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文章: Leather Basics: You Can Do It at Home Too! Emergency Treatment for Stiff Zippers

Leather Basics: You Can Do It at Home Too! Emergency Treatment for Stiff Zippers

Leather Basics: You Can Do It at Home Too! Emergency Treatment for Stiff Zippers

Hello, I'm Leather Craftsman Yamazaki.
Last time, I introduced methods to protect leather products from water damage.

This time, we will discuss the emergency treatment when zippers on wallets, bags, and other items become difficult to slide.
(Last article here → "Preventing Rain, Protecting Leather from Water Damage.")

Metal accessories are often covered with natural oils from hands during daily use, which prevents them from hardening.
However, if they are not used for a period or become stiff due to accumulated dirt, that situation can occur.

 Table of Contents

  • Zipper Stiffness, Stuck! What to Do in Such Situations.
  • Candle Wax as an Alternative Lubricant
  • When the Problem Persists
  • Emergency Treatment for Rusty Zippers
  • Latest Updates! Compiled Articles on Emergency Treatments You Can Do at Home
  • Related Articles

1.Zipper Stiffness, Stuck! What to Do in Such Situations. When using the wallet, the zipper refuses to open smoothly. This can be quite troublesome in daily use.

Generally, the best approach is to take the product to the sales store or a specialized repair shop for maintenance. However:

"If it's just a minor issue and not urgent enough for immediate repair..."

"The wallet is already quite old, and if there's an easy improvement, I'd prefer that over a full repair..."

In such cases, please try these methods.

2.Candle Wax as an Alternative Lubricant.

 You only need a common candle for this. First, use a brush to clean the dirt and dust on the zipper. You can also use a toothbrush at home.

Next, gently apply a thin layer of wax across the entire zipper,
ensuring smooth application.(During this process, be careful not to rub too hard to avoid wax crumbs falling off)

October 2023 Update
To ensure a thorough application of wax on the metal parts, don't be too cautious; apply it generously. Afterward, use tools like a toothbrush to clean any wax residue that may have entered the gaps. This will make the process more manageable.

If the zipper is severely stuck, unzip it and repeat the same wax application on the backside.After applying, use your hands to spread it once again for better adaptation.

These steps ensure an even distribution of the wax application, making the zipper smoother.

Next, ensure that the entire zipper adapts evenly by repeatedly opening and closing it.Even after opening and closing it about 10 times, if some areas still stick, reapply wax and repeat the opening and closing actions.

Additionally, since this method uses solid wax, waiting a little while for it to meld can also be effective.

That concludes the entire process. Candles are readily available at convenience stores, making this a fairly convenient method.

3.When the Problem Persists Generally

The methods mentioned above can usually improve the issue.
However, if the metal parts still stick, a convenient alternative is to use the pen-type product of KURE 5-56.

Metal lubricant specialty stores are known for their spray-type products.
However, applying spray-type lubricants to small areas can be challenging and may lead to product contamination due to liquid droplets. If you prefer to handle the application yourself, we recommend using the pen-type KURE 5-56 product.

This pen-type product is also effective in removing rust from metal, making it versatile for various situations, not just limited to zippers.

The method introduced here is not a professional technique but an emergency solution that can be done at home. If you still feel unsure, it is advisable not to force the application. In such cases, please consult the advice of a sales store or a specialized repair shop.

4. Emergency Treatment for Rust on Zippers 

Updated October 2023

Ideally, having tools like the pen-type KURE 5-56 is best for addressing rust on zippers. However, if you don't have such tools on hand and are dealing with rust on the zipper, not just metal jamming, here are some emergency procedures.

Depending on the severity of the rust, here are methods for removing rust from metal parts:

For areas with minimal rust: In cases where rust is minimal due to prolonged inactivity, such as wallets or bags, you can start by using a cotton swab or toothpick.

・Wipe the rusted area with a cotton swab.
・In hard-to-reach areas with zipper indentations, use a toothpick to scrape off the 
 rust.
・Change to a clean cotton swab or toothpick each time you clean a different area  to prevent spreading rust or soiling leather parts.

    If rust has spread extensively or the condition is severe:
    When rust has spread extensively, making it seem unusable, there are still methods worth trying at home.

    ・You can use a mixture of "vinegar and salt" to remove widespread rust.
     Mix vinegar and salt in a 1:1 ratio.
    ・Pour the mixture onto a cloth, ensuring it thoroughly absorbs into the rusted  areas, then wipe it off. For stubborn rust, consider using a fine tool like a  toothbrush for cleaning.
    ・To eliminate any lingering odors, wipe with a diluted neutral cleanser and finally,  use a dry cloth to remove moisture.

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