How To Get a Stuck Ring Off: A Complete Guide

How To Get A Stuck Ring Off: A Complete Guide

You try to take your ring off at the end of the day and find that it’s stuck to your finger.

You pull and tug, but it just won’t come off! This might baffle you if you regularly wear the ring and never experience difficulty when removing it.

What causes a ring to get stuck?

There are many reasons why your ring could be stuck, such as if it’s become too small for your finger or your finger has become swollen. Swelling can occur for various reasons, such as water retention or other health conditions.

The most important thing to do when you’re dealing with a ring that’s stuck on your finger is to take a deep breath and stay calm! Pulling your ring too hard can hurt your finger and it won’t get you anywhere. Rather try one or more of these solutions.

Common Causes Of A Stuck Ring

How To Get A Stuck Ring Off: A Complete Guide

There are various reasons why your ring won’t budge when you try to take it off. Here are some of the most common ones.

  • You tried on a ring that’s become too small for you.
  • You’ve been wearing your ring for a long time and your finger has grown in size. This could happen as a result of temperature changes, with hot temperatures often causing fingers to increase in size a little.
  • Your finger is swollen, and this is as a result of injury, health condition (such as arthritis), or pregnancy.

How To Remove A Stuck Ring

Ready to remove that stuck ring? Here are the best, most successful methods to try.

Try Twisting Instead Of Pulling

If your finger is swollen and you keep trying to pull your ring off it, this can cause it to swell more so it’s best avoided. Instead of pulling the ring, try gently twisting it around your finger. This could help to move the ring.

If you’re wearing more than one ring on that finger, it’s important to try to remove one at a time as that will be easier and less painful.

Put Some Grease On It

If your ring won’t budge, you probably need to grease it up a little bit to help it slide along your finger. There are many products you can try to do this, such as petroleum jelly, hand lotion, or liquid dish washing soap.

Consider Other Ways To Lubricate Your Finger

If the previous options don’t work, you need to think out of the box. There are many other interesting products you can use, such as hair shampoo, cooking spray or butter, and even Windex! This is an ammonia-based product that’s been recommended by the American Society For Surgery Of The Hand.

If you’re worried about causing irritation to your skin with Windex, you can try to use hand sanitizer instead. This will also have a lubricating effect on your skin and might be just what you need to remove your ring.

Use A Rubber Band

The use of lubricant and a rubber band can be a smart hack to help you get your stuck ring removed. How it works is that you need to cut a rubber band and push it through the ring so that it’s between the ring and your finger.

Then, put some lubricant all around your finger.

You’ll need a friend to help you with this next part: hold the rubber band’s ends and use an up-and-down movement to make the ring move from side to side. Once you’ve done that, try to move the rubber band so that it starts to move the ring along your finger.

Decrease Your Finger Swelling

If your finger is swollen and that’s what’s caused the ring to become stuck, it’s a good idea to try to reduce the swelling before wrestling with your ring.

Cold temperature works well to bring down swelling because it causes blood vessels to constrict. You can simply cool down your hand by putting it in cold water for a minute or putting an ice pack on your hand.

Or, try these steps:

  • Put your finger into a cup of ice water.
  • Hold the cup that still has your finger in it over your head for 10 minutes. It might be a bit uncomfortable to maintain this position but it will help to draw blood flow away from the swollen area, therefore reducing it.
  • Once the 10 minutes are up, take your finger out of the ice water.
  • Use your other hand to compress the finger, focusing on the area above the stuck ring. 
  • Now, carefully try to remove the ring from your finger. It’s a good idea to add some lubrication, such as the products we mentioned earlier.

If it happens that you follow these steps and you still can’t get the ring off your finger, don’t panic. You might have to do the steps a few times before they work, but make sure you give your finger a break of a few minutes between attempts. Or move on to the following methods. 

Try Again In The Morning

If you suffer from water retention and that’s what’s caused your finger to swell, it’s good to know that this type of swelling is usually better in the morning and it gets worse in the evening.

So, if your finger isn’t hurt, numb, or injured in any way, you could leave your ring on for the day and try to remove it again in the morning. It’s also good to try to avoid eating foods that have a high salt content as that is a common culprit for water retention. 

Use Dental Floss

Who would’ve thought that dental floss could be useful for removing a stuck ring?

According to the Harvard Medical school, you can use dental floss in what’s known as the “wrap method.” Here’s how it works.

  • You’ll need to wrap dental floss tightly around your finger, starting by passing the end of dental floss underneath your ring. Now, take the other end of the string and start wrapping it around your finger.
  • The string needs to be evenly wrapped and smooth past your finger’s lower knuckle.
  • Take the end of the string that you earlier passed underneath the ring and start unwrapping the string in the same direction.
  • You should see that the ring moves over the string as you unwrap the string.

Tape Your Finger

If the dental floss trick didn’t work, you can try the tape method. Basically, the point of this method is to wrap your finger in tape to encourage the swelling to go down so that the ring can slide off your finger.

You should wrap some tape around your finger below the ring. Then apply some moisturizer or other lubricant to the tape, before trying to slide the ring over the tape.

The reason why tape works is that it can better hold the skin and help to make the finger a bit narrower so that the ring can come off. Therefore, it’s a good idea to wrap the tape a bit tightly.

Just make sure that you use the right tape for the job. You should opt for scotch tape or similar. It should be as thin as possible otherwise it will be too thick and bulky and won’t work.

Use Plastic Cling Wrap

Another finger-wrapping method you can use to try to remove a stuck ring is the plastic cling wrap method. You should cut a small piece of cling wrap and wrap it around your finger, just above the ring.

Apply some lubricant, such as petroleum jelly, and let it sit for a few minutes so that the lubricant can work. Afterwards, pull the cling wrap down so that you also pull the ring at the same time.

The reason why cling wrap can be so useful to remove a stuck ring is that it helps you to have better grip so that you can pull the ring successfully.

When You Should Get Help

When You Should Get Help

If you’ve tried to remove the ring from your finger and it still won’t budge, it’s a good idea to get help. Now, the question is: should you call a doctor or your jeweller?

It really depends on the state of your finger. If your finger’s hurt and badly swollen, sore, or showing signs of injury, then it’s best to consult with your doctor.

If your finger’s fine, such as because your ring got stuck merely because it was too small for it, you can call your jeweller. He or she will have the right tools to help you.

However, bear in mind that your ring might have to be cut off your finger, which is sad if the ring is special to you. But what other choice is there?

That said, a professional jeweller will have the right tricks and tools to be able to cut the ring so that it doesn’t suffer too much damage. It’s also good to bear in mind that a jeweller could also be able to resize and then solder the ring so that you can wear it again.

How Do Jewellers Cut Off Rings?

You might be wondering how a jeweller will be able to cut the ring from your finger. Basically, the jeweller will use a tool that’s known as a ring cutter. It works in a similar way to a can opener because it cuts part of the ring without getting in the way of the skin or causing damage to the finger.

There are different types of ring cutters available. Some of them are designed to cut through softer types of metal, such as gold, while other ring cutters will be able to cut tougher metals.

When To Avoid Trying To Remove A Stuck Ring

It can be really frustrating to have a stuck ring on your finger but sometimes you have to resist the temptation to try to get it off because doing so could cause you more problems.

If any of the following apply to you, you should not try to remove the ring from your finger and you should seek medical attention instead.

  • You’ve injured your finger. The ring could be trapping blood and causing damage to the finger. Trying to remove it yourself could cause more damage to your finger.  
  • Your finger is swollen, and looks blue or purple. This signifies that there’s a lack of blood flow to the finger. Trying to remove the ring could make this situation worse.
  • Your finger has lost feeling, such as that it’s tingling or numb. This is also a sign that there’s no blood flow in your finger.

Things To Avoid When Dealing With A Stuck Ring

Things To Avoid When Dealing With A Stuck Ring

You’re probably feeling frustrated and anxious because you can’t get the ring off your finger.

It’s normal to feel this, especially if you’ve tried a few methods and none of them have worked, but it’s important not to let those feelings cause you to do something that could be dangerous. With that in mind, here are the things to avoid doing when trying to remove a stuck ring.

Avoid Pulling The Ring’s Setting

If you’re wearing a ring that has an elevated setting, meaning that the stones are raised above the ring, you should never pull the setting when trying to remove the ring.

This can damage the metal of your ring and even loosen its prongs, which means your stones will be more likely to fall out.

Never Use Pliers

When you use your fingers to try to remove the ring, you know that sometimes it’s hard to get a good grip on it. This is especially the case if you’ve used something to lubricate the ring, such as petroleum jelly.

You might think using a tool, like pliers, can be a good way to grip the ring better, but this should be avoided. Not only can tools hurt your finger but they can scratch or damage your ring.

Never, Ever Cut The Ring Yourself

If you’re really desperate to remove the ring, you might think you should just cut it yourself. But this is something you should never do, even if you’re pretty confident that you’d be able to cut the ring successfully.

You can find some places that sell ring cutters to the public. While these might sound like the perfect plan if your ring is stuck on your finger, it’s best to avoid such products, in the same way that you should avoid using tools from your toolbox.

For starters, it’s really unadvisable to use your free hand to hold the tool because you won’t be able to get the right level of control and grip.

Even if a friend suggests cutting the ring with one of these tools for you, rather say no and seek the help of a professional, such as a doctor or jeweller who has used these types of tools many times before and knows how to use them in the best way possible.

There are other reasons why you should avoid using ring-cutting tools:

  • You could accidentally hurt your finger.
  • If your finger is already injured, you could cause more damage to it if you don’t cut the ring correctly or if you cut into your skin. This could give you more problems than just a stuck ring, such as a wound or infection.
  • You could damage your ring. Just because your ring has to be cut off, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be able to get soldered and repaired by a jeweller. Professional jewellers know the right way to cut a ring so that they cause as little damage to it as possible. In this way, they could be able to save your ring so you can wear it again. It’s not worth trying to cut the ring yourself and missing out on this opportunity.

How To Prevent Your Ring Getting Stuck In Future

How To Prevent Your Ring Getting Stuck In Future

When your ring comes off, either because one of your DIY methods worked or a professional cut your ring, you’ll probably heave a sigh of relief. You’ll also want to ensure that you prevent this situation from happening again in future. Here are some tips.

  • Get your ring resized by a jeweller. If your jeweller has cut your ring, he or she might be able to repair it and advise you on the correct ring size you should use moving forward. However, bear in mind you might have to return to the jeweller the day after your ring has been removed to resize your finger, if your finger is still swollen.
  • Pay attention to your body’s changes. If your ring got stuck because of water retention, a health issue, or the heat outside, try to avoid wearing jewelry when you experience these again in future. If you don’t like not wearing your ring, such as if it’s a wedding band, you can try other ways of wearing it during this time, such as by wearing it on a necklace around your neck.
  • It’s always a good idea to remove your ring before you expose your body to a lot of heat, such as if you’re exercising or about to have a hot bath. This will prevent the increase in temperature from affecting your finger and causing it to swell.
  • Have your finger resized at a jeweller. If you find that your rings tend to get stuck a lot, the issue could be that you need to resize your finger. Make sure you get your ring finger resized towards the end of the day. This is when your finger is least likely to be swollen.

How To Get The Right Ring Size

You know you’re wearing the correct ring size when the ring feels comfortable, but it should also be able to be put on easily and without a hassle. The same applies when taking it off. Your ring should slide onto your finger easily and then not be loose enough to want to slip off again.

If you put a ring on and you see that the skin on your finger bulges around the ring, that’s a clear sign the ring is way too small for you. It can easily become stuck, such as if your finger swells slightly.

The correct ring size should ensure a small gap between your finger and the ring, but not large enough that it makes the ring loose. You should feel a little bit of resistance when sliding the ring over the knuckle of your finger.

Related Questions

Is wearing a tight ring dangerous?

Tight rings not only risk cutting off blood circulation to your finger but if you snag the ring on an object it could cause your finger severe damage and even result in your finger being ripped off. This is known as ring avulsion.

Can the fire department cut off a stuck ring?

Firefighters can cut off stuck rings. It usually takes them about 20 minutes, but they have special tools that can remove the ring without injuring your finger.


It’s a stressful experience when your ring gets stuck on your finger. You might not know what to do or end up doing something that causes damage, either to your ring or your finger.

In this article, we’ve outlined the best ways to remove a stuck ring from your finger. We’ve also looked at what you should and shouldn’t do if those methods don’t work, as well as provided you with some tips to prevent your rings from getting stuck in future.

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