How to Fix a Zipper on Jeans

Zipper Repair

To fix the zipper on your jeans you first want to know what exact problem is with the zipper. There are 4 different fixes you can make depending on what is going on. The zipper may be stuck or broken at the bottom or have missing teeth or have fallen off its track. These are all fixable.

This is How to Fix a Zipper on Jeans: 4 Methods.

Welcome to our guide on how to fix the faulty, finicky or just plain broken zipper on your jeans. 

The quality of jeans and the denim fabric they use to make them generally make them the most durable pair of pants. But nothing lasts forever.

Depending on the issue you are having with your zipper, we have four methods for you to follow to fix it. In the end, it may come down to replacing your zipper altogether. You can do this as well or take them to a tailor or your local dry cleaners. Dry cleaners often do simple alterations.

If this is the case, it is as simple as going to your local sewing or fabric store and buying a new zipper with the same fabric colour and length as what you have. Take out the seams with a seam ripper and then sew in the new zipper. 

Tools you might need to fix a zipper on your jeans.

  • Pliers
  • Wax
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • New zipper
  • Sewing machine

Hopefully, it will not come down to replacing your zipper and you can instead, fix your zipper right now with our steps below.

How to Fix a Zipper on Jeans

Depending on the issue with your jeans zipper, use one of our four methods below to fix your zipper. After your zipper is fixed you might find you need to make your jeans waistband smaller.

If your looking to tailor your jeans while your at it, let our jeans inseam with how to fray jeans & how to rip jeans guides help you.

"With some intermediate sewing skills and about an hour of your time, you can replace that zipper with a brand new one."

1. How to Get a Zipper Back on Track

  1. Using pliers, remove the top stops on both sides. Pry the top stops apart to loosen them and pull them off the zipper fabric.
  2. Use the pliers to pull off 2 or 3 teeth from each side of the top of the zipper. Pry the teeth apart to loosen them and pull them away from the zipper fabric. 
  3. Remove the zipper pull after you have removed the zipper teeth. Slide the zipper pull entirely off of the track. Set the zipper pull aside once-off; you will need it to go back on.
  4. Close the zipper teeth with your fingers. Press the teeth together as if you are zipping the zipper up from the bottom. Connect the teeth to the top of the zipper.
  5. Replace the zipper pull by sliding it down from the top when all the teeth are interlocked. As you do this, some of the teeth may come apart. Reconnect them if they do.
  6. Take the zipper top stops you removed earlier and use your pliers to reconnect them to the zipper fabric. Replace each of the zipper stops right above the zipper teeth by squeezing them closed around the zipper fabric. There should be no gaps between the zipper teeth and top stops.

How to Get Zipper Back on Track: Tips

  • The top stops are metal pieces at the top of the zipper that prevents the zipper from coming completely off the track.
  • Removing the zipper teeth will make putting the zipper back on the track easier.
  • The teeth should open as you slide the zipper pull back on; this means that the zipper is back on track.

2. How to Add a New Bottom Stop for Broken or Missing Teeth

  1. Check the location of the broken zipper teeth. If the broken zipper teeth are more than halfway down the fly, then you can fix the zipper by adding a new bottom stop. 
  2. Remove the top stops and zipper pull. Take off the top stops using a pair of pliers. Pry each of the top stops apart using the pliers and then remove them from the zipper fabric. Then, slide the zipper pull off of the zipper
  3. Use your fingers to close the zipper teeth manually. Start from the bottom of the zipper and work upwards. Press the teeth together a few at a time. 
  4. Place a bottom stop above the broken teeth. Press these prongs into the zipper fabric on both sides of the zipper teeth where the teeth are broken or missing. Then use pliers to press the prongs down on the backside of the zipper.
  5. Take the zipper pull and slide it back onto the track at the top of the zipper. Make sure that the teeth are still closed and close any that open up as you get the zipper pull back on. Use your pliers to replace the top stops. Put them back onto the zipper fabric where they were before.

How to Add a New Bottom Stop for Broken or Missing Teeth: Tips

  • Adding a new bottom stop will prevent the zipper from sliding over broken teeth and getting stuck or coming off the track. 
  • If the broken teeth are higher up on the zipper, you will need to replace the entire zipper.
  • The zipper teeth should be easy to lock into place as you manually do so with your fingers.
  • A bottom stop is a square metal piece with two prongs extending from the back of it.

3. How to Fix the Zipper Track if it's Broken at the Bottom

  1. Use scissors to snip the zipper welt between the teeth, just above where the zipper pull begins to feed onto the teeth. 
  2. Feed the zipped side into the top of the zipper pull and zip the zipper.
  3. Sew the snipped area by stitching across the zipper from side to side with a needle and thread, which will keep the zipper on track. If any teeth are missing, this will shorten your zipper.

4. How to Un-stick a Zipper

  1. Rub wax or grease onto the zipper (both sides) using a candle, Crisco or WD40.  
  2. Try to open and close the zipper.
  3. Do not get the wax or grease onto the surrounding fabric.

*If you get any product onto the jeans follow our how to wash jeans guide to successfully remove unwanted stains or smells. Then hang your jeans or fold them so they are ready to wear wrinkle free.

How to Fix a Zipper on Jeans FAQ

To fix a zipper that came off one side of the jeans, you will need to use a sewing machine or hand sew the zipper back onto the side of the jeans that it came off of.

To fix a separated zipper, you will want to remove the zipper teeth and stops at the top with pliers. You can then put the track back on and replace the stops and teeth.