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How to Fix a Black Retractable Badge Holder

Irene A. Blake

A black retractable badge holder is simply a plastic retractable cord reel housing with an attached metal or plastic clip and a retractable cord with a plastic snap-style clip that holds the badge. Black retractable badge holders usually experience three main types of breakage or malfunction: the badge clip snaps, the clip falls off the cord or the retractable cord won't retract. Although you can replace a retractable badge holder inexpensively, there are several methods to fix these issues that require little work.

Badge Holder Clip

  1. Remove your badge from the badge clip and set it aside.

  2. Open the jaws of your pliers and carefully grasp one side of the metal circular or triangular ring where the metal slides into the plastic piece at the end of the retractable cord. Pull the metal away from the hole it feeds into to remove one end of the ring from the plastic. Repeat with the other side to remove the ring and clip. Set the pieces aside.

  3. Grasp the new plastic badge clip in your non-dominant hand. With the pliers in your dominant hand, grasp the ring that the clip attaches to with the jaws of your pliers beside the seam running through the ring.

  4. Twist the handles of your pliers gently to open the seam. Insert one end of the ring into the hole on the plastic piece, then repeat on the other side. Grasp both sides in the jaws of your pliers and then squeeze the handles of the pliers together to lock the ring in place.

  5. Attach your badge to the new clip.

Retractable Cord

  1. Hold the badge in one hand and the badge holder housing in the other in front of you.

  2. Pull the badge and holder slowly in opposite directions until you’ve almost pulled the cord out as far as it can go from the holder. Continue stretching, but try to feel the “catch,” “tug” or “click” that indicates the reel is able to retract the cord.

  3. Let go of the badge to see if the cord retracts. If it doesn’t retract, remove your badge from the holder and try again. If it still won't retract, hold the holder stationary in your non-dominant hand and tug on the cord until it retracts.

  4. Tip

    If the cord won't retract after you've tugged on the badge five or more times, the holder is likely not fixable. Replace with a new badge holder.


    Always replace rather than fix your badge holder if the cord has frayed or snapped or the belt/pocket clip snaps from the plastic housing. A frayed or a repaired snapped cord won't retract easily and may become jammed inside the plastic reel housing. A broken belt/pocket clip usually won't hold together with glue or tape and you could lose your badge if it falls off.

    Always use caution when pulling the ring from the end of the retractable cord. Rough handling of the ring and plastic piece can break the piece, making the holder unusable.