The Simplest Trick for Untying Boy Scout-Level Knots from Plastic Bags

published Mar 19, 2021
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Credit: Olga Miltsova / Shutterstock

We’ve all been there: You get home from the grocery store and discover that you’ve somehow made a Boy Scout-level knot in one of your plastic bags of produce. In that moment you have a couple of options: You could just rip a hole in the bag and free whatever is inside (rendering that bag useless), or you could take the time and carefully pick at the knot until you start crying from frustration.

Or you could try this tip from TikTok for getting the knot out of your bag. “Just twist the whole thing,” the poster explains, and then “push it together,” she says as she demonstrates the tip. And sure enough, the knot opens when she does that. Is this as brilliant as it seems?

I Tried the TikTok Tip for Getting Knots Out of Plastic Bags

As someone who often ties bags too tightly to get them undone, I was dubious but also very curious as to how using just the bag itself — rather than my normal tools of my teeth or a knife — would work. I grabbed a thin plastic bag from the bag full of bags under my sink (everyone has that, right?), figuring a thicker one would only make it easier on the trick and I really wanted to put it to the test. When I tie my usual knot, I accidentally caught a little air bubble in the knot. But when I went to untie it to smooth that out, I couldn’t get it untied. Perfect — I had accidentally set the test up even better than I could ever have planned. I gave it a few extra tugs just make sure it was super tight, then gave the trick a go.

Credit: Naomi Tomky

The Verdict

I tightly twisted the the parts of the bag around the knot and gently pushed inward, nudging the knot open with ease. It worked just as simply and perfectly as sold on TikTok. The verdict? This trick is a gem, and I’ll definitely be employing it in my kitchen in the future.