How to Safely Remove a Ring that's Stuck on Your Finger - 10 Effective Methods for Painless Relief

July 17, 2019

How to Safely Remove a Ring that's Stuck on Your Finger - 10 Effective Methods for Painless Relief

Whether your hands have become swollen after working out, you've tried on a ring that's too small, not removed a special ring for decades, or are struggling with joint swelling caused by arthritis, you know how tricky it can be to remove a ring that is too tight for comfort. Read on to learn ten tried and true methods to help you safely remove a ring that is stuck on your finger.

Keep in mind that you may have to try multiple methods before you are able to free your finger. Try to stay calm and give yourself a short break before moving to the next strategy. It's not uncommon for people to experience a feeling of anxiety when a ring becomes stuck. This sense of panic can temporarily spike your blood pressure which can increase swelling in your hand, making it even more difficult to remove the ring. Working patiently and slowly will help reduce the possibility of skin irritation or further swelling.

1. Slip & slide - This is hands-down the all-time best first course of action. Simply lathering your hands with cold water and slippery soap suds is the easiest method of removing a stuck ring. Create a generous amount of bubbles and try to get the suds under the ring. You can accomplish this by alternately pressing on the top and bottom of the ring to create a small space for the bubbles to pass between. Slowly turn the ring off your finger, pulling lightly as you go. (Smile and remember...righty tightly, lefty loosey.) Actually, this method works by reducing the amount of friction between your skin and the ring. Likewise, coating your ring and finger in Vaseline, cooking spray, lotion, or conditioner will do the trick as well. If you're reading this post, it's very likely that you've tried this step already. Persistence pays off sweet friend! Keep reading...

2. Windex for the win - As nutty as it may sound, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand recommends that you spray Windex all around the ring before gently attempting to ease the ring off of your finger. Why this works is beyond me, but given the source it's certainly worth a try.

3. Twist don't pull - Attempting to tug the ring straight down your finger will cause the skin to bunch and may cause further swelling. The best motion to help remove a stuck ring is a gentle back and forth twist with light pressure as you work to slide the ring off of your finger. Alternatively, you can try to "walk and wiggle" the ring off your finger by rocking it back and forth as you gently pull it toward your fingertip. The "walk and wiggle" method helps your skin shift and adjust as you're attempting to remove the ring.

4. Relax don't extend - Rather than fully extending your finger at the knuckle joint, allow your hand to rest naturally. Lightly bending your finger as you try to remove the ring further reduces the gathering of skin at the knuckle making it much easier to remove the ring. 

5. Press & push - Press against the ring from the under-side of your finger as the ring approaches the knuckle to help push the ring slightly above the top surface of the knuckle.

6. Chill & relax - If the above methods have failed to remove the ring, take a break...submerge your hand in ice water for three to five minutes to help reduce fluid build up and swelling before your next attempt. This method is particularly effective if your fingers have become swollen after exercise or because you've enjoyed too much time outdoors in hot/humid weather. You may have noticed that your rings are a bit looser during the winter months...same concept.

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7. Ice & elevate - Wrap an ice pack around your hand and rest your hand above your shoulder for several minutes to allow gravity to help drain excess fluid and rush the blood away from your fingers. Use a platform such as a shelf or a wall to help you maintain this position until you feel the tingly sensation of your hand falling asleep. Immediately try to remove your ring once you've lowered your hand.

8. Cling wrap compress - Compression methods work by holding your skin a bit firmer which will make sliding the ring from the finger much easier. Tightly wrap your finger in a bit of plastic cling wrap and then cover it with liquid soap or lotion. Slowly twist the ring over the cling wrap to remove the ring.

9. Scotch tape compress - No cling wrap on hand? Not to worry, you can use this same concept with a length of scotch tape wrapped around your finger just below the base of the ring. 

10. Dental floss compress - Here's another tip from the American Society of Surgery for the Hand on how to remove that pesky ring. This trick works just like a corset.

  • First, slip a length of light string, ribbon, or dental floss under the stuck ring with the bulk of it toward the fingertip. Approximately 24 inches of whichever material you use should be sufficient.
    Removing a Stuck Ring with Dental Floss - Step 1
  • Beginning at the base of the ring, snugly wrap your finger with the string, compressing the finger, all the way past the knuckle. Ensure that the string is wrapped evenly and smoothly. Do this tightly, but not so tight that it causes you pain.
    Removing a Stuck Ring with Dental Floss - Step 2
  • Using the end of the string that was underneath the ring, begin to slowly unwrap the string with the ring sliding over the knuckle as you go. The ring should move over the string as the string is unwrapped.
    Removing a Stuck Ring with Dental Floss - Step 3

When to seek help if all else fails - If your finger is injured/potentially broken, turning blue, or has lost feeling, it's time to seek assistance. Walk-in medical care centers, fire departments, and jewelers all have appropriate tools to safely & painlessly cut a ring off your finger. This process takes just a few seconds and you'll be back in action in no time. From there, have a jeweler re-size and repair your ring.  

Clothed with Truth is proud to offer handcrafted solid sterling silver faith based rings made in the USA. We invite you to check out our current collection of inspirational designs available for women & men.

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