How to Fix a Separated Zipper

It’s frustrating when zippers break suddenly, such as when their teeth separate and the zipper slider won’t open and close them anymore. This can be embarrassing if it’s on your pants zipper or if it’s on a backpack and all of your things fall out. However, there are several ways of fixing a separated zipper. You can either try to fix the slider itself or realign the zipper by taking it apart and putting it back together. One of these methods is likely to fix the majority of zippers that have separated.

EditSteps
EditReducing the Opening On the Zipper Slider
Inspect the slider on the zipper. Many times when the sides of a zipper separate and won’t go back together as you pull the slider, it’s because the slider itself is damaged. When you use a zipper often, the slider opening will begin to stretch open a bit. Inspect both ends of the zipper to determine if they have the same opening size. If one end looks wider than the other, then this may be why your zipper failed.[1]
As the opening increases in size, it puts less pressure on the tracts of the zipper, allowing them to stay separated.

Inspect the rest of the zipper and fix any problems that are apparent. For instance, straighten out any bent zipper teeth that you see. If there are tears in the fabric of the zipper, mend them.
In some cases, bent teeth on a zipper will cause a zipper to separate. If the zipper teeth are metal, you can use a pair of pliers to straighten them out. If the teeth are plastic, gently try to straighten them with your fingers, as pliers could easily break them off.

Squeeze the opening on the slider to reduce its size. Squeeze the slider on the top and bottom with your fingers or a pair of pliers. This will make the opening inside the slider the correct size once again.[2]
On one end of the slider there is a middle piece that won’t let you squeeze it. On the other end there is no middle piece. That is the side that gets opened and needs to be squeezed back together.

Don’t squeeze the slider too strongly though, as you don’t want to make the gap smaller than it should be. You will know the gap is too small if it becomes difficult to pull up and down the zipper slider along the tracks.

Check the zipper. Once you’ve reshaped the slider, move it up and down the zipper. If it is properly fixed, the slider should go back to opening and closing the zipper right away.
If the zipper still doesn’t work, either squeeze the slider more or try another solution.[3]

EditRemoving and Reinserting the Slider
Assess whether the slider needs to be realigned. If you have tried to move the zipper up and down, force the zipper sides together, and reduce the opening on the slider, the next thing to try is starting from scratch. If you can see the stops at the top of the zipper and they are metal, taking off the slider and realigning the zipper is possible.[4]
The stops at the top of the zipper are small pieces of metal that are shaped a bit differently from the teeth on the zipper. They are not big pieces and they look similar to teeth but they are slightly larger and are positioned at the very end of each side of teeth.

If the stops are plastic, you won’t be able to take them off and put them back off without breaking them, so you can’t use this method.

Remove the top stops. Get a pair of small-tipped pliers and gently open up the stop. The stop it shaped like a “u,” so you simply need to open up the side of the stop that is hooked onto the tape of the zipper. Once it is just slightly opened, you can wiggle it and unhook it from the tape.[5]
It’s important to be gentle with the stop and don’t cut it or bend it until it breaks. You need to keep it intact.

Keep the top stops and put them somewhere safe, as you’ll need to use them again.

Pull the slider up and off the zipper. Once the tops stops are removed, you will be able to easily pull the slider off the end of the zipper. Taking it off will allow you fix the tracks and then get the slider back in line.[6]

Push the teeth of the zipper together. Start at the bottom of the zipper, the opposite end from where you took off the slider. Push the teeth of the zipper together, making sure that the teeth from the left and right sides alternate.[7]
Put the zipper on top of a hard surface. As you work your way up the zipper, press down on the teeth to pop them into place.

It is important that the teeth are perfectly lined up. Make sure that once you get to the top of the zipper that you don’t have extra teeth on one side. This would mean that the teeth are not lined up.

Reinsert the slider onto the top of the zipper. Once you have realigned the teeth, stick the bottom of the slider back onto the top of the tracks. Insert one track into the bottom of the slider, which is the end without a piece of metal separating the two sides. Then insert the other track.
You will know each side is inserted when several teeth have gone up into the slider and the track won’t go any further.

It’s easiest to insert one side and then the other. Putting them both in at once doesn’t typically work.

Run the slider up and down to check your work. Pull the slider down a few inches to make sure that it is on track. Move it up and down a bit to make sure it opens and closes the zipper correctly.[8]
Be sure not to pull the slider all the way back up to the top, as it will slide off of the tracks again without the top stops in place.

Reapply the top stops. Once the zipper is working once again, put the top stops back in place. Position them in the spots where they were originally installed. Squeeze the ends of the stops with your pliers until they grip the zipper tape once again.[9]
Wiggle each stop after you reinstall it to ensure that it is securely in place.

EditTips
Just because you have a broken zipper, that doesn’t mean that your piece of clothing or bag is broken forever. If you can’t get the sides back together, you can always replace the zipper altogether.

EditSources and Citations
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Today in History for 25th February 2019

Historical Events

1901 – George Cohan’s musical “Governor’s Son” premieres in NYC
1949 – WAC Corporal rocket achieves height of 400k (record)
1977 – Oil tanker explosion west of Honolulu spills 31 million gallons
1989 – Javed Miandad scores 271 v NZ at Eden Park
1993 – Florida Marlins introduce their mascot “Billy”
1995 – Muslim fundamentalists shoot 20 Shiite mosque goers dead

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1916 – Ralph Baldwin, harness driver (set 11 major world records)
1919 – Karl H. Pribram, Austrian neuroscientist
1926 – Harvey McGregor, QC/warden (New College-Oxford)
1953 – Garrett Glaser, entertainment correspondent (Entertainment Tonight)
1971 – Byron Dafoe, NHL goalie (LA Kings), born in Sussex, England
1974 – Detron Smith, NFL running back (Denver Broncos-Super Bowl 32)

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1536 – Berthold Haller, German-born reformer (b. 1492)
1912 – Guillaume IV, Grand Duke of Luxembourg (b. 1852)
1947 – Friedrich Paschen, German physicist, dies at 82
1970 – Mark Rothko [Marcus Rothkovich], American abstract expressionist (Green on Blue), dies at 66
1990 – Deborra Hampton, actress (Crossroads, 2 of a Kind), dies at 30
2009 – Ivan Cameron, son of David Cameron UK politician

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Train Your Hamster to Come when You Call

Training hamsters can be a tricky business, as they can be much more anxious and more easily scared than other pets. Hamsters can be trained with patience and lots of snacks, though it doesn’t always work — some rodents simply never learn their own name, whereas others quickly associate human voices with treats. When training hamsters, be gentle, talk softly, and let them come to you rather than force them to like you. After a few weeks of training, your hamster will come running up to you just like a little dog or cat would!

EditSteps
EditEstablishing Trust through Food
Give your hamster a few weeks to adjust to its new surroundings. When you get a new hamster, it is very natural for them to feel anxiety and stress being in a new place. Don’t fuss over it for the first few days, just give it food and water and talk softly around it so it doesn’t get scared just by seeing you.[1]
It is essential that the hamster gets used to your scent and the noises of the house before you continue. Hamsters are easily startled creatures, so if you try to train it while it is still getting used to everything, the process will be much more difficult.

Place a sunflower seed or other treat in the palm of your hand. You should choose a treat that you know your hamster loves. Sunflower seeds are usually a great choice, but keep in mind that these are high in fat and should only be reserved for the occasional treat. Specialty hamster snacks or fresh veggies will get their attention as well.[2]
Wash your hands with unscented soap before and after handling your hamster, as strong odors on your hands might alarm it.

Move the treat to the opposite side of the cage to entice the hamster. With your hand at the opposite end of the cage where your hamster is sitting, slowly raise the treat up and down to get the smell of the treat to your hamster’s nose and bring their attention to the snack.[3] Your hand’s movement should be non-threatening and slow.
Keep in mind that some hamsters – such as the dwarf varieties – will consider movements a threat and either run for safety or bite! If your hamster appears frightened by you, stop moving, and try again after a few minutes.

Let your hamster take the treat when it comes up to you. Don’t say its name yet — this exercise is about establishing trust between you and your hamster. If it knows it can get treats from you, it won’t act so defensive and will start to like you.[4]
Try to avoid handling the hamster until it trusts you intrinsically, or you may have to start the trust-building process all over again.[5]

Hold a treat in your closed hand after a few days of building trust. Your hamster will start to understand that you are not a threat, and will willingly come up to you to look for the snack it smells.[6]
If your hamster hasn’t started to trust you yet, just keep trying for a few more days. After a while, it will stop biting and being skittish and will come to feel safe even with you towering over it.[7]

Put out your hand without a treat to see if your hamster responds. If your hamster has been willingly coming up to your hand to get snacks, it probably trusts and likes you a lot more than it did the first day.[8] See what happens when you hold out your hand without a snack — if they come to your hand, congratulations! Your hamster feels safe around you.
If your hamster doesn’t come to inspect your hand, or approach you at all, simply keep trying each day until you develop a mutual feeling of respect with the hamster. It may take several days of training with snacks and food, but eventually it will come around and feel safe around your presence.

EditResponding to its Name
Release your hamster in a small enclosed space. Make sure that your hamster cannot escape from this space. You can use cardboard to create a playpen that is too tall to jump over, a room with no cabinets or couches to hide under, or the bathroom with a baby gate up to keep your hamster in the same room as you.[9] Make sure you can sit in this space with your hamster — this will force it to get comfortable being around a much larger creature.
Your hamster’s natural instinct will be to run away and hide anywhere it can. Look for small holes in the cabinets and small hiding spots that you can’t reach, and watch the hamster the whole time.

Use treats again to get your hamster to feel safe around you. While you are both enclosed in the same space, get some small treats, such as sunflower seeds or carrots, and place them into your hand.[10]
If you are lucky, your hamster will trust you enough already to jump up and try to take the snacks away. Don’t let them have one until you have completed name recognition training.

Call your hamster’s name with a treat in your hand. Call out your hamster’s name while you sit across from it and let it smell and investigate the treat. Keep calling its name until it responds and comes over to you.[11]
Only let your hamster take its treat when it successfully comes over to you after you call its name. Don’t let it just take snacks without hearing its name.

Let it eat the snack, and repeat the process for a few days. Let it take the snack, and call its name again with another snack a few minutes later. You should do this for a few days, until you feel that your hamster starts to understand the connection between your voice and food.
You can usually tell your hamster understands the connection between your call and getting snacks when it starts running over to you when you don’t say its name.[12] You should try to reinforce its name by avoiding saying anything else around the hamster while you are training it.

Call its name but don’t offer a snack after a few days. If your hamster comes running over even when you don’t have a snack, that means it responds to your voice thinking you will have a snack. Relationships between small animals and people are mostly based on food, so by this point it recognizes that you are the provider of treats and will start to trust your voice as a source of good eats.[13]
If your hamster still isn’t responding to your calls without a snack being offered as well, keep offering a snack every time you call its name until it associates your voice with food.

It may take several days, even weeks, before your hamster understands very basic human communication.

EditMaintaining Trust
Let your hamster out of the enclosed space to explore a bigger area. Hamsters, like all rodents, like to explore and roam, even if they prefer to sleep and nest in a small area.[14] Watch your hamster closely and let it have free reign of the house once you know it will come to you at your call.
If you have a particularly small hamster, look for places it can hide. It may be fine around you when you have snacks, but could go back to being anxious and skittish when it is given a place to escape to.

Never ever use hamster balls to let your hamster explore, as they are traumatic and scary for small animals. Just keep a close eye on it, as you would with a dog, so you can catch it if it goes for the trash or tries to chew up your linens.[15]

Call its name every so often, but only give it a snack sometimes. If you trained it correctly over the course of a week or two, it should come scampering towards you. Have a treat ready every now and again so you can reinforce the association between snacks and your voice, but don’t offer snacks every time or it might get fat and greedy. Don’t avoid giving it snacks either, as the association between your voice and snacks may deteriorate with time.
Over time, offer snacks less and less until you only have to give it a few snacks a day for it to keep responding to you.[16]
If your hamster doesn’t respond to your call, you may need to go through some training steps again, but it could also just be sleeping in a corner. Keep a close eye on your hamster so you know exactly what it is up to while it is out.

Handle your hamster delicately and talk softly so it feels safe. One of the number one ways to make your hamster distrust you is to handle it incorrectly. Don’t grab the hamster, or pick it up quickly, instead allow the hamster to crawl towards you and gently lift it with your palm open or cupped underneath it.[17] It is more important that the hamster comes to you and accepts you than it is for you to cuddle it and smother it.
Talking in a soft voice is recommended as some hamsters are easily scared by loud noises. They generally respond well to higher pitch voice, but don’t say their name in a shrill manner or you risk scaring it as well.

EditTips
Trying giving your hamster wet or dry fruits as treats, but do your research and be sure you aren’t giving it any foods that may harm its health or kill it!

Be as calm as possible when picking up your hamster.

If your hamster bites you, use gloves when handling and training it.

If you have multiple hamsters, only train one at a time. Put the other hamsters in a separate cage, or your hamsters may get confused.

Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work in a few months or even at all. Hamsters aren’t like dogs and may just never get it. Just keep at it and try your best! But if it doesn’t work out then your hamster just may not understand human communication.

Reward your hamster with treats when training or taming it.

EditWarnings
Never use a hamster ball to let your hamster run around the house. Hamster balls are terrifying for all rodents, because they are trapped in a small space and hear and see things in a distorted way. As cute as plastic balls may look rolling around the house, it is not a pleasant experience for the hamster trapped inside.[18]
EditThings You’ll Need
Enclosed space

Hamster treats

A glove (if your hamster bites)

EditRelated wikiHows
Set Up a Hamster Cage

Clean Out a Hamster Cage

EditSources and Citations
EditQuick Summary
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