When you’re wearing a backpack with one arm, the zipper can be difficult to maneuver. The slider may also not stay up on its own, making it hard to zip or unzip the bag and backpack zipper stuck even when both of your arms are free.
How many times have you been caught in a situation with your backpack where the zipper has gotten stuck?
It can be an incredibly frustrating experience that usually leaves you in hopes of getting an answer on how to get a backpack zipper unstuck.
If one side gets caught on something and bends too far, it will automatically bend away from its partner and counteract any pulling through the fabric, with a backpack zipper stuck on the fabric.
If this happens, it can be impossible to force them apart without cutting the fabric apart at some point—and where would you end up then? You’d still have your stuck zipper but now with no way to close your bag! That’s why you should follow these steps.
According to Time, “Backpacks are a staple for many types of people: working professionals, travelers, hikers and, most of all, students. While the idea of strapping your gear to your back is older than we can say, the modern student backpack is quite young—only about 44 years old—and has seen many new fads and changes in a short amount of time. From leather straps to JanSport packs.”
How to Open Stuck Zipper
STEP 1: Before struggling to find a solution how to get the backpack zipper unstuck then first, you need to find out if the zipper is just stuck or if it broke. To do this, take off the two items closest to the zipper. If they come off quickly, your problem is that the zipper is stuck and can be solved without scissors or a sewing kit.
If it doesn’t come off so quickly, try using some water on it – but don’t use too much! Just dampen it lightly, so you don’t damage any of the fabric surrounding the zipper.
Then check to see whether there’s any movement in the zipper when you pull on both sides of it.
If there’s still no movement after doing this, you’ve found out that your problem lies beyond a zipper that’s stuck, and you’ll need to take the next step.
STEP 2: Take off all other clothing items adjacent to the zipper and make sure you can slip your hand easily into and out of them. If not, it may be too tight and will need to be removed and cut open instead.
However, if it can slide freely in and out of those sections, don’t remove any more clothing – the problem lies elsewhere!
STEP 3: Make sure there’s no hair or anything else caught in the zipper before opening it up (this could also create problems with getting your zipper open). Using either scissors or a seam ripper, carefully cut enough fabric away from around the zipper so that when you pull apart both sides of it, you can remove the stuck material from behind it.
STEP 4: If your zipper’s still jammed, try using a sewing kit to make two new holes on either side of the zipper and thread through a safety pin. Straighten both sides of the fabric before pulling on each end to open your zipper.
How to Get a Zipper Unstuck From Fabric
Sometimes opening a stuck zipper doesn’t have anything to do with what’s getting in the way behind it.
Instead, this could be because one or more teeth are damaged enough not to slide back and forth correctly anymore.
As frustrating as this is, you can still fix fabric caught in zippers without any damage to your clothes or having to buy a new one.
- STEP 1: Find yourself a sturdy needle and thread that matches the color of your clothing item. Cut off two equal pieces of either before beginning and make sure they’re long enough, so there’s at least 3-4 inches (or 7.5-10 centimeters) left on each end after tying them together in a knot.
- STEP 2: Make sure the zipper is almost entirely closed again before threading the needle through the opened-up section twice before knotting it closed again, just like how you did when you first cut off those pieces of thread. Tie another tie between both ends – not too tight! You don’t want the needle to pop out of it and damage your clothes.
- STEP 3: With those pieces of thread tied together, gently pull them in opposite directions until you see the stitched part fall apart between those teeth. It should be much easier for both sides to move back and forth now with all that extra space again!
- STEP 4: When pulling on each side of the zipper, make sure that there’s no cloth stuck in the zipper behind the stuck area anymore – just like how you did when removing material from around a stuck zipper earlier on this list. If there is still any fabric left, repeat steps 1 through 4 until you fix the problem of how to get a backpack zipper unstuck!
How To Open Stuck Zippers On Jeans And Sweaters
Stuck With Cotton And Rayon
Cotton and rayon are ubiquitous fabrics that can get stuck together rather quickly if left in the same place for too long. The most effective way to open them up is by using a spray bottle full of water (or vodka, rubbing alcohol) before bringing your sweater or jeans over to the bathroom sink and turning on the hot water full blast.
It should make it easier for both sides to separate themselves with some gentle pulling motions. If there’s still any sticky residue leftover, use either vodka or rubbing alcohol again with an old toothbrush until you don’t see it anymore!
Stuck With Chiffon Or Faux Fur
When chiffon or faux fur gets stuck together, you will most likely need to take them back to the store where you bought them so they can help you separate the fabrics with a unique tool. If this is not an option for some reason or another, do not fret!
You can still quickly fix this up at home by grabbing your trusty steam iron and turning it on at high temperature before slowly pushing down on each side of your stuck jeans (make sure that no heat reaches loose skin) until they unstuck again.
Stuck With Suede Or Leather
It is one of the more difficult fabrics that often gets damaged if tugged on too harshly, making opening up zippers even harder than before! Instead of ripping any seams apart with your bare hands, take your suede or leather garment into the bathroom with you and dampen it under running water (cold is okay too!) before laying down some tissues on top of it.
Then grab your steam iron off the counter and turn it up until you see steam coming out. Place this over any stuck areas for 20 seconds at a time – do not leave in more prolonged than that!
Steps to Repair Zipper
- Locate where the slider broke off from either one side or both sides
- Insert a new slider, or a new zipper pull, of the same type. You can buy them from most camping supply stores.
- Sew each piece of the broken zipper back together if they broke apart completely. Use a thread color that closely matches the fabric of your backpack, so it looks as invisible as possible.
- If you don’t know how to sew, take it to a tailor or use a machine at a fabric store if they’ll let you.
Steps to Prevent Slider Problems in Future
- Try not to overload your pack with more than about 40% of its total weight capacity. Overloading will put undue pressure on your zippers and make them bend out of shape all the time.
- Lubricate your zippers each time you use them. You can buy zipper lubricants at camping supply stores or create your own with beeswax and olive oil.
- Try to keep the pack as even on both sides as possible. If one side is heavier than the other, it will bend out of shape more often, which leads to stuck zippers.