Remove Kinks In Cables With A Glass Of Hot Water And Tape

Reader Kevin D. sent in a tip claiming you could unkink a really tangled pair of headphones (or any cable, really) by coiling it around a cup of boiled water and letting it cool naturally. We decided to test it out and see if it really worked. Here's what happened.

Music by Work of Saws

Kevin writes:

I accidentally let my ear buds go through the washer and dryer. They still functioned well, but the cords were all curved and bunched up. To correct this I have taped them under tension around a French press, though I suppose a coffee mug would have worked as well. I then added hot water and allowed them to heat up and cool down. They aren't brand new, but much improved from the self tangling mess they were.

I didn't have a French press — or even a coffee mug — because I don't drink coffee, so I had to test this out with a regular glass. I also didn't have a tangled, kinked pair of headphones so I had to run mine through the dryer to ruin them. When they came out of the dryer they were a tangled mess with plenty of kinks. I boiled some water in a pot, poured it into a glass, wrapped the headphones around the glass, and taped them in place. I let the water cool naturally as Kevin suggested and then removed the headphones. It worked perfectly, removing all the kinks from the headphones. I documented the process on video, so watch the video above to see this tip in action.

Thanks for the tip, Kevin!


    Ah, I'd really advise not doing this with a glass - Pouring boiling water into a glass can easily lead to it shattering from thermal shock, which results in Broken glass, boiling water all over the place, and worst of all, broken headphones.

    Be smart, use a coffee mug.

      Two Words: Lava lamp. Those things put out an intense amount of heat and are about the right shape.

      I now have a good excuse for keeping a lava lamp on your desk at work. Awesome.

      Or use a thin glass. I don't actually buy this in the modern age though, where water flows into the sink at a temperature of many degrees.

      The glass in a french-press coffee maker is designed to have boiling hot water poured into it... at least the ones I've owned over the years have always used Pyrex glass vials

      Cold water can shatter glass just as easily - it's the sudden change in temperature which causes glass to break, not the temperature itself.

      Be smart, do your research.

    also works by leaving them in the sun (preferrably direct midday sun for ~1hour)

    well it's likely the heat from the dryer coiled the cable, so heating it and cooling it down while keeping it relatively straight would work well. And it did! hooray for science!

    You could have shown us how tangled they actually were before you taped them to the glass. I mean just because they were in a little ball from the dryer doesn't mean they're going to have that many kinks in them, try wrapping them tightly around an ipod shuffle or something small and then see how many kinks you have...

    if you have to untangle them to get them around the glass in the first place... whats the point of the water?

    They looked 90% untangled when they were initially wrapped around the glass

    Nice work. Maybe tape them to your glass/cup, etc before pouring in the hot water.

    "even a coffee mug [i don't have one] — because I don’t drink coffee"

    what kind of freek are you???

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