Brand new cords straight out of the package are quite annoying, because they usually come folded up with a twist tie holding it all together. My setup kind of depends on a straight cord so that the cord isn't as noticeable and doesn't look silly running across the top of a shelf in waves where you can tell the cord was previously bent at.

I've heard that just using your hands to try and bend the cord into a straight position is bad for the cord, and can shorten its life. It's also not always too effective, as some cords made with stronger materials (as with the particular cord I'm trying to straighten) will just curve back where it was bent and not be completely straight.

Is there a simple/effective way to straighten out a long cord without damaging the cord itself?

  • It sounds like you need to anneal the cable, but it will probably difficult to apply heat correctly if the cable has insulation Feb 8 '16 at 16:57
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    Someone else may be able to turn this idea into a complete answer; I can't seem to. But the idea is based on the fact that the cord only has to appear "flat" from one direction, which is from someone standing in the room facing the shelves it is lying down on top of. It may be possible to rotate the cord (or segments of the cord) so "waves" lie flat on the surface of the shelves, parallel to them, rather than rising up above the surface of the shelves. Looking down on the top of the shelves, the cord may look wavy, but seen from the room it will appear flat.
    – BrettFromLA
    Feb 8 '16 at 20:47

I've read you should warm them up a bit (in the sun for instance). I think you should combine this with hanging the cable with some weight attached to them (not too much weight that causes to stretch the cable), to fixate the cable in a straight position and leave it to hang for some time.

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