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

Too tight man's wedding band


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 36 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.

Ten Steps to Remove That Stuck on Your Finger Ring

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.

I recently made a video of my sawing off a client's ring.

What if There's no Handy Jeweler? And it Ain't Comin' Off?

Go to the emergency room! Or check with the Fire Department. It's amazing the amount of emergencies they can help with.

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?

Engraved wedding band, sawed off the hand

Sawed Off Wedding Band

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,
Calla Gold



3.8 6 votes
Article Rating

About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla Gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at-a-distance clients.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dr. Valerie
10 years ago

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.

Tracey D
Tracey D
10 years ago

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!

anne orfila
10 years ago

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!

Lynn K. Jones
10 years ago

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.


8 years ago

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.

Emezu Odogwu
7 years ago

My brothers hand got stuck in a ring

Bruce Wayne
Bruce Wayne
7 years ago

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

Mina Edinburgh
Mina Edinburgh
5 years ago

It got me when you suggested having the jeweler saw the ring off if it won’t come off because the size of the finger and the ring does not match. That means that the ring will be broken though and that will break my sister’s heart because it belongs to her. I think I will keep this a secret from her and that as soon as I get it sawed off, I will also get it repaired so that she won’t notice the difference. Thank you!

Rose Harland
Rose Harland
5 years ago

Awesome advice – so grateful – have been trying unsuccessfully to have a stainless steel ring removed by jewelers all over the world – Foubd your advice yesterday – followed it this morning and WOW – ring came off over my swollen old knuckle – so gratefull

5 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing the different methods of ring removal. My wedding ring was stuck on my ring finger since the last 3years as I have gained weight and with the pulling skin method I was able to remove it in under 10mins which I never thought would be possible ! your blog Saved my Gold ring and my ring finger 🙂

Veronica pender
Veronica pender
Reply to  CRESSIDA
3 years ago

My Partners ring wont come of its been on for about 6 years or so but his knuckle is so big it has never been of but it only started to get big 2days ago but now it is a lot big help? Please