Save Your Finger: Taking Off That “Stuck” Ring

Maybe you gained a bit of weight or that hot summer heat is making your hands swell…whatever the issue, now your ring is on too tight and you can’t get it off. Don’t panic! Take a deep breath and calmly try one of the solutions below. If nothing works or you hand is in pain, don’t hesitate to go the hospital. The Emergency Room Staff is equipped to handle this far too common problem. Not fun, but at least they’ll get the job done.

First, here are a few remedies to try…

How To Remove A Ring That’s Too Tight

  • ExampleUse glass cleaner (ie. Windex)–spray generously then slide it off your finger.
  • Liquid dish detergent–drizzle the liquid soap over the area then turn the band around a few times, trying to get some soap underneath it. Slide it off.
  • Soapy water–soak your hand in some soapy water then try to wiggle it off.
  • Ice water or ice pack–chill your hand for several minutes to try to reduce the swelling of the finger, then try to remove it.
  • More household lubricant ideas: Mineral Oil/Baby Oil, Vegetable or Olive Oil, WD-40, Peanut Butter (smooth not chunky), Mayonnaise, Vaseline, Hand Lotion, Bubble Bath…glob whatever greasy, oily or slippery, soapy thing you have on hand onto the finger, be generous. Twist the band around a bit to try and get some of the lubricant underneath. Then twist and pull it if possible.
  • Wrap the finger–Here’s a quote from this old bookmark:

It was a hint sent in by someone whose husband was an embalmer, but works on the UN-dead too, as I found out:

  • You thread one end of a string (I used what was available at the shop – embroidery floss, but I wonder if dental tape would work even better) … anyway you thread one end under the ring (toward the palm) and wrap the other longer end tight around the finger starting from the ring ending just past the far side of the knuckle.
  • The customer held that end taught, while I started to unwrap from the other shorter end. As you unwrap, the ring slowly slides forward and over the knuckle!
  • I had to use some gentle force, and she said it hurt a bit, but she was thrilled it didn’t have to be cut and took so little time to do. I assume it can be a little risky – it blocks off quite a bit of the blood running to the finger tip for a couple minutes, and I wonder if there’s the possibility of it getting stuck right at the knuckle.

If all else fails, go to a jewelry store to have the bling cut off. It should be repairable, so don’t worry about that–just get the darn thing off.

Serious Problem

If your finger is turning purple or swelling quite a bit from the tightness, don’t mess with it. Keep your hand high, fingers straight up (at least elbow even with shoulder) to help the blood flow and prevent further swelling. Head directly to the emergency room at your local hospital and have them cut off the band. If it’s a serious situation you’re in, call 911 for help and they’ll bring the cutter to you and remove it.

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What Readers Are Saying: 2 Comments
  1. Darla says:

    Use hair conditioner to ease off a too tight ring. Just slop it on generously and slide the ring right off.

  2. katlyn says:

    Usually, any gel can work too. Once, I was trying on my freind’s pinky ring on my ring finger(I got it past the knuckle) and it, of course, got stuck. She told me any gel could work, and she let me use PURREL brand. The rest at our table were so amazed, each girl tried it. 🙂

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