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tangled necklaces

Source: shutterstock.com/Rosalie.S.Photo 

If you’re someone who has go-to pieces of everyday jewelry, you may know the struggle of a tangled necklace. Just like when you’d throw headphones in your pocket (back when headphones still had wires by default – how time flies), a necklace can end up more like a Gordian knot than a piece of jewelry. When this happens, though, you don’t have to worry. All hope isn’t lost and you don’t have to buy a new necklace. 

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What to Do

Just Take a Second

Sure, it sounds overly simplistic, but seriously. Take a quick breath. It’s an absolute pain, but it’s a very fixable puzzle. If you meticulously work your way through it, you’ll get your necklace unknotted every time.

Get Ahead of It

Okay, it’s a bit late for this scenario, yes. For next time though, make sure you’re packing your necklace away in a manner conducive to keeping it untangled. This is especially important if you travel often and want to bring jewelry with you.

Set Up Your Workspace 

You want a table with some room to maneuver. In an ideal scenario, you have a white or very dark background. Either will work, but you want something to contrast with the necklace so the knots are easier to spot.

necklace clasp

Unclasp Your Necklace

While not always necessary, it’s going to make life a lot easier. If you have multiple necklaces knotted together, this is even more important. Unclasping your necklace will allow the necklace to move more freely and offer less resistance so the knots fall out faster.

Get Some Baby Powder

Yep, seriously. Baby powder is one of the best ways to untangle a necklace. The idea here is that when the knots can’t get friction, they’re easier to undo. Baby powder isn’t magic, though. Once you apply it, you’ll have to use a needle or something similar to go in and work the knots out.

Oil Works Well, Too

Baby oil or olive oil won’t damage your necklace, and these lubricants help the knots come apart faster. Just like the baby powder option, you’ll want to get a needle (or a pair of needles) to pry the knot apart and restore your sanity.

Clean the Necklace

When you’re done, you want to wash off the baby oil, olive oil or baby powder that you used. It doesn’t take much work. Mild detergent and water are all you need. Rinse and dry the necklace gently when you’re done and you’re all set. If you prefer, you can get a store-bought cleaner which will work just as well.

woman showing necklaces

What Knot (ha) to Do 

Shake the Necklace

We aren’t entirely sure why, but this seems to be a thing people think will work. The knots will fall out if you just shake the necklace, right? No. No, they will not. You don’t shake your shoes to untie them, do you? If you do and you’re successful at it, though, that’s pretty cool.

Don’t Pull on It

Another one in the category of “should be obvious, but we’re saying it anyway.” You won’t make your life any easier by pulling on the necklace. If you’re convinced this will help the knots untangle, well, that’s just not how physics works. Though it might satisfy your frustrations in the moment, it really isn’t doing you any favors — nor is it helping untangle your necklace.

Getting your necklace tangled is an absolute pain, and it always seems to happen at the worst times. Whether it’s your bridal necklace or just something you’ve worn every day for years, the same principles apply. The best part? They work every time.

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