How To Fix A Zipper On A Backpack? Beginner Guide

How To Fix A Zipper On A Backpack? Beginner Guide

Last Monday, I was sitting in my classroom and trying to open my backpack, but its zipper got stuck and gave me a hard time.

I had two sliders in my backpack so that I could close my backpack using another slider. But the problem was that I needed to remember what side I should use to zip every time. Well, I didn’t sling it accidentally on my shoulder, believing everything would be fine, and the zipper is closed, but guess what; empty all my gear onto the sidewalk.

That situation made me so helpless, especially when you are in a rush and have no idea what to do, how to fix a zipper on a backpack?

I was looking for a quick solution rather than replace a zipper on a backpack because it seems to be very odd to throw your working pack in the garbage because of tiny things like the zipper.

Something might happen with all of you; I know it is so annoying when you discover that the main zipper on your backpack isn’t working anymore, not climbing up and down, or the backpack zipper is stuck. Well, it might, because the zipper did Ta-ta and left you in a blue mood.

So now you have two options, give up and buy a new one, or stop being lazy and find out how to fix a zipper on a backpack. You will go with a second option when so many ways let you fix backpack zippers with ease.

It might seem like minimal effort, but trust me, it can change your life. Plus, it is super easy to fix your backpack zipper, don’t worry, we will educate you, how to fix your backpack zipper.

If your backpack zipper locks broke, and you are looking to bring your backpack to life, don’t worry. We are going to show you the most efficient way to fix your zipper very quickly.

According to Globo Surf, a few solutions to how to fix a zipper on a backpack are:

“Lubrication Problem

If the zipper on your backpacking backpack feels broken because it does not move up and down, this is probably a lubrication issue.  To perform backpack zipper repair on a zipper that does not move, you can use the solutions below:


Graphite offers great lubrication for zippers. If you have a number 2 pencil, simply rub its tip in the area where the zipper is stuck.

Once you are done with applying graphite, try moving the zipper. If the issue was a simple lubrication issue, you should be able to pack your backpack and embark on your backpacking trip. 

Laundry Soap

If graphite fails to fix the lubrication issue, you should consider trying laundry soap. Put a little laundry soap in a dish and then add a few spoons of water, and mix until you have a semi-thick solution.

Take a cotton swab and drench it in the solution. Use the cotton swab to wet your zipper, and then try to move the zip again.

Candle Wax/Crayon

Another ideal way to perform backpack zipper repair when the zipper is stuck is to use wax. Household wax is usually effective. However, if you do not have household wax, you can use a wax crayon stick or an old candle. Simply rub the wax stick where the zipper is stuck and then try to move it.”

How To Fix A Zipper On A Backpack

The backpack often comes with reliable zippers, but they also do break sometimes or get stuck.

When your backpack zipper breaks, you don’t need to replace whatever it is holding closed. You can save a few bucks by learning how to fix a zipper on a backpack yourself.

Although it looks pretty odd when this happens, some people may give up and go for a new backpack rather than go for backpack zipper repair. But there are enormous ways you can fix your backpack zipper. You may repair a broken zipper, fix the locking zipper, or fix other zipper problems with a bit of effort.

Examine What The Problem Is?

First of all, you need to find out the problem; you must scrutinize the zipper and understand what problem you are facing. Does it only stick, or is the zipper separated or has problematic sliders, etc.?

Sometimes, the zipper is not closing any of the zip fasteners ratchets, and it is hanging. So it is always better to find out what the problem is before fixing a backpack’s zipper.

In this article, we will discuss the most common damages zippers face and educate you on coping with that problem.

You may also readWhat Size Backpack For Travelling Is Best For Your Journey?

1- Fixing the stuck zipper of your backpack

It can be a lubricant problem if you have a backpack with a zipper on the back and it feels broken because it doesn’t budge. It seems the most common issue most people face, don’t worry; we have a speedy and easy solution to fix this kind of problem. All you need to do is follow these steps;

Use Graphite: The simple hack to solve the budget’s problem is lubricating your backpack zipper with graphite. Take a bit of graphite and rub it on your zipper’s teeth.

Graphite offers exceptional lubrication, purchasing a graphite stick that works excellent for lubrication. If you don’t have the graphite one, you can even use a Number 2 pencil.

Run this pencil thoroughly up and down in the zipper’s teeth, especially in the area where the zipper is stuck. After applying lubricant, wiggle the slider up and down a few times until it starts moving smoothly.

Rub Laundry Soap or Dishwashing Liquid: sometimes graphite doesn’t work at all, then go for laundry soap, apply a bit of any laundry soap to the zipper. The best thing about laundry soap is that it provides an extra lubrication level, which helps you fix the stuck zipper.

You need to pour a bit of detergent into the small dish and add a small amount of water. Then take a cotton ball and dip or swab it into detergent liquid and use this wet cotton ball to the zipper.

Place the wet cotton ball down, try to unzip the zipper very gently. Due to the cotton ball, it might move a bit. In that case, return the slider to its position. After a few repeats, the zipper will start moving smoothly.

Wash It And Lubricate: If the above two methods (graphite or detergent) don’t work, you need to wash the item and then lubricate again. Sometimes, it might have dirt inside, so cleaning the thing will remove grime, dust, or other objects that cause blockage of the zipper.

After washing, again apply lubricant, but you must take care of the item so that any loose threads, debris, or fuzz from other things won’t be stuck into the zipper.

2- Fixing A Separated Zipper

Look For Build-Up Around Zipper’s Teeth: sometimes, when a substance builds up around the zipper’s teeth, it stops the zipper from staying closed. So, you need to clean the teeth, and if there is any stuff that prevents your device from being disturbing, remove it.

Take a small amount of water and soap in a dish, stir it until a bubble produces, then dip a rag in that liquid and wipe down the teeth of the zipper. Wipe the liquid off the zipper’s teeth with another damp rag. Try to zip and unzip a few times until it starts moving smoothly.

Fixing Bent Teeth Of Zipper: If all the above methods failed and didn’t work, you need to set the bent teeth. You might need pliers for this method to pull the teeth straight.

Do it very gently, and make sure you don’t pull the zipper’s teeth out of its tape. It is the most effective hack to fix a zipper of a backpack.

3- Fixing Sliders issues

Top Zipper Stops Problem: You may face a top zipper stop problem, and all you need is to use force to remove the stops. If you are using pliers, be careful because it might cause further damage to the zipper if you apply pressure.

It is imperative; without this, you cannot have full access to the teeth or check the slider without removing it.

Push The Slider Off The Teeth From The Top And Check: Examine the zipper’s slider if there is an uneven space between the top and bottom. Then that variable gap between sliders prevents it from engaging the teeth adequately.

If there is any bent in the slider or gap, take pliers and prevent it as you cannot straighten the slider to replace it.

Backpack Zipper Replacement​

If the zipper is entirely damaged, then, sadly, you don’t have any option other than replacing it. I know it feels so odd, but replacing zippers is somehow better than buying a new one.

Don’t worry this article will educate you on how to replace the zipper of your backpack.

1- Prepare The Zipper And Your Backpack

The first thing you need to do before mending is to turn inside your backpack so that you can have easy access. It will help you remove the old zipper more quickly and hide any stitches after fixing the new one.

It is also better to launder your backpack before starting to mend. I always wash my stuff before I start working on it, but you may don’t want it, it is okay, and it’s a personal preference.

Working with a clean backpack will be much more comfortable than when it is not clean.

2- Remove The Old Zipper

You can use a pair of scissors or a seam ripper to remove all the stitches of the old zipper. Be careful not to tear the fabric with the ripper accidentally.  When you are removing the stitches, note the anchoring points on both ends of the zipper.

If it is hard for you to remember all the anchoring points, take a picture. It will help you replace the zipper correctly, or if you are in a rush and don’t have time to replace the zipper in one sitting, you can come back any time, and with the help of pictures, you can continue replacing it.

Also, you will want to replace the new zipper accurately to stay in the right place and last a long time.

3- Place The New Zipper

After placing the zipper, press the seams flat with the help of iron before this step. To put your new zipper, open it, and first align one side. 

Placing its top teeth accurately where you would like its pull to rest and put the first pin below that spot. Line it up with them as you put in the rest of the nails.

When you are done with one side, close it and mark its top teeth, open it again, and repeat on another side.

It would help if you kept it straight and flat as much as possible while replacing it. If you put the new zipper in your backpack, consider basting to add more strength and keep the shape more firmly.

Remember when you are pinning the new zipper, put it face down. Since the item is inside out, the pull can be accessible from the right side.

You will have to turn the item right-side-out again. It’s very tough to open a zipper without accessing the pull.

4- Sewing The New Zipper

You can sew the new zipper either by hand or with the machine. If you are sewing it with the device, use the zipper foot. I found the most effective and easiest way to do this is to unzip your backpack zipper and sew it from the top-down and item’s right side facing down.

You can sew one side first and then turn the right so that the right side faces you to do another party. Unless you sew the other side of the right, you need to change the position of the zipper foot once you change the sides.

If you have a machine that comes with a zipper foot, you can read the manual about how you’ll attach it to your device. But if your device is not good enough or strong enough to cope with your backpack, you will need to sew the bag by hand.

Sewing by hand is not tricky, but you must go over the stitches twice to ensure the zipper should be placed firmly.

People often prefer complicated stitches to add more stability, but you can do a simple straight stitch if you are not a pro in stitching. I like to stitch by hand because sometimes, some problematic areas break the sewing machine’s needle.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

How To Fix A Broken Zipper On A Backpack?

As mentioned above, there could be so many possible reasons, and you’ll need first to examine the problem is? If you have a backpack with a back zipper and why is it stuck because of not enough lubricant, then add a bit of wax, graphite, or even laundry soap to the zipper, boom, it will start moving smoothly. If the zipper teeth are bent, pull a bit and make them straight with the help of pliers.

How To Fix A Backpack Zipper On One Side?

For this, you must open the zipper and pull the part so that you can slide its separated section back into the lineup on both sides of the teeth. You can use pliers, a screwdriver to pray the opening wider so that you can get into and get some leverage to widen it.

Widen it and slip the zipper’s side with teeth back in, and then pull it down to the terminal end. Line up the teeth and use the pliers to squeeze the zipper and pull back to the original width so that it firmly holds both sides of the zipper’s teeth.

How To Fix A Stuck Zipper On A Backpack?

The simple hack to solve the stuck problem is lubricating your backpack zipper with graphite. Take a bit of graphite and rub it on your zipper’s teeth. Or you can use a detergent soap also to make it move smoothly.

How To Fix A Separated Zipper On A Backpack?

It is the most common problem people face, where one of the tracks comes out of the zipper’s head. It usually happens when your zipper head becomes too large and significant and the track slips out. You’ll need to open the zipper head, insert the zipper track, and put pressure with the help of pliers to close down the zipper head.

How To Fix A Zipper On A Backpack Without Tools?

Some dirt and debris often cause the zipper to stop moving smoothly, and it looks broken. The best way to cope with this problem is, lubricate the zipper first, and it will start working smoothly, but if it is still not moving, then it is better to wash first and then repeat the process.

Final Words

It is not easy to find out how to fix a zipper on a backpack, but if you follow all the steps mentioned above, it will help you fix a zipper on a bag.

Learning how to fix a zipper on a backpack will save you and your money, it seems to be very hard, but trust me, it is effortless. All you need is to follow all the steps of this article.

Mark Betts
Let me introduce myself. Just call me Mark, I am a traveler by profession. I created BackpackUnion to give people a better view of the Backpack, Bags, and Luggage products before they make such an important purchase. Read Full Bio - Email