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

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.

    • 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.

  • 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…

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