How to Replace a Zipper Slider (How to Put a Zipper Back On)

Zippers are convenient. They let you get in and out of clothing, bags, and other items quickly and faster than buttons do. Yet when things go wrong, it is hard to open anything. A broken zipper can be one of the most frustrating clothing items known to man especially when nature calls.

To replace the slider, just remove the zipper stops on the bottom of the zipper tape and pull the old one off. Then place the new one on and add new stoppers. But if the teeth on the zipper are broken, you can’t repair or replace the slider, you need to replace the whole zipper.

To learn more about zipper slider repair and how to get it done right just keep reading our article. It has the information to help you do the job yourself and without paying a lot of money to get it done.

Can You Replace a Zipper Slider?


Yes, you can and zipper sliders on pants may require a little bit more work than other zipper sliders. For pants, you need to undo some of the stitching to get access to the slider whereas other clothing items with zippers that is a step you do not have to do.

Just check out the different zippers on your bags, purses, and other items to see if you have to do more work than simply pulling the slider off and replacing it with a new one. Avoiding extra work will save you a little time and a little frustration.

Or you can save on both and let the tailor or dry cleaners handle the chore for you. It is your decision here but replacing the slider is a child’s play compared to other fixes you have had to do.

How To Fix a Zipper That Fell Off?

When we are talking about the zipper in this context, it usually only refers to the slider that moves up and down. The whole zipper won’t fall off unless someone did a really bad job in stitching it in place.

When the slider falls off, it is not that difficult to put back on. If the pieces are not broken, and a little examination will tell you if it is or not, just pry the sides apart a little bit more.

Then slide it back onto the teeth and press the sides tightly together. Just do not go so tightly that the slider can’t slide or the teeth can’t fall into place.

How To Replace a Zipper Slider

The first step in this process is to pull the stops off the bottom of the zipper gently. Second, pull the zipper slider all the way down until you get to the end of the tape. Then simply pull the slider off the tape and into your hand.

The third step is to pick up your replacement slider and align it with the teeth on both sides of the zipper. Next, hold the teeth close together while you slide the slider into position. This helps keep the teeth aligned and have them fall into the proper place.

Finally, replace the stops so that the slider does not come off when you use it. It only takes a few moments to do this repair. When aligning the teeth you should only have to do it once. Make sure the new slider is tight enough and won’t fall off on you.

How To Remove a Zipper Slider Without Breaking It


This is not that hard to do even though modern zippers are made more from plastic than any other material. The key is in how much pressure you apply to the slide when you are trying to remove it.

Too much pressure will break a fragile slide but if the slide is made from metal it is doubtful you will break it removing it from the zipper. Just remove the stops and slide the zipper of the zipper teeth and tape. That is all there is to it.

If you are careful you should not have any problems when you put the slide down on the table or workbench. Just make sure not to place anything on top of the slide that is of significant weight.

Can You Reattach a Zipper?

If you are talking about the whole zipper and some of the sewing or stitches have broken or come undone, then yes you can. All that will take is a little thread and a needle to close up the gap once again.

If you are talking about the zipper’s slider then the process is quite simple and the answer is also in the positive. Zippers are not a one-use item that needs to stay in place forever or they can’t be used again.

The only time you really can’t use a zipper is when the teeth are broken. If they are, you would have to replace it. As long as the teeth are in great shape you can reattach a zipper.

How To Put a Zipper Back On

This is like replacing a washer on a sink. You undo the faucet, remove the washer, and when you get ready to reassemble the faucet, you merely place the washer in its proper spot. The same concept applies to a zipper.

The slider comes out nice and easily and you simply place the old or the new slider back on the teeth and put it into the correct position. That is all there is to it. A young child can perform this task without too much trouble.

The hardest part about working with a zipper is sewing it into place and making sure it is long enough for the clothing or other item it is to work on. There is nothing to be afraid of when repairing a zipper.

Reattach Zipper With Fork


As we just said there is nothing really complicated when it comes to working with a zipper or a zipper slider. Some people call that item the zipper head and it is easy to put back in place. Some people even use a fork.

All you do here is place the slider or the head on 2 prongs on the fork. Make sure the slider is facing the right way and then align the zipper teeth with the mouth of the slider. Holding the teeth close together, just manipulate the fork so that the slider slides into place and the teeth close like the should.

That is all there is to this technique. The only hard part is making sure you hold the fork correctly and do not let it slip out of your hand.

How do You Put a Zipper Back on When it Comes off One Side?

The first thing to do is to examine the rest of the zipper. If the teeth are not broken or bent then you can replace the slide and have the complete zipper working like normal again.

All you do is line up the side that has come off the slide and slip the slide up. If the side comes off again, then you have a problem with the slide. To fix this problem just squeeze the side of the slide that is loose.

This will tighten up the slide’s grip and keep the one side of the zipper securely in place. Sometimes the slide gets bent or broken and it can’t perform its duty, then you may need to replace the slide and let the new one correct the problem.

Who Sells Zipper Sliders?

Just about anyone and everyone in the fashion industry seems to have zipper slides for sale. If you want to save money, then go to Amazon first, then the big box stores like Target, Wal Mart, or your favorite department stores.

If they do not have the one you want then try your local fabric or sewing supply stores or the Hobby Lobby type outlets. Then if you do not want to spend money on gas and travel to those options, just do a quick search online.

There are many stores online that have zipper heads or sliders. Those items also go by numerous names including zipper pulls, zipper pull tabs, and so on. Don’t be surprised if the tore doesn’t use the name you are used to using.

What Sizes do Zipper Sliders Come In?


The good news is that the sliders come in a variety of sizes depending on where you need them. If you are looking for a particular gauge size, you can get them in 2, 3, 4, 4.5, 5, 7, 8, & 10 gauges at one location.

Or you can shop for them by the material they were made from. There is a variety of metals and other materials used to create zipper sliders ranging from aluminum to rhinestone.

Usually, the #5 zipper is as long as 1 inch to 1 1/4 inches. You would have to have a particular gauge in mind to find the right size. The best thing to do is to take your old slider with you and match up the sized at the store.

What Size Zipper Slider Do I Need?

The size of the slider you will need is the one that will match up with the teeth on your zipper tape. There is no one size fits all here as even the #5 gauge is not one standard size.

Then look at your old slider. Normally, the maker of the slider or zipper will put a number on the slider at some point and that number is the size you will need. The one exception may be the 4.5 mm slider.

But, some zipper sliders do not have any numbers on them, and in that situation, you will have to measure the closed teeth on the zipper tape. There is more bad news. That measurement may not be exact because of the differences in the zipper tape.

On top of that, your slider may be a locking or non-locking type and that means extra searching for the right replacement. Here is a website that gives you all the details on this topic.

How To Measure Zipper Slider Size

If the zipper slider has a number and some letter son it, (not the brand name), then you do not have to do any measuring at all. Just get the replacement that has the same number on it and you should be good to go.

Unless you are searching for a 4.5 mm slider. That size is usually used on a coil zipper only. If there is no number on the slider get a ruler that measures in mm and place it on the closed zipper teeth. If the measurement comes out at 10 mm, then you need a $10 zipper slider.

How To Fix The Bottom of a Zipper


This will depend on the type of problem you are facing. If the teeth are broken at the bottom, you can sew a new stopper just above the broken teeth. This will shorten the length of the zipper but it lets you get in and out of your pants quickly or open your bag etc.

If the teeth are coming apart, then take a pair of pliers and squeeze the slider closer together. Sometimes you will just have to replace the whole zipper package and start with a new one.

Some Final Words

Zipper problems happen. When they do, your nice convenient zipper becomes a little monster that interferes with your day and may cause some embarrassment. The good news is that most zipper problems are easy to fix and you can enjoy the convenience the zipper provides once again.

Never be afraid of a zipper problem again.

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