How to Make Metal Snaps Easier to Snap

Kimberly Turtenwald

Any time you purchase an item that contains snaps, such as clothing, school supplies, truck bed covers and jackets, the metal snaps are often stiff. The snaps can be difficult to open and close, especially for younger children.

A snap closure is sometimes too efficient.


Reapply the petroleum jelly or wax and machine oil as needed.

Depending on the material on which the snaps are secured, the material may rip and the item ruined when opening or closing a stiff metal snap. To help avoid this problem, it is possible to make the metal snaps easier to unsnap.

  1. Dip the tip of a cotton swab into petroleum jelly or wax, such as car wax. You only need a small amount.

  2. Rub the cotton swab around the inside of the female, or open end, of the snap. This will coat and lubricate the inside.

  3. Dip the cotton swab back into the petroleum jelly or wax.

  4. Rub the cotton swab around the outside of the male end of the snap.

  5. Add a drop of machine oil into the female end of the snap to further lubricate the snap. Repeat this process for any additional snaps.

  6. Open and close the snap repeatedly. Over time, the snap will loosen up some, and it will be easier to open and close, even without additional lubrication.