How To Get A Backpack Zipper Unstuck (3-Effective Ways To Get Rid Of It)

How to get a backpack zipper unstuck? Are you done with handling your backpack zipper every time?

Our lifestyles might differ, but some problems are common for everyone. Getting a backpack zipper is one such common problem that everyone faces in their life.

Thankfully, I have the solution to your problem.

The zipper gives life to a backpack; however, they eventually stop working smoothly when not used properly. You would never let your favorite backpack be rejected due to a broken or stuck zipper.

There might be many reasons for your zipper getting stuck repeatedly like dirt buildup, lack of lubrication, thick fabric, etc.

Whatever the reason might be, you can easily get your zipper unstuck with a little patience and the right method. Read on to know some of the most effective ways of fixing your backpack zipper effortlessly!

3-Useful Methods on How to Get a Backpack Zipper Unstuck

Backpacks are a lifesaver to keep all your valuables while going on a trek or any other adventurous trip. However, they are of no use, if the zipper is not running smoothly.

You might not want to take the risk of ruining the small metal zipper. Well, I have a solution that might save you from all the mess.

The following tips and tricks might save your day:

Method 1: Tweezers and Safety Pin Method

Sometimes, the fabric around the zipper gets stuck in its teeth making it difficult for the zipper to move forward.

In this condition, forcing the zipper might tear the fabric of your backpack or it might break the zipper. Here, a pair of tweezers and safety pins can be of great help.

Find the obstacle

First of all, take a closer look at the area around the zipper to find the snag. Follow along with the zipper line with small and gentle movements to make a way for the zipper to run properly.

Use the tweezers to get the fabric out of the zipper teeth

Fingers might be too big to remove the fabric stuck inside the zipper teeth. Alternatively, use the tweezers to pull out the fabric from the zipper teeth softly.

Use the safety pins

If you are unable to pull out the fabric using the tweezers, you can choose to do it with a safety pin. However, you need to be extra careful while using safety as it can damage the fabric of your backpack.

Method 2: Using the Pencil Technique

Using the pencil technique is more convenient and safer as it doesn’t involve any risk of harming the fabric. Follow the steps given below to get your backpack zipper unstuck effectively:

Find a graphite pencil

First of all, you need to find a traditional wooden pencil and sharpen it. Graphite acts as one of the best dry lubricants.

Rub the pencil against the zipper

Then, rub the tip of the pencil against the zipper gently to cover the edges of the zipper teeth effectively. Don’t overdo it, as too much graphite can further jam the zipper.

Try to move the zipper

Next, try to move the zipper slowly without any force or pressure. If the zipper starts sliding smoothly, wash your hands and brush away the extra graphite from the fabric of your backpack.

Moreover, you might need to repeat the process, if the zipper doesn’t get back to normal.

Method 3: The Lubricant Method

You can also use any kind of lubricant to smoothen the movement of your backpack zipper. Lubricant application will remove the built-up dirt from the zipper to make work smoothly.

I have mentioned some simple and easy steps that you can follow to ease the zipper movement:

Find any lubricant

Initially, search for any lubricant in your house. It could either be petroleum jelly or a lip balm. You can even use the candle wax as an improvised lubricant.

Apply the lubricant

Next, apply the lubricant with your finger directly on the zipper. Try to move the zipper slowly and gently while l.

Move the zipper

Finally, try moving the zipper up and down. Slide it back and forth, a couple of times to smoothen its movement completely.

Most Common FAQs

Which lubricant should I use to make my zipper run smoothly?

WD-40 Specialist Silicone Lubricant is one of the best ways to get your zipper to work smoothly. Since it is a water displacer, it doesn’t allow rust to form on the metal.

Just spray a few drops and see the wonders!

How to avoid getting the backpack zipper stuck repeatedly?

Here are a few ways that might help you avoid getting stuck into this irritating situation:

  • Remove any obstructions coming in the path of the zipper. Stitch the holes along the zipper line from time to time and make sure to smoothen the wrinkles from the fabric while running the zipper up and down.
  • Lubricate your zipper regularly to avoid metal rust.
  • Ensure that you don’t exceed the capacity of your backpack, as over-stuffing might result in major zipper issues.

What are the common and effective lubricants that can save me from the mess at the last moment?

Petroleum jelly, crayons, candle wax, lip balm, and soap are some of the most effective last-minute lubricants to help you at the last moment.

What are the common reasons for stuck backpack zippers?

I have mentioned the common reasons for stubborn zippers below:

  • Over time, the zipper tends to react with multiple atmospheric elements that might lead to the formation of rust. The corrosion creates a hindrance in the smooth running of the zipper.
  • The zipper movement largely depends on the condition of its teeth. If they are clenched or in bad condition, they tend to obstruct the movement of the zipper.
  • Hiking backpacks are generally exposed to dirt and debris present in the outdoor air. The deposition of these dust particles creates major obstruction in the path of the backpack zipper.

How to clean the backpack zipper properly after a trek?

Make sure to maintain your metal zipper properly after every use to extend its lifespan. The following steps might help you with the proper maintenance:

  • Clean your zipper with soap and water to remove all the dirt and debris deposited on it. You can use a toothbrush to clean it properly.
  • Ensure to lubricate it with any household lubricant after cleaning.
  • Store at a cool and dry place to ensure its safety from any materialistic reaction.

Can I use olive oil as a lubricant for my backpack zipper?

Olive oil acts as a perfect lubricant for your backpack zipper. Take a few drops on a cotton ball and stab it gently all over the zipper line to make your zipper slide smoothly. However, there’s an exception; make sure to use normal olive oil instead of using extra virgin olive oil for lubrication.

Wrap it Up

A zipper is the most delicate part of a backpack, irrespective of its look and manufacturing material. The more pressure you exert on it, the more trouble it will cause you.

So, try to be patient and gentle with it while going on a trek.

I hope that you might have gotten the much-needed solution to the question – “How to get a backpack zipper unstuck?” by now.

No matter how worse the situation is, patience and gentle movements are the only solutions to get rid of this mess. Make sure that you carry any household lubricant with you for emergencies.

Lastly, if nothing works, you can always head on to the tailor shop and get your backpack zipper replaced.


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