Tip of the week
Fixes for common zipper problems
The zipper is stuck. After removing any caught fabric or threads and testing the zipper again, rub a pencil tip on its teeth. If the graphite doesn’t help, try lip balm, bar soap, or Windex (great because it isn’t oil-based). Lubricate a few inches at a time as you pull the zipper down.
The teeth won’t close. Again, look for stuck fabric, then check the teeth and use pliers to realign any that are out of whack. Also inspect the slider, which may have loosened. Squeeze it gently with the pliers so it will catch the teeth again.
Your fly won’t stay up. The zipper will need replacing (a tailor can do it cheaply). But you can keep a zipper up by sliding a key ring or rubber band through the pull and over the pants button.
The tab broke off. Makeshift pulls can be created from paper clips, key rings, or telephone-wire connectors.