Do you have a ring that hasn’t come off in a while? Have you ever needed to remove your ring?
Are you scared to try to remove it because you may find out that you’re trapped and feel claustrophobic about it?
Don’t run off to the emergency room just yet. As a jeweler for 31 years who has helped many people remove their too tight rings with various methods, I figured I’d write them all down and share them with you.
Ring Removal – Ten Steps to Remove Your Ring That is Stuck on Your Finger
1. Figure out what time of day your fingers are the smallest. Use a ring on another finger and try taking it off at various times of day to find out if 9am for example is your smallest time. Then plan your ring removal efforts to be at that time.
2. Choose a time away from working out or exerting yourself. Working out causes your fingers to get larger for a time.
3. Eat a couple of apples and no other food for an hour or so before your ring removal attempt. Apples are a natural diuretic, causing you to pee a lot and get rid of excess water weight.
4. It is best to attempt to remove your ring in a cooler room.
5. Using oil, hand lotion or Windex, wet the knuckle and finger to lubricate the skin and reduce irritation. Gently start rotating your ring and pulling it toward your knuckle.
6. If your finger skin is creating a dam of bent skin, building up in front of your knuckle, have another person pull your extra skin back toward your palm. Now get back to your turning and pulling.
7. If that didn’t work get a baggie and fill it will ice chips. Wrap it around your finger. Hold your arm above your head. The ice shrinks the skin around your finger. The elevation causes some blood to leave your hand. It helps make your finger a bit smaller. Once it aches with cold, remove the baggie from your hand, dry your hand, lubricate it and start twisting.
8. If your finger is irritated and possibly getting a bit swollen from all your attempts, I’d say stop for now and pick another day and go directly for the next method of ring removal.
9. There is an interesting method of home ring removal using toothfloss. E/R doctors have also come up with a ring removal method using elastic. Check out these two videos. Ring removal with toothfloss. Ring removal with elastic.
10. If your ring just refuses to come off because there is such a big difference between the size behind the knuckle and your knuckle, you may need to have your ring sawed off. This is my blog post about sawing off rings. Consider having your jeweler saw off your ring. Your jeweler can help you decide what to do with your ring once it is successfully removed. Jewelers traditionally do not charge for ring removal since you’ll probably be using their service to fix and re-size your ring.
What if There’s no Handy Jeweler? And it Ain’t Comin’ Off?
Go to the emergency room!
What About if You Have an Alternative Metal Ring?
Your jeweler won’t be able to help you if you have stainless steel, cobalt chrome or titanium. These super hard metals are much harder than gold and platinum and that very hardness causes some to say they are a dangerous choice for rings.
Here is a case study from a medical journal on a patient trapped in a titanium ring for eight hours at a hospital.
You Have Removed Your Ring, Now What?
Your jeweler can put your ring back together provided it is made of gold, platinum or silver. If your finger was stressed during the ring removal process I’d recommend waiting a couple of weeks before getting that finger measured for the new size for your ring.
If your ring finger is fine after you removed your ring, get your finger measured so your ring can be put back together. Now is a perfect time to add that larger diamond! Or not. To get a great finger size measurement, check out my blog on how to get your finger measured properly.
Share Your Experience
If you have ever gotten trapped in your ring, please share what method you used to remove your ring.
August 13, 2015 – Update!
I was quoted in an NPR article on titanium rings and their danger. A man wearing a titanium band was hospitalized overnight as they struggled to remove his titanium wedding band. He had taken a long hot bath and his finger had swelled up. He didn’t have an accident or get a sports injury, he took a bath! Very unfortunate for him that he was wearing titanium.
Ring Removing Jeweler,