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How to lubricate a camera bag zipper

Written By Steven

On 24 June 2024

I recently had the zipper on my expensive camera bag break. Some of the metal teeth had come away from the zip tape stopping the zip slider from full closing.

Luckily the zip was repairable. I took the bag to the people at www.zipexperts.co.uk based in London, who stitched the teeth elements back on to the fabric tape. This was done in less than one hour and cost £22 GBP – a great service. Whilst speaking to them they said that the zip was quite grubby with dust and grit in the zip and contributed the the problem. But also zippers do need to be lubricated regularly and if not lubricated, the slider can cause the teeth elements to tear from the tape but also a dry and gritty teeth elements can cause the diamond on the slider (which is the part which locks or parts the teeth) can become sharp and again tear the teeth from the tape.

Upon looking on another bag (I have several camera bags!!!) I found the zip was a little tight, and was indeed a little gritty and cleaning the zip made it smoother to open and close.

I researched zipper oil and wax. There appears to be numerous types. A fine oil for small zippers on hand bags, clothing, etc. And a heavy duty oil for use on larger zippers. There is also zipper wax and graphite lubrication powder. I read on several web sites that the oil doesn’t seem to last very long and the graphite powder isn’t ideal for large zippers and I don’t want to encourage any more dust on the bag. So with numerous recommendations for a lubricating wax which also appears a better option for both plastic and metal zippers. I found several sellers on Amazon marketplace at low cost.

I purchased a set of three tubes of wax which resemble lap balm tubes, three for less than £6 GBP from Amazon. They arrived next day and I carefully and easily covered the zipper teeth in a fine layer of the wax. Zipped the zip numerous times and it now runs much smoother, and hopefully will now last much longer.

You can buy the Zipper Wax here on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3KXdutj

How to lubricate a camera bag zipper 1

 

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