View Full Version : Zipper Maintenance

12-03-2007, 11:59
Hello all. I have a rolling duffel bag I've used for years to transport our snorkel/dive gear.

This year I could not budge a couple of the zipper pulls (Nylon type zipper). After a ton of effort and fight I finally freed them. But they're still tough to open/close. There's a white powdery substance on the zipper like something from a surface reaction with salt or something.

Is there a way to fix this? Will "McNett Zip Care" take care of it?

12-03-2007, 13:38
I usually use a plumbers candle (hard wax emergency type candle). Rub it on the teeth every once in a while and no problems. I use this on my zippers on my boat top also and have never had any problems with them.

12-04-2007, 12:26
Great idea. Thanks scubaaaronh.

12-04-2007, 12:39
U can also buy a zipper wax... craft and fabrics stores sell them. Also dive shops sell zipper lubricant that you can use on wet suit zippers, duffel zippers etc... Also you can use good old chapstick to coat.
The powdery substance is corrosion... it's probaly a metal zipper. Free it with spray silicone or wd40 wipe it off then coat it with one of the lubricants. your probably gonna have to keep coating it for a while becuase the corrosion sucks all moisture out of everything

12-06-2007, 18:13
i tried the zipper wax from the fabric store and it doesnt seem to last as long as a plumbers candle, takes a little more to rub it in but lasts longer. Also i would only use food grade silicone on something like that not a mineral/synthetic all purpose oil based oil.

01-01-2008, 22:54
Howdy, I have used, yes it is hard to believe, power steering fluid, dex 2 in small amounts to cure the dreded white crap, leave it on for a few days and presto, the zipper works, then apply the zipper wax, I think the stuff forms from contact with salt, even happened on the bags on my motorcycle, but use small amounts, elect contact cleaner works well too, Take care and good luck

02-08-2008, 06:01
After this happened to me the first time some time back...I have always made sure my luggage gets the same fresh water treatment as my gear when I return home. I'm lucky 'cos I got plenty of sun to dry things out - but never had a problem with a zip since. I used WD40 as mentioned before to free the sucker, then just my my son to run the zipper back and forward for 20mins under fresh water. No probs since.

02-08-2008, 15:12
WD40 gives off fumes that will seriously degrade latex and rubber scuba equipment. I would keep it far, far away from any of my gear, and certainly not use it on a bag I store gear in!

Clean the bag well (soak it in warm water, agitating gently from time to time, so get rid of the dried salt), pick up some McNett zip care, and use some paraffin wax on the zipper, and you should be good to go.

Super-Duper Scubasteve
02-08-2008, 15:30
I use silicone grease in place of Wd-40, but I heard Paraffin wax was a good option.