Replacing Broken Snaps
March 24, 2014 8:30:00 AM EDT
I’ve tried my best to keep my diapers in tip top shape. While I’ve bought a new diaper here and there over the course of my son’s diapering days, I bought the majority of my stash all around the same time, and I’m very happy with their condition after 1 ½ years of use. While most of my diapers in great shape, there are a couple that are in need of a fixer upper. A little maintenance if you will…
I was very surprised to see a crack in a rise snap on one of my bumGenius 4.0s. I have no idea what could have caused it to break since I always line dry them. It was one of the snaps in the middle rise and my son is on the largest setting. Because it wasn't one I needed to use, I tried ignoring it at first. But eventually, it got worse. The sides ended up breaking off, leaving behind jagged edges. The diaper was still fully functional, but I worried about it snagging on my other diapers.
I decided that I either needed to take it out of rotation or find a way to repair it. Had it still been under warranty, I’m sure CottonBabies would have fixed it for me. But since it wasn’t, I had to figure this one out on my own.
Gather your supplies:
To fix a broken snap, you’ll need either a snap press (which is expensive) or snap pliers (which you can find online or at a fabric store for around twenty bucks). Or if you’re lucky, like me, you’ll have a friend who owns a pair of snap pliers and will let you borrow them! The brand of snap pliers I borrowed was KAMsnaps, which seems to be a pretty popular brand.
You'll also need to find matching snaps. KAMsnaps has a large selection of colors, matching many of bumGenius’ and they’re pretty cheap. Lucky for me, my friend had the color and size I was needing, which was size 20 in Ribbit- a discontinued BG color (not sure what KAMsnaps calls the color and remember, different brands of diapers may have different size snaps). Being that it was a discontinued color, that gave me even more incentive to repair it rather than replace it. Keep in mind, if your diaper is still under warranty and you alter it in any way, the warranty will be void. If it is under warranty, check with the manufacturer first.
The snap components you’ll need are:
- -Cap with post
- -Stud (male)
- -and/or Socket (female)
Next I had to figure out how to get the old snap off without damaging my diapers. Figuring out how to do this proved to be quite tricky…The middle of the snap (post) was smooshed down- that’s how both pieces stay connected. At first I tried taking fingernail clippers to it, but that didn’t work very well for me. Then my hubby suggested that he could take a soldering iron to it, and just poke through the middle, but I told quickly veto'd that idea. (I'm sure it could've worked, but I wanted to find a safer, easier way to remove the snap) I finally found someone online who had used snap pliers to remove a broken snap, so that’s what I tried and it came off, easy peasy! Here’s how I did it:
- 1) Remove the plastic cap off of the metal prong (the sticky down thing under the spring) on the snap pliers
- 2) Align the snap between metal prong and the black circular part of the pliers, with the snap on its side
- 3) Grip the handle and press down. You may have to do it a couple of times.
*CAUTION* Do this method (or any method) of removal at your own risk. You need to be very careful when removing a snap not to damage the PUL or hurt yourself! Damage can be done very easily. I was worried when using this method that I was going to stretch and somehow crack the PUL. Luckily, it didn't for me, but I just wanted to throw that little warning out there in case someone does end up damaging one of their diapers (even more than it already is) so they don't try to hold me liable. :)
Now that you’ve got your snap off, here’s how you replace it. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Note: If you're like me and have no experience with sewing or diaper repair, you may want to turn your diaper inside out before you start, to get an idea of how the other snaps were done. You can also play around with the snaps, connecting the studs or sockets to the caps. Since snaps are cheap, its a good idea to get a little practice in before you do the real thing.
- 1) Take your cap with post and carefully insert it though the hole, where the former snap was, from inside of the diaper.
- 2) Depending on which snap you're replacing, you’ll either place a socket or stud over top of the post from the outside of the diaper and press it down. (I used socket, so that's why it says to "push socket onto post".)
- 3) Align your snap pliers so that the metal prong part of the pliers is on top of the post and press down HARD to smoosh the center post down (which is what keeps the stud or socket and cap connected to each other).
Now you should be in business! Test the snap to make sure it works and that you’ve smooshed the post down sufficiently.
Keep in mind, if you decided to invest in a pair of snap pliers and snaps, for the same amount of money you may be able to buy one or two brand NEW diapers. Plus, having a snap break is not really a common occurence, at least with the brands of diapers I have used. If you want to try converting several diapers from hook & loop to snaps, a pair of snap pliers may be a good investment. I would love to own a set of snap pliers. I would be adding snaps to everything! Maybe add some of my prefolds... try to sew some diapers myself... add snaps to my kids' coats to attach their gloves to them... the possibilities are endless.
Stephanie Beck is a busy mama of four. She enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her family. Stephanie started her blog, Apron Strings Attached, because she wanted to share her experiences with raising kids, breastfeeding struggles and success, and cloth diapering. She now enjoys blogging about life in cloth diapers for TGN.
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Have you ever replaced a snap?
Ever have a snap break under warranty?
What have you added snaps to?
So many questions! Do you have a question? Just ask! :)