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How to Untangle a Necklace

How could it have happened? You were sure you put that pretty, thin necklace away safely, but somehow the same elves that tangle your headphones got in there, and now there is a tight knot on the chain that doesn’t easily loosen. What do you do?

Step 1 — Don’t panic. There are some tried and true solutions to untangle a necklace, but proceed gently and do your best to avoid pulling the knot tighter.

Step 2 — Unclasp and lay the piece out in a safe place and find a needle or pin. If the chain is quite small and delicate, the thinner the pin, the better.

Step 3 — Carefully insert the pin into the heart of the knot and gently rock it back and forth. Does it start to give? If not, remove the pin and insert it at a slightly different angle until you can feel a bit of movement in the knot.

Step 4 — Once it has loosened, take a look at which parts you may be able to pull through the knot. There should be one side of the chain that is pulled in or out with the pin, and you can gently push this inside to widen the knot further

Step 5 — Once the knot has loosened and you can see how it's tied together, simply undo the knot like you would any basic knot. As long as you approach it slowly and gently, you will be able to do it.

What to do if the knot still won't budge?

If the pin method doesn’t result in a looser knot, lay the chain on a flat, nonporous surface, and apply a few drops of olive or mineral oil, like baby oil, to the knot.

The oil lessens the friction between the metal bits and gives you more movement when you insert the pin. Repeat steps above and see your favourite chain looking like it's supposed to!

No oil on hand? Baby powder can have the same effect. Be sure to clean any part of the necklace that you use oil or powder on with mild detergent or your favourite jewellery cleaner.


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