Method 1: The Baby (Un-)Knot Method
Word of Caution: For multiple necklaces or different metal types knotted together, be careful when using this or any other method requiring the use of oils to separate them. Chemical reactions (such as that between bronze and silver with olive oil as a catalyst) CAN occur and may leave permanent stains. This method is best recommended for necklaces of the same metal variety and/or a single necklace.
The purpose of this method is to loosen the metal of your necklaces by making them more slippery.
For this method you will need:
- Baby oil (other oils such as olive oil can suffice as well, but be sure to choose a more liquid oil such as olive oil to lessen the chance of sticky residue clogging the ridges and gaps of your chains and pendants).
- Clean fingers (wash your hands thoroughly to prevent the baby oil pulling the dirt from your hands into the ridges and nudges of your necklace and pendant, or wear clean gloves that you don’t mind getting dirty instead — we recommend disposable gloves for this).
- Time (as stated before, time is the most important utility in any method you use for untangling necklaces).
- A flat solid surface to work on (such as a table or counter-top).
- Optional, but useful: Straight pins, paper clips, or sewing needles. Alternatives include the tips of metal crochet and knitting needles or metal chopsticks or safety pins.
Pro Tip: Be careful when untangling your necklaces. Rushing or being too rough can cause the chains to damage or snap (no matter how expensive your necklace is!). Thinner and longer necklaces are more prone to snap and often take longer to untangle, so be patient when following any method for unwinding them.
1. To start, place your jumbled necklaces on the flat, solid surface you’ve chosen to work at. If the necklaces or necklace has any clasps within reach, unclasp these before starting; this will allow your necklaces or necklace to separate more easily.
2. Take three to four small drops of baby oil on the tips or your fingers and warm by rubbing fingers gently together in a circular motion.
3. Beginning at the outer area of the knot, begin massaging the baby oil with the purpose of penetrating to the middle layers of chain.
-Making certain not to massage too rigorously, your necklaces should begin loosening from each other. Be sure not to yank as this will actually tighten knots.
Pro Tip: Playing music you enjoy in the background can help to pass the time.
If this does not happen, try making light tugs beginning from one end of the knot, rotating your tugs in a 360 degree motion, back to front and left to right. If you can feel the necklaces loosening, try repeating through steps 1 and 2 again. For larger knots, you may need more oil.
-If the knot will still not budge, and you have access to straight pins sewing needles or something similar that you do not mind being possibly bent, continue to step 4.
Pro Tip: Be sure to check a sewing or medical box if you have them and can’t find a needle or safety pin.
4. For a single needle: Gently slide the needle through the middle of the knot (if there are multiple knots, begin with the largest one) making light back and forth motions. Keep making back and forth motions once you slide past the center. Once you have loosened the knot enough, try carefully placing a finger in the middle of either your left or right hand. Using your other hand, gently pull the necklace apart. If at any time you see a clasp, undo it to help more easily untangle your necklace or necklaces!
For two needles: gently insert both needles into the middle of the knot while slowly making a back and forth motion with each of them. Once fully inserted, continue making this motion, while also being sure to rotate where the needles are motioning back and forth.
So there you have it — your lovely necklaces are back to their individual, sleek selves!
5. To remove excess oil, you can use jewelry cleaner or baby powder, corn starch, or powdered sugar (optional) followed by a gentle cleaning in soapy dish water or shampoo. Be careful not to re-tangle your necklaces during this final cleaning. If your necklaces are silver or silver-plated and displaying any tarnish, this may be an ideal time to follow up with one of our many quick methods for bringing the luster back to your silver-filled and silver-coated necklaces!
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