How to Get a Backpack Zipper Unstuck – 5 Quick Fixes

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Last Updated: April 26, 2022

One of the most dreadful experiences we face is when a zipper gets stuck, and it often leads us to start panicking. It’s something that we barely even notice, but once it’s stuck, it becomes a red alert because one wrong move can ruin your backpack.

These are some of the most common problems that your zippers will face:

  1. Teeth corrosion
  2. Teeth that are clenched or misshapen
  3. Zipper is pulled out
  4. Slider is broken
  5. Debris and dirt

It is challenging and frustrating to see a zipper stuck. So what do you do? First, you will need a solution to unstick the zipper without causing damage.

Whether you’re looking for a quick fix or a permanent solution, there are quite a few ways to get a zipper unstuck from fabric or the bottom, and it works.

Tips to Get a Backpack Zipper Unstuck

Of course, these solutions work both ways, so if you’re looking to fix a zipper stuck on one side or the other, it can be of great help.

You will also require a few items, but these are readily available in your home, so there is no extra pressure.

Things you will need:

  • Tweezer
  • Pencil
  • Safety pin or needle
  • Wax like crayons or candles
  • Dishwasher soap
  • Oil
  • Cotton swab

But before you start, first try checking the backpack or clothing inside out around the lines of the zipper to look if there are any snags or folds and if you can gently pull it away. And if it doesn’t work, refrain from pulling the fabric hard, or else you might end up tearing it and unable to use it again. So instead, it would be best if you try following these steps.

Fix 1

  • Properly inspect the zipper to check where the cloth is stuck or caught inside the zipper. Then use a tweezer and gently try to pull the fabric away that is stuck in the zipper’s teeth.
  • While pulling the fabric with a tweezer, try moving the zipper gently because sometimes a gentle pull can unstick the material from the zipper.
  • If this doesn’t work, you can either use a safety pin or a needle, or any sharp object that is fit to push the fabric away from the zipper’s teeth.
  • Ensure you do it gently to avoid any damage to the fabric, as the needle or pin may cause you to pull out the threads that can ruin it.

fix backpack zipper that is stuck

Fix 2

If you don’t know, graphite works impressively as a dry lubricant. That’s why get the pencil out and:

  • Sharpen your pencil with a cutter and start rubbing it on the teeth of the zipper. Ensure that an appropriate amount of graphite coats the zipper’s teeth.
  • Once done, you can try pulling it gently. Since the graphite works as a lubricant, it can undo the zipper.
  • Try pulling it a few times, and you should be able to move it.
  • If the zipper doesn’t budge, you can try the process again by adding more graphite.
  • As a precaution, don’t pull the zipper with all your strength. You might end up damaging the fabric instead of solving the problem.

And if the zipper is being stubborn and won’t budge. There are still other options that you can try.

Fix 3

Crayons and candles can also be used as a lubricant to unstick the zipper. But when using a candle or crayon, make sure that it is a color similar to the zipper.

  • You can rub the candle or crayon around the sides of the zipper using a generous amount because you can clean away the excess.
  • It will help the zipper to move quickly as the wax coating makes it easier and smoother to pull the zipper.
  • You can try moving it up and down, and you’ll be able to unstick it in no time.

Fix 4

  • Add a few drops of dish soap on the zipper and around the teeth. You can also add water to it, and with the use of a cloth, scrub it around the zipper.
  • It will not only clean away the debris from the zipper but also improve its functionality.

Fix 5

When using oil or petroleum jelly, you will also require a cotton swab because if you use your fingers, you might spread it around and cause a mess. You can use any oil available or, if not, use petroleum jelly or lip balm.

  • Using a cotton swab, apply a good amount of oil or jelly on the zipper’s teeth.
  • Also, avoid the lubricant from smearing on the fabric as it might cause discoloration or make the area look dull.
  • Once applied, try moving the zipper as it will allow the substance to go deeper, releasing the stubborn zipper.
  • If it works, you can release the stuck zipper back to normal. And if it doesn’t work, then maybe you should repeat the process one more time.

If all fails, the last option is to replace the zipper, because forcing itto move will only ruin the fabric or cloth and could end up as a disaster.

The fabric stuck in zipper hacks given above are helpful anytime your zipper gets stuck.

Final Thoughts

Backpack zippers can get trapped and create many inconveniences, especially if you’re in the middle of something important. Zippers are a lot more fragile than they appear.

If you dislike zippers getting stuck, ensure that they are always clean and brush away the dirt after use. Sometimes the zipper is of poor quality, which might be causing it to get stuck in the first place. So, whenever you buy a backpack, make sure you’re getting one that has a good quality zipper. And avoid overpacking as it can force the zipper out if it’s tightly packed.

Even the best backpacks might have their zippers fail from time to time. Thankfully, there are numerous tips to help you repair a broken zipper. So, before you have to replace your luggage, try out all of these tactics and suggestions at home.