper's glider won't slide smoothly. You can work with and repair your zipper by using a few handy tricks.

Open the zipper and wipe both sides of the teeth with a clean dry cloth. Remove any debris, dust or lint that could be clogging the teeth. Once you have wiped the teeth with a cloth, blow into the teeth to remove any excess dust.

Rub candle wax gently across the teeth on both sides. Rub the wax against the ends of the teeth and the flat top and bottom. Close the zipper and then open the zipper again. If the zipper feels a bit smoother, rub the teeth with candle wax again and open and close the zipper to check for smoothness. After trying this technique three times, if the teeth still won't close, use the clean cloth to wipe all wax off. Repeat the technique using any bar of soap. Either the wax or the soap should help the teeth close once again.

Rub a graphite pencil against both sides of teeth if the zipper still won't close. Repeat the technique several times.

Squeeze the teeth together gently with needle nose pliers. Pull the glider to slide the zipper closed. If the glider still feels stuck, squeeze with pliers again and on both sides of the glider. Continue to gently rub with a pencil and squeeze with the pliers until the teeth finally close.

Rub the teeth with a clean dry cloth.