Top Tips for Removing Knots in Jewellery Chains


With the best will in the world, most of us will find from time to time that our necklace or bracelet chains have become tangled and knotted. Although we can store our precious jewellery correctly at home, the likes of travelling often means that our jewellery is more susceptible to becoming knotted.

If this has recently happened to you, don’t despair that your jewellery has suddenly become unwearable. Instead, follow these top tips from your trusted jewellers in Ilford for removing jewellery knots.

General Advice for Removing Knots in Jewellery

Before you begin to untangle your jewellery, make sure you’re working in a clear workspace. Choose something hard and flat, like a table, and make sure you’ve got a fair amount of room around you to work in. If possible, working on the contrast of a white or black background will help you to see what you’re doing. Plenty of light will also help!

As a general rule, you should always begin untangling your necklace or bracelet by spreading it out on your work surface, but try not to pull too hard on it, as this could tighten the knot. Similarly, unclasping the clasp will help with the untangling process. And remember not to panic too much; if you are unable to untangle it, a trusted jeweller in Ilford will usually be able to help.

Untangling Jewellery Using Lubricating Oil

Using a lubricant such as baby oil or olive oil can help to untangle any knots in your jewellery chain. We would advise, however, not using this method on plated metals or copper, just in case the jewellery tarnishes. Indeed, you might want to try a tiny patch in a discreet area first to ensure that your jewellery won’t tarnish.

The trick with baby oil to apply a small amount using a cotton wool bud or similar directly to the knot. The baby oil or olive oil will allow the necklace chain to slide past each other.

Once applied, insert a needle (or two needles, if necessary) into the knot and use these to pull the knot apart. After the knot has been untangled, you can then remove the lubricant by gently dunking it in mild detergent and hot water, and then pat dry with a paper towel or soft cloth.

Untangling Jewellery Using Baby Powder

This is a similar principle to using the lubricant method. Before you begin, however, make sure that the surface you’re using to work on won’t be adversely affected by using the baby powder on it, and as before, if you’re worried about tarnishing, such as on copper or plated jewellery, please avoid using baby powder or test a small area first.

Once again, lay the jewellery on your work surface and shake the baby powder onto it to apply the powder directly to the knot. Gently rub the knot between your fingers to work the baby powder into the knot. Then, as before, use a needle or two to gently prise your jewellery apart and once again wash in a mild detergent.

Untangling Jewellery Using a Washing Machine

Yes you did read that correctly! You can sometimes untangle jewellery, or at least loosen knots, with the help of your washing machine. This method has nothing to do with putting your jewellery inside the machine, however; instead, place your jewellery in a small pot on top of your washing machine while a cycle is running. The machine’s vibrations may loosen the knot enough to be able to then use the needle method to untangle it completely.

And When you Can’t Untangle your Jewellery?

If you’re really struggling to untangle your jewellery, visit your local jeweller in Ilford who carries out jewellery repairs on the premises. We are used to working at a small scale and can often untangle your knot as a routine basic repair. We can also help you to choose a replacement chain, should you decide that you’d really rather have a new chain altogether! Visit E.K. Jewellers, Ilford, for all of your jewellery repair needs, and we’ll make sure that your chains aren’t in a tangle!

Posted on by Ian Tubby.