# 4 Ways to Unknot or Tie Shoelaces

## Video: 4 Ways to Unknot or Tie Shoelaces

Knots tie our shoes to keep them secure on our feet, tie clotheslines, and tie our boat sails. Knots play an important role in everyday life. However, if the knot is messed up, it can be very difficult and tedious to untie it - especially if the string is thin, such as shoelaces. The thinner the string, the more difficult it will be to untie the knot if it becomes too tight. However, almost all knots can be opened eventually if we remain patient and try.

## Step

### Method 1 of 4: Finger Unlock

#### Step 1. Understand the shape of the knot

If you've never studied the theory of knot shapes/types, this can be confusing, but it's actually a lot easier to untie the knot if you know the knot and which loop holds the knot. Study the knots for a while and try to determine the direction of each loop, and which knots need to be pulled to make them looser.

#### Step 2. Loosen the knots at the outer edge of the knot

You won't be able to untie the knot if the outer part is still tightly tied.

#### Step 3. Grasp each end of the knot with your fingertips, in each of your hands

This may be difficult or even impossible to do if the rope is too thin. If necessary, use your fingernails.

#### Step 4. Pull and stretch the two ends repeatedly until you can feel the knot loosen

You need to make it looser so you can open it. This means, sometimes due to the direction the handle is in your hand, you need to push the end of the rope instead of pulling it. Do this slowly but surely - as tugging the rope in the wrong direction will make the knot even tighter. Then, continue to do the same with the rest of the knots in the knot, until the whole knot is looser. Keep doing this in different directions and try different sides of the knot until you've managed to loosen a point or two in the knot.

#### Step 5. Firmly grasp the loosened point, then pull the knot to open the knot

Make sure you don't accidentally tighten it even more. Pull one end of the rope through the loop of the knot that is already open to open the knot. Once the knot is open and some of the knots are visible, the best way to untie it is to keep pulling/pushing the ends of the string through the loops until there are no more knots.

### Method 2 of 4: Opening by Twisting and Pushing

#### Step 1. Twist one end of the rope as tightly as possible

This twist needs to be made really tight until the rope becomes tense and difficult to bend.

#### Step 2. Push the twisted end straight into the knot

This is so that the tight and tense twist can pass through the knot and create a gap so that the bond loosens.

#### Step 3. Use the gap that appears due to the loosening of the knot to untie the knot

If you've managed to loosen the knot with the twisting push, you'll be able to pull the knot as usual.

### Method 3 of 4: Opening with a Spoon

#### Step 2. Pound the knot with a firm but light tool

A wooden spoon is the perfect tool for this. Keep turning the knot and pounding until it becomes softer and looser.

#### Step 3. Once a small slit is open, insert the tip of a tongs or nail clipper into the gap

Use this tool to slowly widen the gap. Now the node should be able to open easily.

### Method 4 of 4: Opening with a Wine Bottle Opener

#### Step 1. Take a corkscrew for a regular bottle of wine

You can also use other metal tools that are small/thin if the knot is small, like a needle. Be careful not to accidentally puncture and damage the existing rope.

#### Step 2. Insert the end of the wine corkscrew between the parts of the rope that make up the knot

This can be done anywhere on the node.

#### Step 3. Move and twist the wine corkscrew in the knot

This will create a gap that makes the knot looser.

## Tips

• Before you begin to untie the knot, make sure the string is not wet, as wet string will make the knot even tighter.
• Some types of rope are too thin to open with your fingers. Try using two needles and a magnifying glass to observe and untie the knot.