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How to maintain and lubricate vintage zippers?


Active Member
Hi everyone,
I got couple of NOS vintage Zippers, such as Talon M-39, M-41, Crown Chevron M-40 and Hookless etc on my flight jackets, how should i maintain and lubricate theses vintage Zippers regularly? What did you guys do to your vintage Zippers?

is it enough to just use the bee wax?

Thanks for the tips and suggestions in advance!



Active Member
I’m not sure that beeswax is a good idea - it can build up in layers and potentially jam the slider? Running a soft pencil along the teeth applies graphite which is a good zipper lubricant - but only lubricate a zipper if the zipper isn’t working smoothly.


Well-Known Member
Strange as it may seem I use Pecards Antique Leather Dressing, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pecard-Antique-Leather-Dressing-1-5/dp/B01FRIZXW4

I only use it if there is a problem with the zip, if the zip is working well then I leave it alone. I have used it on modern zips which had jammed or had a very rough
action and also to ease a vintage zip.

Only a very, very little dressing is required, definitely not slavered on. A small dab rubbed between finger and thumb until it all smoothed out. Then run finger and thumb
up and down the zipper teeth, careful to avoid getting any on the tape.

So far no repeat application has been needed.


Well-Known Member
Pecards sounds like a good idea - I'll have to try that next time.
BTW, with vintage zips I'm always careful when inserting the starter into the stopper box box to avoid the dreaded separation from the fabric taping. Also, I zip up slowly to avoid putting strain on the teeth. Afterall these puppies are almost 80 year old!


Well-Known Member
Great advise Grant ... and to add to that...once I have the male end of the zipper properly inserted into the female box ( no pun intended here) I hold the leather at the bottom on both sides of the zipper when pulling the puller up. This also helps by not putting pressure on one side of the zipper and separating the male side from the tape.
(And you guys thought it was easy wearing an eighty year old jacket);)