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How to Untangle a Necklace

Posted by Roam Often on
How to Untangle a Necklace

There are few things more aggravating in life. Okay, that might be a bit of an overstatement, but it’s never fun to deal with untangling a necklace, whether or not you’re in a rush. 

Untangling a necklace isn’t a task for the faint of heart. Some of us feel like we have to block off time on our calendar to truly deal with this issue. Others just call it quits and say goodbye to their beloved necklace forever.

We're here to tell you: neither of these scenarios has to be your future! It’s totally possible to untangle a necklace quickly and without sighs of despair. 

All you need are a few household items, a bit of patience and TLC, and the will to succeed! Let’s do this!

Girl wearing necklaces4 Easy Ways to Untangle Your Necklace

Before we get started, you’ll want to find a flat surface, ideally with a white or light background. This makes it easy for you to see the tangles in your necklace clearly. Turn on an overhead light. Visibility is essential! 

Then, spread out your necklace out and identify the spots that are tangled. Be very gentle as you spread it out; you don’t want to further tighten any knots. If the necklace is clasped, unclasp it.

Now, you’re set. All you have to do is choose one of the ideas below, and get to untangling necklaces!

1. Baby Your Necklace.

What you’ll need: Baby powder, a safety pin or needle, paper towel

What to do: Sprinkle baby powder all over your necklace. Sprinkle generously; you want to coat the entire necklace. The powder product acts as a lubricant and loosens up the knots. Then, using your fingers and the help of a safety pin or needle, start at the center of the knot and gently pull the knot apart as you work outwards. Sprinkle on more powder as needed and keep at it. 

Clean up: Once you’re done, wipe the necklace clean with a paper towel to remove any powder. 

2. Get Oily.

What you’ll need: Olive oil or baby oil product, cotton swab, mild soap or jewelry cleaner, paper towel

What to do: Don’t have any baby powder on hand? Try baby oil or olive oil instead. These lubricate your necklace just as well as baby powder. Dip a cotton swab in the oil, then dab the necklace knot to loosen up the chains. For especially stubborn knots, gently work the oil into the knot by massaging it until it loosens up. 

Clean up: Rinse things off with mild soap and water or jewelry cleaner. Gently dry with a paper towel. 

3. Use Windex. 

What you’ll need: Windex, Tupperware, mild soap, paper towel

What to do: Windex can also safely lubricate your necklace. Dab some Windex onto a cotton swab and apply it to the knot. Then place the necklace in a small container and place it over something that vibrates in your house, like your washing machine. Within a few minutes, the tangles should start to loosen. Rub the knot in your fingers and gently pick it apart.

Clean up: Fill a Tupperware with water and mild soap. Dip the necklace in there and massage it between your fingers. Rinse off with clean water and gently dry with a paper towel.

4. Put a Pin in It. 

What you’ll need: Safety pin, needle, thumbtack, or tiny screwdriver

What to do: If you’re low on the supplies we’ve mentioned above, all is not lost. You can still slowly work away at the tangle using a safety pin, needle, or even a thumbtack or screwdriver. Insert the pin directly into the center of the knot. Use it to slowly wiggle the knot. Then, you can work with two pins, or your fingers, to slowly unravel the chains. Since you’re using something hard with this method (the pin), you want to be particularly gentle as you untangle more delicate necklaces. You want to unravel them, not break the chain. 

Clean up: None required!

And those are the best recipes for untangling necklaces.

Still Need Help Untangling Your Necklace? You might want to call a professional by reaching out to a local jewelry repair shop. The fees will vary, it could be anywhere from $15 up, so call the shop ahead of time to get an estimate. The best place to find a jewelry repair shop is on Yelp. Always read the reviews first! And good luck!

How to Untangle a Necklace

How to Prevent Tangled Necklaces

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could keep your necklaces from tangling in the first place? Make tangled necklaces a thing of the past with proper storage solutions for your home and on-the-go.

How to Store Necklaces at Home

For home, we recommend a jewelry case that allows necklaces to hang separately. Do NOT lay necklaces flat! It seems like a good idea, but you’re just asking for tangles. Even jewelry boxes with drawers will slip and slide as you open them up. 

You can create your own necklace board by sticking pins into a bulletin board, or buying an over-the-door jewelry organizer. You can hang these over your closet door, mount them on your wall, or slip them in among your other hangers to introduce some color and sparkle to your closet. 

How to Pack Necklaces to Prevent Tangles

For travel or on-the-go, we recommend The Wanderer jewelry case by Roam Often. It’s cute and compact, so you can easily fit it in your purse, backpack, yoga bag, or carry-on. The necklace pouch safely stores necklaces of all sizes, with hooks to prevent tangles. Plus, it has spaces for all of your other jewelry, so you can roam often and stay stylish, worry-free! 

Girl holding a jewelry travel case

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About Roam Often

Roam Often was founded by female travelers who decided to make products that make traveling easier while keeping you feeling confident and fashionable on-the-go. Here you'll find travel jewelry cases, travel scarves, hair tie bangles, and other travel accessories. We also feature various travel, fashion, and jewelry tips on our blog. Roam often, stay stylish!


  • Casandra SenaBaker on

    I have 6 necklace tangled together. Help.

  • Norlynda Dawn Cook on

    THANK YOU!!! I spent hours on one necklace before I read your page. It took 60 seconds! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  • Kay on

    My husband spent all afternoon untangling 3 necklaces before we read your great ideas

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