How to Lubricate Vinyl Zippers

Fix those stubborn vinyl zippers.
Fix those stubborn vinyl zippers. (Image: Zipper image by Gudellaphoto from

A stuck zipper can be a nuisance, but a solution is easily found. Several household items as well as specially made lubricants can get your vinyl zippers running smoothly again. Whether your zipper is snagged or just running roughly, a simple application of a lubricating agent can fix it. Don't throw your favorite clothes in the back of the closet just because the zipper is stuck.

Things You'll Need

  • Zipper lubricant (spray, stick, gel or liquid)
  • Cloth
  • Bar of soap
  • Wax candle
  • Lip balm
  • Liquid soap or shampoo


Unzip your zipper as far as you can.

Clean your zipper with water to remove dirt and grime. If your zipper is particularly dirty, use a small brush, such as a toothbrush or the brush that came with the lubricant to clean the teeth of the zipper. Dry well.

Apply a few sprays, drops or rubs of zipper lubricant to both sides of your zipper. If there are snags in your zipper, add a little extra lubricant at the snagged spot.

Zip and unzip your zipper a few times to distribute the lubricant. If needed, reapply lubricant and repeat the process again.

Wipe away excess lubricant with a clean cloth.

Soap, Candle or Lip Balm

Zip up your zipper as far as you can.

Rub either the bar of soap or a wax candle over the teeth a few times. If your zipper has a stubborn spot, rub a little extra soap or wax into that area.

Zip and unzip your zipper a few times to distribute the soap or wax. If needed, reapply and repeat the process.

Liquid Soap or Shampoo

Zip up your zipper as far as you can.

Put a small amount of liquid soap or shampoo on your finger tips, and rub it into the teeth of the zipper. Move slowly and methodically to work the soap into the teeth and loosen any snags. Work a little extra soap into any snags to loosen that part.

Gently zip and unzip your zipper to distribute the soap. Reapply soap if needed.

Wipe away excess soap with a clean cloth.

Tips & Warnings

  • For particularly tough snags in a zipper, liquid lubricant or liquid soap are the best solutions.

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