HOW TO UNTANGLE A NECKLACE - A COUPLE OF METHODS FOR EVERY MAGPIE
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, the curse of the tangled necklace will eventually fall upon you. Obviously, you can try storing your necklaces neatly away in a jewelry box or on dedicated jewelry hangers, but a moment of carelessness is all it takes for your beloved bling to become a Gordian knot all over again. We have all been there: tediously poring over a glitzy bundle that requires surgical precision and endless patience. If you too are facing a bothersome tangle, we have a few ideas to make your mission successful.
A word of warning before you get started: do not use force to untangle a necklace! That is the quickest way to wreck it. Using knives, pens or scissors will be of no use either; they can rub off the gold coating or damage the coils. Neither do we recommend aerial operations. They simply do not work. Your best bet is to spread an unclasped necklace on a flat surface and calmly get started. It is particularly important when it comes to small links jewelry like celebrity style bling that requires caution and subtlety.
Brush the Problem Off
To facilitate the separation of extremely tangled links, take a look around the kitchen. Cooking oil or olive oil work miracles against tight knots that will not otherwise budge. The best way to go about it is to brush a little bit of oil onto your jewelry and gently loosen the knots. Once done, you can now tackle untangling the chain. Don’t forget to give the jewelry a thorough wipe with a clean cloth afterwards.
Take Your Time
Never attempt to untangle a necklace just before going out. Haste makes waste when it comes to precision work. Your best choice is to opt for another necklace and set aside ample time once you get back to prepare an appropriate workstation: a clear surface with plenty of light, or preferably, an additional spot light. It helps to work on a black or white background, so each link in the necklace stands out against it. If you happen to have a magnifying glass at home, bring it along. Keep in mind to always unclasp the fasteners connecting the two ends of the necklace before you get started! It will make your work so much easier.
A Mighty Pin
When dealing with delicate jewelry, you need to employ tools just as delicate. Two needles or pins will do the job. Spread your necklace on a flat surface. Then ‘stab’ one of them into the middle portion of the knot and use the other one to straighten out the loosened sections. This way you should be able to methodically and carefully restore your jewelry back to its splendor with no fear of damaging it or tangling it ever more. The method works just as well when you are dealing with two (or more) necklaces tied up together. All you need to do is to spread your jewelry puzzle on a flat surface and straighten out the ends to determine which ones belong to which chain.
Baby to the Rescue
A somewhat less common approach that works with chains of slightly larger links is to sprinkle a bit of… baby powder onto the knotted areas. The powder gets between the tangled links, helps to untangle them, and washes off easily. You can buy it in most drugstores for pennies. Good to have some at home since talcum can be a great home remedy for issues such as coffee stains on the carpet or a beloved dress.
Once all your necklaces have been rescued, make sure the problem does not recur. You can do this by storing them in dedicated jewelry boxes or on special hangers. Keep in mind that each chain should be placed in a separate drawer. If you are traveling and you are afraid your jewelry might get all tangled up in its box, you can use a drinking straw. Thread your necklace through the straw so the ends come out on both sides and reconnect the ends. You can use a long zipper storage bag in a similar way, clasping your necklace so that it sticks out beyond the zipper. Both ideas will work as an anti-knotting strategy in your suitcase or handbag, especially when you travel by plane. Speaking from experience, jewelry is safest in your hand luggage, and zipper bags take much less room in your handbag than boxes or cases.