How to Properly Wrap Charging Cables to Prevent Damaging Them

How do you wrap your charging cables for storage or travel? There’s a chance that you might be doing it wrong and causing harm to the cable. Here’s how to properly wrap your cables so that they last as long as possible.

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One of the most common methods for wrapping cables is to just tightly wind them up around your hand, or around the power brick if one’s attached, but that can be pretty hard on the cable. Instead, it’s better to wrap the cable in a more gentle fashion, and here are some ways to do that.

The “Roadie Wrap” Method

Perhaps the best way to wrap any cable is to use the “Roadie Wrap” method, named after the audio, video, and music industry where this type of cable wrap is used the most in order to make their expensive cables last as long as possible. You can use this same method for your charging cables, though.

This method basically just involves coiling your cables, but also alternating the direction of the loop with each coil. Once done, you can secure the cable from unraveling by using some handy velcro ties. The video below does a great job of visually explaining the Roadie Wrap.

The benefit of this is that you’re not creating any harsh bends in the cable, which would put stress on the wire and could eventually make it tear or break. Furthermore, the alternating loops allow you to quickly and easily uncoil the cable without creating any accidental knots or twists. This becomes especially beneficial if you use really long charging cables.

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You could also just use the simple coil method without alternating the direction of the loop. It works just as well to prevent damage to the cable and is a bit quicker and easier to perform, but you might end up with cumbersome twists that you’ll have to deal with.

Cables with Attached Power Bricks

If you have a charging cable that has an attached power brick that can’t be removed and separated from the cable, that makes things a bit more difficult, but not all hope is lost.

You can still implement the Roadie Wrap, but in this case, start at the end with the power brick and hold part of it in your hand as you also grip a little bit of the cable, like so:

From there, start wrapping the cable using the Roadie Wrap like you would with any other cable. When finished, use a velcro tie up near the power brick to keep it all together. You could also use a longer velcro tie to affix the power brick to the wound up cable to prevent the brick from flopping all over, like so:

If you still decide to stick with the quick and dirty method of just wrapping the cable around the power brick itself, it’s a good idea to keep the section where the cable connects to the power brick free from bends. You can do this by giving that section a bit of slack before winding up the rest of the cable.

In the end, don’t sweat it too much with your basic charging cables—they’re cheap to replace and most come with generous warranties anyway. With more expensive cables (like the MacBook charger, which can be pricey), it’s a good idea to treat them with care so that they last for as long as possible.

Craig Lloyd writes about smarthome for How-To Geek, and is an aspiring handyman who loves tinkering with anything and everything around the house. He's also a mediocre gamer, aviation geek, baseball fan, motorcyclist, and proud introvert.