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Sewing/zippers in the laundry


I have a front loading washing machine and dryer.
Almost everytime I wash something like a zippered jacket or zippered hood, the zipper breaks, the pull tab breaks off unrepairable.
I've tried zipping it up before washing and zipping it up and turning it in-side-out, but they still break.
I usually find the pull tab in the dryer, but I have also found them in the washer.
Is there a way or trick to washing zippered items?
Thank you,

Hi Randy,

I know that front loading washing machines can operate at a high speed, as can certain industrial strength dryers, which might loosen a delicate zipper. You could try to wash your zippered clothing in a lingerie bag, which would restrict movement within the machines.

The problem might also lie with the zipper itself. If the zipper is poor quality, which is common in commercially manufactured clothing, then you might be better off replacing it with a better quality zip.

And lastly, I would also suggest checking your machines for metal burrs, loose screws or other sharp edges that might catch a zipper head.

Best of luck!


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Amie Scott


I can answer many questions related to craft sewing, fashion design, pattern drafting, clothing alterations, clothing repair, and simple home decor sewing projects. I can not answer question about machine repair/maintenance, quilting, knitting, embroidery or needlepoint.


I have been designing and sewing clothing and accessories professionally since 2003. I have two years of experience teaching basic machine sewing classes for adults. I have experience altering clothing and drafting sewing patterns for women's wear. Currently I own a retail shop with a sewing studio, where I design and produce my line of women's wear, and also offer custom sewing to clients.

Although I'm mostly self taught, I have taken some advanced online pattern drafting and clothing alterations classes. Of course, nothing beats actual hands on work, and I have over ten years of experience in professional sewing and fashion design.

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