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maritime DC & PPE Information Center
personnel protection

FPG Tip 006                                                                                                                              Using Beeswax on the Zipper

(Print Version)

This information provides practical techniques to enhance knowledge skills as described on the MRC card.  Beeswax (NSN 9160-00-253-1171- Figures 1 and 2) is used to lubricate zippers on the Fire Protective Gear (FPG). Beeswax allows the zipper to freely slide along the zipper teeth and thus decreasing the risk of damaging the zipper.  Therefore, regular beeswax application will prolong zipper life and reduce the number of zipper repairs. Lubricate zipper with beeswax when the zipper becomes difficult to operate or every 10 to 20 washings.

Beeswax is easy to apply and clean; simply wipe the excess wax off the surface with a rag or towel if too much applied or applied to the wrong surface. Laundering can also remove beeswax from garments.

   Figure 1.  Beeswax   Figure 2. Beeswax label

See the below procedures for lubricating metal zippers with beeswax:

a.   Lay or hang garment against a clean surface that is free of debris or sharp objects and unzip. 

NOTE: Do not brush if a zipper is already clean.

b.   Brush off dirt from the zipper with brush (NSN 7920-00-205-2401-Figure 3)

Figure 3 Brush

c.   Close the zippers and ensure they are dry (Figure 4).

Figure 4.

d.   Pry off about an ice cube size from the beeswax bar by using a stiff tool like a screw driver (Figure 5). 

Figure 5

e.   Apply beeswax on top of the front and leg zippers outer teeth (Figures 6 and 7).  

Figure 6. Figure 7.

f.    Slide the beeswax wax up and down the zipper once, using light pressure (Figures 8 and 9).  

Figure 8. Figure 9.
g.   Open and close the zipper two to three times to properly distribute the beeswax (Figures 10 and 11).

h.   Restow garment and beeswax to normal on board stowage location.

Ordering information: 








16 oz or 1 lb of beeswax