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😒🤩🤓 Knots do everything from keeping our shoes on to holding up clothes lines. Despite how great they are, knots can be really frustrating if you can’t get them undone. If you’re having trouble undoing your shoelaces or a knot in another piece of thin string, don’t give up!
😒🤩🤓 Here are 9 hacks you can try to undo even the most stubborn shoelace or string knot.
1 1 of 9:Pull gently on 1 end of the knotted string.
- This may be all you need to untie tangled shoelaces or string. Instead of pulling on both ends right away to try and undo the knot, start by grabbing 1 end and pulling on it gently. If the knot is really just a tangled mess of intertwined loops and bows, rather than a tight knot, it should come undone right away.XResearch source
- If the knot doesn’t come undone this way, don’t yank on the end of the string you’re pulling on, or you can end up tightening the knot.
2 2 of 9:Try to push some slack into the knot.
- Sometimes, pulling on a knot just makes it worse. Instead of pulling on the 2 sides of the knot to try to loosen it up, try to push 1 side back through the other to loosen it up a bit and give yourself some slack to work with. Squeeze, twist, and wiggle different parts of the knot until you’re able to loosen it up enough to untie.XResearch source
- If you don’t have any luck with your fingers, you can use a pair of needle-nosed pliers to try and push slack into the knot. Just be careful not to damage your shoelaces or the string by gripping too hard.
3 3 of 9:Soak the knot in water.
- Water can loosen the knot’s fibers. Submerge the knot in water and let it soak for 10 minutes or so. Remove it and try to untie it again by pushing, pulling, and wiggling it from different angles.XResearch source
4 4 of 9:Chew on the knot.
- It might be easier to loosen the knot with your teeth than with your fingers. Bite the knot between your teeth and give it a little chew. Try pulling on the top side of the knot with your teeth as well, twisting and wiggling it in different directions until it comes loose.XResearch source
- The saliva in your mouth also helps loosen the fibers of the knot.
5 5 of 9:Loosen the knot with a fork.
- A fork is an easy-to-find utensil that can help wiggle knots loose. Slide the tooth of a fork into the center of the knot and pull up. Wiggle the fork and continue to pull until the 2 sides of the knot are loose enough for you to untie them.XResearch source
- If you don’t have a fork handy, you could use another skinny, pointy utensil, like a bamboo skewer, in a similar fashion.
6 6 of 9:Twist the knot loose with a corkscrew.
- A corkscrew is another handy utensil for loosening knots. Poke the tip of a corkscrew under the top shoelace or string and twist it clockwise to work it into the knot. Once it’s fully under the string, pull up to loosen that side of the knot. Repeat the process for the bottom lace or string to fully loosen and undo the knot.XResearch source
- The corkscrew on a pocket knife works great for doing this.
7 7 of 9:Pick the knot open with 2 safety pins.
- The sharp points on safety pins are ideal for undoing stubborn knots. To do so, open up the safety pins and slide the points through the middle of each string on each side of the knot, where you would normally grab the strings between your fingers to untie it. Close the safety pins, then pull on them and wiggle them until the knot loosens and you can finish untying it with your fingers.XResearch source
8 8 of 9:Get someone with smaller fingers to help you.
- Adult fingers can sometimes be too big to undo tight knots. If you’re at your wits' end with a stubborn knot, get a friend or family member to give it a shot. A new perspective and a fresh set of fingers might just do the trick!XResearch source
- Someone with fingernails might have better luck than you, too, if your nails are freshly cut.
9 9 of 9:Use nylon shoelaces or string to prevent stuck knots.
- Nylon has less friction than string or cloth. Consider putting nylon shoelaces in your footwear if you frequently have problems untying knots in your laces. Or, use a nylon cord instead of a regular string for tying things up.XResearch source
- You can find nylon shoelaces online in a wide variety of colors, lengths, and thicknesses, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding laces that don’t alter the appearance of your shoes too much.
- QuestionHow do I untie a nylon guitar string?Community AnswerTake a bobby pin or a paper clip and poke it through the knots in the string. This should allow you a little space to be able to untie the knots the rest of the way with your fingers.
- QuestionWhat if you have a massive knot in thin string? I bought something but the string got tangled and we can't untie it.Community AnswerUse a safety pin to slowly pick you way through the knots. This takes patience, but it can be done. If that doesn't work, you may have to cut out the knotted part and add in a new string.
- QuestionHow do I get rid of a really tight shoe knot?Community AnswerThe finger method from this article would work best. Make sure you have enough time, patience and long enough nails to do the job.
- QuestionPlease help me quick! My joggers have a knot in them and it is really tight. How do I get it out quickly as possible?Community AnswerTry pulling the knot apart with 2 safety pins, or wiggling it loose with the tooth of a fork by shoving it into the middle and pulling and twisting it. Those are 2 types of utensils you probably have somewhere around the house when you're in a rush!
- QuestionWhat if I have a really small tight string in a converse lace?😭Community AnswerTry inserting a safety pin through the middle of the lace in each side of the knot and pulling the knot apart.
- QuestionHow do I untie a tightly knotted Apple Wired Earbuds?Community AnswerYou could try poking something like a bamboo skewer through the middle of the knot and twisting it to loosen the knot. Or, the tine of a fork might work. Just don't use anything too sharp that might damage the cable.
About This Article
You can use the twist and push method to undo a knot in a shoelace or piece of string. Twist one end of the string as tight as you can so that it can’t bend easily. Push the twisted end of the string into the center of the knot, which will loosen the knot. Pull the knot apart once it has been loosened. You can also use the spoon tap method. Place the knot on a flat surface. Use a light yet solid object such as a wooden spoon to hit the knot until it begins to loosen. When you eventually create a small gap inside the knot, place the tip of tweezers or nail scissors into the gap to ease the knot undone. For more tips on untying shoelace or string knots, like how to use a corkscrew to undo a knot, read on!