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Discussion Starter #1
Tuning up some day bags for SanRafael revealed some dust jammed plastic zippers.
I have heard cleaning and lube recommendations including graphite, surfer's SexWax, bees wax, Chapstick, candle wax, WD40, silicone sprays, Ivory soap bar and Palmolive dish liquid and seek your experience based feedback.
I have made messes in the past with graphite powder and attracted even more clinging dust with chapstick.
What do you folks recommend for use in a dusty environment?
 

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Can you wash the items and just run with them clean?
 

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Blast with compressed air, then lube with
1. paraffin or if no paraffin, then
2. beeswax (which I keep on hand for driving wood screws into hardwood)
 

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SailKote or Zip Tech might work well for you.
 

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From a 2010 post on a Jeep forum by Bestop (who make tops for Jeeps).

"Shocking as it may seem, we don't sell anything for the zippers. It's not like us to leave a profitable stone unturned is it?

Recommendations? We suggest glycerin soap. It's cheap, works like wax, but has the advantage of washing out when it gets all dirty. Sometimes wax is tough to remove after a dusty day on the trail.

But wax works great, no doubt.

The one thing we suggest against is anything with petroleum products in it (that's WD40). The petroleum can eat at the plastic.

Cheers!"
 

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I’ve always used silicone spray. Especially on my boat zippers. It clear and very light so it doesn’t collect dirt like wax or stain like graphite. It’s also compatible with most rubber and repels water. Better then WD-40 because it doesn’t dry up and get gummy.
My $.02.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
While not very dusty today it is also not the best day to wash the zipper bags. Washing is still a good idea, thanks LT, but the bags are all attached to the bikes.

So I tried the dish soap using a syringe to apply a thin coating to the mated zipper halves. Works great so far. Blotting with a damp rag pulled up a lot of dirt and excess soap.
 

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I keep a boat on the Long Island Sound and use "Starbrite Zipper & Snap" lubricant, works really well. No matter how new or clean your canvas and bimini tops are the salt water environment is going to get ya in the end. Something just as good I've used in the past is plain old vaseline. But that washes away pretty quickly.
This stuff is a once a season application and just a tiny amount.
I use it on my Jeep soft top as well.

Here's (below) the link for it on Amazon. Might be able to find it for less or pick it up at any Marine Supply Store?

https://www.amazon.com/Star-brite-Snap-Zipper-Lubricant/dp/B0014489WM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519351037&sr=8-1&keywords=Marine+zipper+lube
 

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On the road I've used Chapstick to make zippers work better. At home I've used anything from beeswax to a candle rubbed along the zipper.

When I was in the flight equipment shop in the Marine Corps we used the stuff I'll link below. It was made to whatever Mil-spec the gov wanted for it to be can't tell you what that spec is off the top of my head but it worked great on everyhting that had zippers and we had lots of stuff with zippers.

https://www.amazon.com/Zipper-Ease-Lubricant/dp/B004YES88E
 
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