Fast Fix: How to Unknot a Tangled Necklace

That mess in your jewelry box doesn’t look so daunting anymore.

Your favorite necklace should be hanging on your neck, not lying in a tangled pile at the bottom of your jewelry box.

But knots in necklaces are notoriously tricky — if not seemingly impossible to undo — and chances are you would rather use your patience, perseverance, and eagle-eyed vision elsewhere. Or maybe you’re just late for work. Regardless, this is a quick, DIY shortcut that’ll get your necklace smooth in minutes — and all you need is a straight pin and some olive oil.

Instead of trying to painstakingly pick the knot apart with your fingernails, grab a standard straight pin for more precise maneuvering. At the spot where the knot seems to have formed, insert the end of the pin into one of the chain links and wriggle it from side to side. This will loosen the chain so you can then untie it with your fingers.

If the necklace still won’t give, add a few drops of olive oil to the knotted section. The olive oil will lubricate the links in the chain, creating more give, which will allow you to unwork the knot more speedily. Headache, gone.

Once the tangle is taken care of, consider hanging your necklaces instead of keeping them in a box. They will be less prone to knotting — and some say having their jewelry on display means they get more use out of it.

And here’s a pro-tip for frequent travelers: keep a small vial of olive oil (less than three ounces) and a few pins in your travel kit in case your necklaces get tangled in your jewelry pouch during transit.

Want to know more? Learn the science behind headaches in our educational video.

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