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How to Remove a Stuck Ring

Has it been a while since you took off a ring? Did you try on a ring that seemed big enough going on but won't readily come off? Don't panic, and don't rush to cut it off either. There are some simple things you can do to remove it safely.

Method One of Six:

  1. 1
    Place your index finger gently on the stuck ring, and thumb under. Start twisting the ring gently back and forth, while slowly pulling the ring out.
  2. 2
    Make sure that you don't pull and tug too much. It could cause additional swelling and make it even harder to remove the ring.

Method Two of Six:
Lubricant Method

  1. 1
    Use something slippery. Plenty of skin-safe household items can be used as lubricants to get the ring off in one piece and with minimal damage to skin. Ammonia-based cleaners such as Windex often work best. If the skin is broken or cut, choose your lubricant wisely. Otherwise, try any of these, using a generous amount at least as far as the knuckle.
    • Vaseline
    • Windex or other window cleaners
      (professional jewelers often use this and make sure its safe on skin, read the bottle first)
    • Hand lotion (works particularly well)
    • Butter - if possible
    • Hair conditioner/shampoo
    • Petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment
      (the best choice if the skin is broken)
    • Cooking spray, soft butter, or cooking oil
    • Shortening (lard)
    • Peanut butter -smooth, not chunky!! (may be a little sticky but works to get the ring off)
    • Soap and water
    • Baby Oil
    • Ring Release
  2. 2
    Move the ring around, getting some of the lubricant underneath. Turn the ring around the finger a time or two, and spray or rub more lubricant on as well. Gently pull the ring off the finger, working it back and forth and turning it as you go, as necessary.

Method Four of Six:
Cold Water Method

  1. 1
    Dip the hand in cool water. Have you noticed that your rings fit more loosely on cool days than hot ones? Place the hand in cool, but not ice cold, water and leave it there for a few minutes. It need not be painful to leave your hand in the water.

Method Five of Six:
Dental Floss Method

  1. 1
    Slip one end of the dental floss under the ring. If necessary use a needle to get the dental floss under the ring.
  2. 2
    Wrap the dental floss around your finger, up to your knuckle. Wind snuggly, but not so tightly that you cause pain or turn the finger blue. Unwind it if it's too tight.
  3. 3
    Unwind the dental floss, beginning at the bottom of the finger. As you unwind the dental floss from the bottom, your ring will move up your finger until you can get it off.
    • If the ring only goes partially off: Repeat the two previous steps from the rings current position.

Method Six of Six:
After You Get the Ring Off

  1. 1
    Clean the area where the ring was and tend to any other injuries. Don't put the ring back on until it has been re sized or the swelling has gone down.

Community Q&A

Add New Question
  • Why does elevating the arm help?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • When you raise your arm, all that excess fluid or water retention will travel back down the body and away from your finger joints. This will make your fingers more slender and thus make it easier to pull the ring off.
    Thanks! 103 44
  • My wedding ring is stuck on my finger. What should I do?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Run your finger under cold water to stop swelling. Spread butter around it, and gently twist - not pull -the ring. Once off, run your finger under warm water.
    Thanks! 19 6
  • What if the knuckle is swollen due to arthritis? How do I get the ring off?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Try lubricating the area with butter or oil. Taking something like Ibuprofen might cause the swelling to go down as well.
    Thanks! 17 6
  • Can a doctor cut the ring off?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yes, they should be able to remove the ring from your finger.
    Thanks! 11 3
  • What do I do if I've tried all of the common solutions to remove the stuck ring?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Put more oil on your finger, and then loop dental floss just below the ring to see if you can slowly pull it up with the floss. Coconut and almond oil work great.
    Thanks! 19 11
  • There is a bite on my index finder of my left hand, which is swollen with venom and I can't get my ring off. What should I do?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • You should seek medical attention, you do not want the ring to start cutting off circulation.
    Thanks! 15 12
  • How can I remove my wedding ring over large knuckles?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • You will have to try to cool your finger down to help reduce the swelling. You can also try to grease it with lotion or butter to help slide the ring off.
    Thanks! 6 8
  • How do I get a stuck ring off? It is a double finger ring.
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Run your hand under hot water, which should loosen the ring a little bit. You can also use oils to help slide the ring off your finger.
    Thanks! 10 19
  • I have tried all of these and they didn't work, why?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • If they didn't work, try rubbing butter on your stuck finger and the ring should come off.
    Thanks! 5 9
  • How do I get a stuck ring off my finger?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Follow the instructions listed in the article above.
    Thanks! 2 2
Show more answers
  • I have a thumb ring that will not come off a have an appointment for x-rays of my hand?
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  • If your ring is stuck because skin bunches at the knuckle, hold the ring with your thumb and middle finger and use your index finger to pull the skin taught so the bunched skin is now under the ring. Let the ring use the bunched skin to slide over the knuckle.
    0 Helpful?  0
  • If your ring had to be cut off, any worthwhile jeweler should know to wait at least two weeks before sizing your finger, so that your finger has time to heal.
    0 Helpful?  0
  • If you have tried every possible way to take the ring off and you still can't, take a metal filer of some sort and start to file a side of a ring. It may take some time to do that, but by the time there is a gap in the ring you could stretch out each side and take it off.
    0 Helpful?  0
  • Take a long, cold shower or go outside if it's cold, to drop your body temperature. Don't overdo it, of course.
    0 Helpful?  0
  • As the ring reaches your knuckle, press it against and move it as far up the joint on the inside as possible. This makes it much easier to then pull the ring over the knuckle on the top of your finger.
    0 Helpful?  0
  • If you must cut the ring off yourself, here's how. Try to get a Popsicle stick or some toothpicks between the ring and the skin to protect the finger. Slowly and carefully use a needle file to cut a groove through the ring. Needle files are available at any hardware store.
    0 Helpful?  0
  • Always have the ring finger bent slightly as this reduces "bunching" of skin on the knuckle and therefore makes the knuckles slightly smaller.
    0 Helpful?  0
  • Get your ring size measured if you haven't lately. It may change as you gain or lose weight or simply as you age. Any jeweller should have a set of sizing rings.
    0 Helpful?  0
  • These methods work well when you need to remove your ring from fingers that are puffy in the morning.
    0 Helpful?  0
  • Don't worry about getting your ring cut off, if you need to. It takes seconds, does not hurt at all, and rings are very easy to repair. Don't damage your hand with a badly fitting ring—just go to the hospital, fire station or good jeweller. They will all remove it for you.
    0 Helpful?  0
  • Wash your ring with warm water and soap. The slipperiness of the soap may loosen the ring and the heat of the water may cause it to expand a bit to loosen. Try to slowly twist it off to avoid the pain of tugging.
    0 Helpful?  0
  • Use lubricants such as butter, cooking spray, or baby oil and rub all over the finger. This should help make the ring to come off easier.
    0 Helpful?  0
  • Slowly twist the ring side to side, while gently pulling.
    0 Helpful?  0


  • Some types of window cleaner may contain ammonia and can hurt certain types of metals and gems. Be sure to check!
    86 Helpful?  77
  • Get immediate help if some other injury to the finger is causing it to swell. Don't pull at a ring if you think the finger might be broken.
    80 Helpful?  76
  • Your local jewelry store should also have a tool that allows them to cut the ring off. Once they remove it they can repair and re-size the ring for you, but only after letting your finger heal, usually 2 weeks. It's best if you go to a store that has a repair shop on the premises since they'll definitely know what they're doing.
    88 Helpful?  94
  • If the finger is turning blue and you cannot remove the ring then visit the ER (A&E in the UK) or the nearest fire station immediately.
    74 Helpful?  83
  • Most fire stations and emergency rooms have a tool that can cut the ring off in a matter of seconds, and you will still be able to take the ring to a jeweler for repair.
    55 Helpful?  82

Things You'll NeedEdit

  • Windex or other Ammonia based Window cleaner, antibiotic cream, Petroleum jelly, hair conditioner, butter, cooking oil, cooking spray, hand lotion, petroleum jelly, shortening or soapy water.
  • Cold water
  • Dental floss
  • Ring Release

About This Article

Tested By:
wikiHow Video Team

The wikiHow Video Team tested these instructions during filming, and everything worked perfectly.

71 votes - 77%
Co-authors: 107
Views: 1,758,198
Categories: Hand and Foot Care

Reader Success Stories

  • BL

    Brynn Lockster

    Apr 17

    "I went into my room, put on my cross ring, and realized I cant get it off. I frantically searched on the Internet for answers and came across wikiHow. Thanks for saving me from embarrassment!"..." more
    Rated this article:
  • MM

    Melissa Mason

    Jan 7

    "The tip that says the fire dept has a ring cutting tool. I never would have thought of that and it would be much quicker and cheaper than the hospital. There is generally a fire dept near most relatively populous locations."..." more
  • MW

    Malinda White

    Aug 18, 2017

    "This article was very helpful. Normally I wear many rings on my hand. Some have a tendency of getting stuck, and I end up panicking about whether or not they will come off. This ends up with me using a nail scissor to cut them off (a waste of money and painful). Now, however, I can painlessly and safely remove them. Thanks."..." more
  • HY

    Heather Yandle

    May 14, 2017

    "Clear instructions, not to panic and that this should work. Arthritis has swollen my finger joints, I rubbed loads of hand cream in as advised and inched it very persistently up and over the swollen joint. It came easily once the cream had worked in a bit."..." more
  • BC

    Barb Coger

    Aug 4, 2017

    "I was stung by a wasp on my left hand and I needed to remove my wedding band as my hand and fingers were swelling. The step-by-step guide to using dental floss really worked and I have big knuckles!"..." more
    Rated this article:
  • PM

    Polly Minkle

    Aug 6, 2016

    "Add Vaseline to your finger, because it will slip off easier. Also try to go farther up than your knuckle, because I ran out of string quickly. Besides that, it was awesome!"..." more
  • AP

    Amelia Pond

    Jul 24, 2016

    "The dental floss tip was incredible - it was the only thing that worked for me, and my ring was off in seconds. Thank you!"..." more
  • SC

    Shirley C.

    Feb 16, 2017

    "I put hand lotion first, then used the dental floss method. Unbelievably, it really worked! Thank you very much."
  • LI

    Lungile Innocentia

    Oct 7, 2017

    "I always wear my wedding ring and it get stuck on my finger. With this information I'm sorted, thank you."
  • A


    Aug 27, 2016

    "The cold method with dental floss helped us in removing the struck ring."
  • A


    Dec 6, 2016

    "This really helped, thank you so much."
  • JM

    Julie Munselle

    Dec 16, 2016

    "Filing ring off myself was helpful. "
  • A


    Jul 27, 2016

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