Feb 24

Ring Removal – How to Remove a Ring That is Stuck on Your Finger

By Calla Gold

Too small ring denting a finger. Remove a ring.

This Ring is a Serious Candidate for Ring Removal

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

Vintage Table Top Alarm Clock

Morning is Often a Time When Our Fingers are Smaller

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.

Ice chips in a baggie, remove a ring

Ice chips in a baggie

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.

Ring with Ring Saw. Ring Removal

Jeweler’s Ring Saw Protects Your Hand While Removing Your Ring

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!

500px-National_Public_Radio_logo.svgI 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,
Calla Gold



14 thoughts on “Ring Removal – How to Remove a Ring That is Stuck on Your Finger

  1. This is information I feel sure that I will be passing on to someone in the next week! Note to self: only buy gold rings! OK!
    I had Calla resize a tight ring and I am SOOOO happy I did it. THANKS, Calla.

    • Hello Dr. Valerie,
      It was a pleasure to get your ring sized properly for you. I’m loving that gold will continue to be your metal of choice. I’m so happy you came by and wrote your happy comment!
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  2. Great information on the danger of alternate metals bands.
    Now for most people obviously this’d never happen, but for the few, who do get in an accident or have an allergic reaction, I’m thinking they’d wish they’d chosen gold or platinum!

    • Hello Tracey,
      I’m a better safe than sorry type, especially since I get called regularly to saw off people’s rings for them. Gold and Platinum yes. All the other’s “nope!”
      Calla Gold

  3. Thanks for sharing Calla! Lots of interesting options. unfortunately I did not know some of these and had to have my ring sawed after we were first engaged. He had bought a ring that was too small but I *really* wanted to put it on! Not smart when the ring is too tight already and you’re in a tropical climate (Maui). Needless to say, I ate nothing on the flight home and went straight to our jeweler as soon as we got into town!

    • Hi Anne,
      What a story! I’m glad it all worked out in the end. Enjoy your happy marriage with your ring that fits!
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  4. Calla, this is good information. I think anyone with a ring should read this post. Removing a too tight ring can certainly be a daunting task. Hopefully I never get trapped in one of my rings, but like watching Bear Grylis and learning survival techniques that I hope I never need, I am certainly happy to know what to do if I’m stuck out on a snowy mountain at night and what to do if that ring won’t come off! Thank you for educating.


    • Hi Lynn,
      I’m picturing you making an igloo and then icing your finger and removing a too tight ring and thinking, “reading blogs and watching escapist TV has its uses!”
      I watch that stuff too!
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  5. In the case of major retail jewlery stores. Both titanium and tungsten rings have hollow shattering points specifically for medical and protection purposes. Stainless still can be sawed through with a specific jewlers saw. I dont know anything about the other hard metals. But its not true that youre jist trapped in them unless its a hand made piece by a private jewler.

    • Hello Rebecca,
      Tungsten can be removed with a vise and pressure. Titanium cannot be removed this way and does not have shatter points. The jewelers saw that is needed for stainless steel and titanium is an electric rotary ring saw. It needs sharp blades. If the rotary blades are dull it is much more difficult to remove the very strong alternate metal.
      If the emergency room you go to doesn’t have the electric rotary saw a hand saw won’t get the job done as far as I know.
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  6. The ring removal with the elastic band worked — highly recommended. !

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