How to Remove Staples Using Only Bare Hands

By G.K. Bayne

  • Overview

    Separating the pages of a stapled document using your bare hands can be a bit tricky. Not only can you damage the document, you can also hurt yourself if you're not careful, as the staple points are sharp. But it's possible to remove a staple without either of these problems occurring.
    • Step 1

      Try lifting one of the folded ends of the staple and straightening it out. This works well if you have at least one strong fingernail. Once one side is straight, lift the staple from the papers on that side and slide the remainder of the staple through the pages until it is out.
    • Step 2

      Gently bend the staple back and forth to break it in half. Staples are thin metal wire and bending it weakens the wire, so it will break easily at that point. Once it is broken in half, simply pull the two sides through the paper on the backside.


    • Step 3

      Grab one of the folded staple's ends between your fingers and carefully lift the wire, working it back and forth to break the end off. Do this with the other staple end and the remainder of the staple will fall away from the document.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Tip: It is much easier to remove a staple if you have a tool of some sort to lift the ends. Tools can include a thin coin, such as a dime, a butter knife or a flat-head screwdriver.
    • Tip: Investing in a cheap staple remover will make the job much easier if you find yourself having to remove staples frequently. These can be found at office supply stores and most anywhere that sells paper supplies.
    • Tip: Larger staples, such as those on boxes, will almost always require a tool of some sort to remove.
    • Warning:
    • Staple ends are very sharp and can cause cuts if not handled carefully.

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