Almost all of us have had the frustrating experience of trying to undo a stuck zipper. Whether the teeth have separated, or a piece of fabric is caught in them, it can be quite a challenge to solve the problem. Fortunately, several good methods exist for getting a stuck zipper to move again. Sometimes it is necessary to take certain precautions, depending on how fragile the fabric is around the zipper or how valuable the garment is.
With any luck, it will be relatively simple to unstick a zipper after it gets caught. One of the best things to do first is to stop zipping as soon as it feels like something is getting stuck. Many times, the problem is that the inner lining of the garment has become caught in the zipper's teeth. If it is not too far in, simply tugging gently on the lining from the inside of the garment may be enough to dislodge it. In general, it is not a good idea to pull the zipper up or down, because doing either of those things could make the problem worse.
Sometimes a stuck zipper is much more difficult to fix. For these situations, a variety of simple home remedies have been found to be quite helpful. One of the most common of these is to apply paraffin, bar soap or candle wax to the area that has become caught in the zipper. Gently rubbing the wax in and working the zipper tab back and forth is often enough to loosen the jammed fabric. It is usually best to apply the soap or wax with a cotton swab, to make sure it gets as close to the jammed fabric as possible.
Another simple method for repairing a stuck zipper is to rub the writing end of a sharpened pencil on the teeth of the zipper where it is stuck. Doing this will apply a small amount of graphite to the area, which works as a natural lubricant to let the teeth of the zipper function more smoothly. If these methods do not work, it is sometimes beneficial to soak the garment in a solution of saltwater for a few hours before attempting to undo the jam. Failing that, a soak in vinegar or rust-removing cleaner may finally do the trick. Some find that soaking the garment in cola can loosen a stuck zipper, but this will probably not be a suitable option for more valuable articles of clothing.