Best zipper lube?

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Best zipper lube?

Postby Neo » Wed 30 Nov, 2022 10:32 pm

I'm thinking sewing machine oil or a careful PTFE spray? Zipper care is something that I have neglected!
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Re: Best zipper lube?

Postby highercountry » Thu 01 Dec, 2022 4:59 am

This question reminds me of discussions on another forum about bicycle chain lube.
The consensus these days is that wet, oily lubricants attract and hold dust, grit and sand which speeds up the rate of chain wear.
A tent zipper IMO is very similar.
Dry wax lubes are the preferred choice on bike chains.
I'd try lightly rubbing candle wax into the zipper teeth. Fairly certain I've heard of soap being suggested for the same purpose.
Then again the best option might be to just keep the zippers clean, brushing out loose particles every so often with a fine brush.
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Re: Best zipper lube?

Postby michael_p » Thu 01 Dec, 2022 5:27 am

I have used pencil lead (graphite) to lube a zipper to good effect. Sharpen the pencil and run in along the zipper teeth then run the zipper back and forward a few times.
A pencil stub is light and east to carry in your pack for out in the field.
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Re: Best zipper lube?

Postby north-north-west » Thu 01 Dec, 2022 6:12 am

For dry suit zips the standard was originally beeswax; Ii still have a block of it here. McNett and GearAid both do wax based zib lubes.
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Re: Best zipper lube?

Postby Neo » Thu 01 Dec, 2022 8:54 am

Sorry should have been more specific, thinking of the very small size zip common on a UL tent.
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Re: Best zipper lube?

Postby vagrom » Thu 01 Dec, 2022 7:39 pm

When your favourite bushwalking site starts discussing the best brand of lube you know it's time to send in the clowns. But for the record - Vaseline. Not too much. Then just ease it up and down (the zip). Then wipe again with a cotton rag.

Cheap, from Supermarket medical and useful for dried lips etc and an assortment of uses where Singer Oil is too runny.
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Re: Best zipper lube?

Postby Biggles » Tue 06 Dec, 2022 10:16 am

Finish Line dry teflon lube, made for bike chains. Has a wet evaporative carrier that dries to deposit a ptfe layer. It is applied with a needle point and dribbled along, the zip then run up and down a few times and left to settle. Great stuff not just bike chains but zippers, press studs, spec/sunglass hinges...myriad uses; it has also been used in overhauling antique cameras. I would not put sewing machine oil on zips as it could well migrate to the fabric and lead to a set of different problems.
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Re: Best zipper lube?

Postby Neo » Tue 06 Dec, 2022 11:10 am

Thanks Biggles a PTFE is what I was thinking.
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Re: Best zipper lube?

Postby Neo » Wed 14 Dec, 2022 9:27 pm

I think there is an unnecessary tendency to make ultralight tents with a tiny zipper like a #5 which ultimately is less durable than a slightly larger zip for the sake of 100 grams on the specification statistics.
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