If you've ever found yourself stuck in a sweater or jacket because the zipper refuses to budge, take a deep breath. While it may be tempting to grab a pair of scissors and cut your way out like a prisoner busting his way out of jail, you might be able to save yourself the effort (and the sweater.)
Keep reading to find out six ways you can save your favorite jacket or sweater with a little creativity.
1. Bottoms up: If your zipper separates on a slider (like on a bag), grab a pair of pliers and pinch down (gently) on both bottom edges, according to Metaspoon. Pressing with the pliers will force the zipper to engage. If you push too hard you could make the zipper too sticky, so work it a little at a time.
2. Clean it off: WikiHow notes that sometimes dirt and grime can build up on a zipper, which interferes with the zipper function. Use a damp rag and a little soap to wash off the zipper, and try again.
3. Replace the pull: If you've ever broken the pull off your zipper, you know how annoying it can be to open and close your bags or jackets. Try a paperclip, safety pin, or keychain link as a cheap replacement.
4. Pencil it in: If the zipper gets stuck (and it's not because of the fabric), trying using a pencil. In the video below, Lifehacker recommends using a graphite pencil and rubbing the tip along the zipper line. Then, try unzipping it. If that doesn't work, use a Q-tip coated with hand soap or Vaseline, and jiggle the zipper down.
5. Sliding zipper: If you can't get your fly to stay up, it's time to replace the zipper. It takes a little more time and you'll need to do a bit of sewing, but if your pants or jacket is still in good condition, this may be a more affordable option. The Sewing Loft Blog walks you through all the steps.
6. In a pinch: People with broken zippers (and pregnant women), rejoice! You can keep your pants zipped in a pinch simply by attaching a key chain ring to the zipper and hooking it over the button before closing your pants, as seen in the video below.