If you wear lockets and chains often, especially if you are a fan of layering, you are probably tired of dealing with tangled chains. As you try to untangle your jewelry piece at the last minute, you might end up making the knots tighter or even worse, breaking it completely. How can you prevent this from happening? 

You may get knots out of a chain using just your hands, or simple tools like a safety pin or pair of tweezers. Lubrication also goes a long way in helping the parts move and you may use from a wide range of products available at home like baby oil or baby powder. However, these lubricants will also have to be cleaned later. When it comes to the task of de-tangling, it is imperative that you have time at hand and are patient. With the right amount of patience and using some lubricants, you can untangle your chain in minutes.

Let us begin y understanding what a knot is and what causes chains to tangle.

What does a knot in a silver chain mean?

Chains get tangled in themselves and sometimes in other chains or jewelry items. That is, one part of a chain gets intertwined in the other to form a loop. The knots are visible on the chains just like we can notice knots in ropes. Depending on the placement of the knot, the owner may or may not able to wear the chain. 

This may happen when:

  • the chain is left unattended in storage for a long time
  • if the chain is not properly stored
  • due to movement upon wearing, especially when worn with other chains.

Why do silver chains develop knots?

Silver chains may develop knots:

In storageEven when placed in a box, chains tend to develop knots in themselves. The situation may be worse when multiple chains are kept together, or when a chain is kept with other jewelry items (like bracelet or anklet or maybe even earrings). These necklaces or jewelry items cross over themselves or other necklaces, which can be due to the movement of the box or just because of the randomness or entropy of the environment.

While wearing: When you do not pair the right kind of necklaces together, knots are inevitable. During movement while wearing multiple chains or necklaces, they often tend to get tangled. If you wear the right kind of necklaces or wear them the right way, the chains are less prone to knots.


How do I stop my chains from developing knots​

How do I stop my chains from developing knots?

Chains often get tangled as they mix with other pieces of jewelry. You can prevent your chains from developing knots by storing them in the right manner. Here are some things you can use to store your chains without developing knots.

  1. Straws at rescue: Put the chain inside a straw. You may also cut the straw to a desired length and secure the ends outside the straw. You can easily find straws in different sizes to suit necklaces of different widths.
  2. Use a pencil: I wrap around some of my silver chains around pencils and then cover them with anti-tarnish cloth when they are going to be in storage for a long time.
  3. Toilet paper: You can easily store your chains by threading these on a used roll of toilet paper.
  4. Sandwich bags: You can pack your jewelry in small sandwich bags to prevent them from developing knots. Each piece goes into a separate sandwich bag preventing it from getting tangled with other pieces of jewelry. If the chain is particularly fragile, wrap it in tissue paper and put it in small sandwich bags.
  5. Hobby box: A hobby box works just as well for chains as for earrings and rings. Store your chains in different compartments of the box to prevent tangling. 
  6. Plastic wrap: Store your chains wrapped in plastic wrap. Roll the plastic wrap, and the clingy grip will prevent the chain from tangling. 
  7. Trays: Any trays with compartments can serve this purpose. Store your chains in these trays to keep them separate. This is an efficient way to prevent them from tangling.
  8. Hang them: You may use a necklace hanger, or a tie hanger or even your regular key hanger to hang your chains down. This keeps them straight and separate from each other. You can use this method to store the chains you wear every day.

How do I stop my chains from developing knots when traveling?

While traveling, you have limited time in hand. As you put together an outfit, you cannot be worrying about tangled jewelry. We also often find our necklaces tangled when we come back from a vacation. If we plan before our trip, we can save ourselves from having to detangle a necklace right before a dinner. The following tips will help you during and after your next vacation:

  1. Good old washcloth: Laying your necklaces straight over washcloths and rolling them safely into them will prevent them from getting tangled. Rolling jewelry into washcloths can work as a quick hack for your impromptu trip and is a zero investment trick.
  2. Invest in a jewelry roll or organizer: Jewelry organizers can give you separate storage compartments to keep your jewelry safe from tangling. If you travel regularly, having a separate box for your jewelry makes sense.
  3. Use a jewelry box: If you simply love wearing jewelry and carrying a lot of it when you travel, a cushioned and sturdy jewelry box can prove to be a good investment as it will keep your jewelry from developing knots and also keep it safe at the same time.
  4. Sandwich bags: You may use sandwich bags or regular small zip-lock bags.
  5. Compartmentalize: Use dividers to store your accessories like earrings, rings, necklaces. These will ensure you do not lose anything and the chains do not form knots. 
  6. Use a cardboard piece: Punch holes or make slanting cuts into a piece of cardboard. Put your chain through these holes or cuts. This works amazingly well for necklaces or chains with pendants.
  7. Keep the clasp out: Another way to keep your chains untangled is to put your chains in individually sealed bags. You can also use small zippers. Just keep the clasp hanging out when you close or zip the bags.

You may also refer to the storage methods mentioned in the above section like making use of straws or plastic wraps when traveling.


How to keep chains from tangling on your neck​

How to keep chains from tangling on your neck?

  1. Wear the right size: If all your chains are nearly the same size, the probability of them getting tangled is very high. Such chains or necklaces will keep rubbing against each other and ultimately develop knots. By wearing necklaces that vary considerably in length, you ensure that there is a clear distance between them. Thus, preventing them from being tangled.
  2. Go for thicker chains: Thinner chains tend to get tangled more than thicker chains. Multiple thicker necklaces are less likely to get tangled in comparison to multiple thin necklaces.
  3. Invest in a spacer: Most necklaces get tangled around the clasp as behind the neck is where they all come together. Invest in a necklace separator. This will ensure each necklace or chain is clasped at a separate end with distance between them. 
  4. Compare the weight of pendants: When wearing chains with pendants, the heaviest pendant should go in the longest chain. This keeps the longest chain down and keeps it from coming in contact with the ones above it. In a similar manner, keep the lightest pendant in the top chain. 
  5. Wear necklaces with different weight: Just as with pendants, layering chains with different weights can be very helpful. While the movement of lighter necklaces is easier on the neck, wearing longer heavier necklaces keeps them hanging downwards. The smaller lighter necklaces or chokers remain in place. Thus, preventing tangles.
  6. Wear different textures: Look for textures and materials that go well together. Different materials may not tangle with each other. E.g. a beaded chain will not tangle with a fabric choker. Going for such combinations is a great idea to prevent tangles.
  7. Buy layered necklaces: These days a lot of layered necklaces are available in the market. If you like layering necklaces, buy a necklace that is layered by design. Such necklaces have common chains so they do not tangle. These are structured to fall nicely around your neck and never get tangled!
  8. Avoid playing with them: If like me, you love playing with your necklaces, try to stop the urge when wearing multiple pieces. This will increase movement of the necklaces, causing them to tangle.


Removing knots from your silver chain can be a monotonous activity. It is a delicate process, and it requires patience or you might end up breaking it. Therefore, do it when you have time at hand. Also, before we get down to the job, let us understand the key considerations that can assist us in getting the job done with ease.

Before de-tangling

Often, in a hurry to untangle your jewelry, you might end up breaking it. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind while you get rid of the knots.

  1. Flat surface: Find a flat surface like a table, which will provide you stability, preventing further knots.
  2. Ample light:  Make sure there is plenty of light so that everything is visible to you. You can sit at a place that receives ample sunlight if you are working on it during the day.
  3. White or black background: It is helpful to work against a black or white background so that the knots stand out in stark colors. 
  4. Clean the neckpiece: Once you untangle the knots, remember to rinse off the lubricant (if used) using a mild soap or detergent.
  5. Store them rightYou can store your chains in one of the ways that we discussed above. If you do not have a lot of time, you can just hang them on a tie rack to avoid knots, as they will hang separately without tangling. If you cannot hang them immediately, at least fasten the clasp. This way, the resulting knots are easier to untangle.

After de-tangling

Once detangled, if you do not follow the below, you may end up either in the same situation again or in damaging the chain due to rust.

  1. Clean the neckpiece: Once you untangle the knots, remember to rinse off the lubricant (if used) using a mild soap or detergent. Wash thoroughly and dry.
  2. Store them rightYou can store your chains in one of the ways that we discussed above. If you do not have a lot of time, you can just hang them on a tie rack to avoid knots, as they will hang separately without tangling. If you cannot hang them immediately, at least fasten the clasp. This way, the resulting knots are easier to untangle.

How to get rid of knots?

Silver chain knots are incredibly difficult to untangle, not to mention time-consuming. The longer and thinner the chain, the more tedious it is to untangle it. Here are some easy tricks to help you get rid of these knots. 

  1. Using sewing needle/pin: A sewing needle or a safety pin will do the trick if you cannot untangle your knots. Unclasp the chain and shimmy the pointed end of the needle inside the knot. Gently wiggle and tug to loosen it. Work patiently, or you might end up breaking it. If you do not have a needle or sewing pin, you may use tooth pick. Even tweezers may be helpful. Below is a video demonstrating the technique.
  2. Soak jewelry: It is safe to soak silver for some time in regular water. Soak the tangled parts of your jewelry in warm water with any mild soap or even shampoo to loosen the knots. Massage gently to get rid of the stubborn knots. Wipe your chain dry using a clean cloth to avoid tarnishing once detangled.
  3. Using lubricating oil: If the above two are not working, using a cotton swab, apply any oil available to the knots to make them slippery. The knot will come undone as you pull it. If it is still tight, massage it gently until it loosens. You can wash off the oil using a mild soap later. I would personally avoid using this method as it requires cleaning afterwards.
  4. Sprinkling baby powder: You can untangle your jewelry by sprinkling baby powder on the knots. It will lubricate your jewelry piece, making the chains easier to pull apart. Clean the baby powder later using a lint free cloth once done.

How do you get knots out of sterling silver chains?

You can use any of the methods mentioned above for silver chains for sterling silver as well. You  may get knots out of a sterling silver chain by applying a lubricant to ease the process. While any oil can serve this purpose, baby oil and olive oil work best. You can also use baby powder to lubricate the chain and get the tangles out. Remember to rinse it off using a mild soap and then dry it with a soft cloth.

How do you get knots out of a fine silver chain?

Thinner the chain, more challenging it is to untangle it. You can untangle a fine silver chain by laying it on a table. Then, use a needle or a pin to get through to the other end. Avoid resorting to any oil or soap in the first place, as those can leave a residue on your chain.

Source: azizajewelry

Will a jeweler remove knots from my silver chains?

Certainly! A jeweler can remove knots from a silver chain. A jeweler has the right tools are available to them for the job. Jewelers have screw divers in different sizes. They normally make use the thinnest one for the job. They can also, in most cases, help repair any damage that you may have caused the necklace when trying to detangle at home. Hence, you make take your tangled necklace to your jeweler and know that it is in safe hands.

Bottom line

When you are in the middle of getting ready, it can be more than upsetting to find your chain in knots. A well-planned outfit goes for a toss because you did not arrange your chains well the last time. Therefore storing your chains and necklaces perfectly after every use is key.

Save these simple tips to untangle your jewelry, as they might come in handy the next time you get ready. Save your precious time with your silver chains stored away properly.

Good luck! 🙂

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