What is best way to lubricate a plastic zipper?

by Richard Hundley
(United States)

To lubricate a plastic zipper on a boat canvas.

Hi Richard,
That answer we have found to be a little tricky.
I think it really depends on how old the zipper is.
There are products on the market just for that zipper lubrication application. Zippy Cool, starbrite snap and zipper to name a couple. Here is the problem, as a marine zipper ages the plastic begins to degrade and you actually compare a 5 year old zipper teeth to new zipper teeth and you'll see that the teeth are smaller on the old zipper. So when lubricating with gel type lubricates you can actually create more of a problem. Once the smaller teeth become slick, the teeth that were borderline locking together before won't stay locked at all anymore.
So to answer your question if you are doing preventative maintenance to a young zipper use any type of "zipper lubricant" preferably without silicone. If your teeth are getting iffy, then you would be better off with a stick type lubricate. Possibly "bees knees". I will probably eventually carry it on my website and I continue to grow.
Starbrite products are excellent as well.
One last note, consider swapping out your sliders as yearly maintenance, it might do wonders for sticky zippers.
Hope this helps.

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