How to Untangle Necklaces: 4 Helpful Methods for Minimal Hassle

Two gold necklaces, one with face charm and one with jewel pendant, tangled up together

@epifenejewelry

We’ve all had those fateful moments when we open our jewelry case to an unruly knot of tangled-up necklaces. Few tasks are more frustrating and tedious than trying to untangle a tight knot in your favorite thin chain necklace, especially when you're in a rush. A tough tangle is especially disappointing and anxiety-inducing if the piece has a special meaning to you.

I’ve been there many a time, but luckily, I’ve discovered a few painless ways to untangle even the biggest of knots. You know those ones that involve not one but multiple necklaces? Shivers. Whatever situation you may have on hand, using a few household items, such as a sewing pin, tweezers, or even baby oil and powder can help ease the unraveling.

Before you start the process of untangling, take note of a few things you should keep in mind. First, be sure to stay away from any sinks. This may seem obvious, but there have been numerous times when I’ve gone into the bathroom for better lighting and narrowly missed losing my favorite necklace to the drainage system. Also, when untangling your necklace, do not pull too hard. Some chains are delicate and will break more easily than you think.

With all that said, we’ve put together four tips for how to untangle necklaces when nimble fingers alone won’t cut it. Ahead, see the best methods, plus a few ways to store your jewelry and avoid tangled necklaces for good.

Use a Needle

The simplest solution for untangling a knot in your necklace is using a sewing needle, thumbtack, safety pin, or even the sharp point on the back of an earring. Essentially, you can try anything small, pointed, and sharp. With this method, make sure to use a bright light when using the needle so you avoid poking your own hand. Also, make sure not to pull too hard, as some delicate necklace chains could come apart.

 What you’ll need: Sewing needle(s) or other sharp pointed object.

  1. Place your necklace under a bright light.
  2. Poke the needle or sharp object into the center of the knot. If using two needles, poke both into the knot at the same time. 
  3. Gently use the needle to create an opening in the knot so you have a clearer view of the tangle. If using two needles, pull both away from each other while in the knot to create the opening.  
  4. Use the needle to untangle the knot and pull in different directions.
  5. Repeat this process until the necklace is untangled.

Rub Baby Oil on It

Believe it or not, baby oil is one of your best bets when it comes to untangling jewelry. All you need is a bit of the oil to start loosening up the knot. 

What you’ll need: Baby oil, cotton swab, warm water.

  1. Lay your necklace onto a flat surface.
  2. Dab a cotton swab into baby oil.
  3. Use the cotton swab to apply the baby oil to the knot in the necklace.
  4. Rub the knot between your fingers to loosen, using a needle to help untangle if necessary.
  5. Rinse your necklace off with warm, soapy water.

Whatever method you use, remember to work as gently as possible to avoid accidentally breaking the chain.

Sprinkle with Baby Powder

Another surprising product that can come in handy when untangling your necklace is baby powder. Like baby oil, it can aid in loosening the knot.

What you’ll need: Baby powder, warm water.

  1. Lay your necklace onto a flat surface.
  2. Sprinkle baby powder directly onto the entirety of the chain. 
  3. Rub the knot between your fingers to loosen, and use a needle if necessary.
  4. Rinse the necklace off with warm, soapy water.

Try Tweezers

If you don’t have a sewing pin on hand, you can turn to tweezers to help untangle necklaces. While tweezers may seem like a foolproof option since they're easy to maneuver, you'll want to be very careful not to accidentally snap your necklace in half. Being as gentle as possible is key.

What you’ll need: Tweezers.

  1. Place your necklace under a bright light.
  2. Carefully use your tweezers to start picking at the knot, loosening when possible.
  3. Once the knot is loose enough, use your fingers to untangle the necklace.

How to Prevent Tangles When Storing Necklaces

With any type of jewelry, especially fine jewelry, it’s important to properly store pieces when you’re not wearing them. Personally, I’ve been one to pile necklaces together while traveling, but over time I found the best solution is using a travel jewelry case, as opposed to a pouch or box. As for at home, a jewelry box with hooks or a T-bar stand is the way to go.

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