Get a Stuck Ring Off of Your Finger -- No Cutting

Updated on March 2, 2016

This Ring is REALLY Stuck on This Finger

Stuck-on Ring
Stuck-on Ring | Source

The Problem: A Ring is Stuck On Your Finger

So, you’re wearing a ring that you haven’t been able to get off in months or years, and you’d rather not ruin it by going to the jeweler’s shop or ER to have it cut off.

This is a very common occurrence, especially as the weather warms up and your hands begin to swell. Weight gain, especially due to pregnancy, is another common reason for fingers to swell.

Here is a method that works for many people (though not all) for getting rings off without any damage in just a few minutes.

Ask Your Doctor Before You Try This Method If...

Note, however, that you shouldn’t attempt this method if arthritis-swollen joints are the reason you cannot get the ring off! This method will NOT allow a ring to pass over arthritic joints because bone is not soft. Ask your doctor if you have any doubts!

Waxed Dental Floss Works the Best

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Waxed Dental Floss
Waxed Dental Floss
Waxed Dental Floss | Source

Find Waxed Dental Floss and A Helper

First, locate a container of dental floss—preferably waxed to allow the ring to slip over it easier. Make sure you have plenty of dental floss in the container—you don’t want to run out.

Next, recruit a helper. This process will take less than five minutes if it is going to work for your situation at all.

Now you’re ready to begin!

Step 1: Wash your hands in very cold water

Wash or soak your hands in the coldest water you can stand for awhile to shrink the size of the blood vessels in your hands.

Dry your hands.

Step 2: Insert the dental floss

A plastic dental floss threader really helps in this step
A plastic dental floss threader really helps in this step | Source

Step 2: Insert the dental floss

Then, quickly, with your helper, work the end of the dental floss under the ring shank (bottom side or inside of the ring) leaving a loose end of about 3-4 inches facing your wrist (not facing the end of your finger).

Tip: A dental floss threader or possibly a needle threader might help if you have trouble with this step.

Step 3: A Wrapped Finger

Make each wrap as close together as possible and very tight. Sorry, but it might hurt a little bit.
Make each wrap as close together as possible and very tight. Sorry, but it might hurt a little bit. | Source

Step 3: Wind the Dental Floss Around Your Finger

Next, have your helper wrap the dental floss directly from the container (don't trim off the floss) VERY TIGHTLY and close together but quickly around your finger from base toward tip, while you hold the shorter end that you threaded under the ring.

Make sure the wraps all nearly touch each other so that you can’t see much, if any, skin between each wrap: have your helper quickly turn your finger into a tightly wrapped mummy.

Keep wrapping until past the point where the ring sticks. Remember to keep the wraps very tight and very close together even though this may be very uncomfortable for the person who has the stuck ring. (Sorry!)

Note: If you've tried this method (or a similar one) before and it didn't work, try quickly applying Vaseline or cooking oil on the area until the wrappings are soaked. Remember, the person with the wrapped finger is uncomfortable or even in pain at this point, so do this step quickly.

Step 4: Carefully but Quickly Unwrapping your Mummified Finger, Pulling the Ring Off with the Dental Floss

Begin to unwrap by pulling on the part of the string that went under the ring--pull away from your wrist toward the end of your finger
Begin to unwrap by pulling on the part of the string that went under the ring--pull away from your wrist toward the end of your finger | Source
The Ring is Almost Past the Sticking Point
The Ring is Almost Past the Sticking Point | Source

Step 4: Unwrap the Finger Carefully, Letting the Dental Floss Pull the Ring Off, Too

Now, quickly but carefully have your helper pull on the loose end of floss, pulling toward the tip of your finger (away from your palm). Have your helper unwind the wrap quickly but carefully from around the finger, pulling the ring slowly up the length of the wrapped finger as you go by pulling toward the end of the finger.

In less time than it took to wrap the finger, the ring should pop off onto the dental floss, at which point you can retrieve the ring, cut off and discard the used dental floss, and celebrate a successful solution to a common problem.

Ring and Finger are Separate and Intact!

One ring, one finger: both intact.
One ring, one finger: both intact. | Source

And the Ring is Off Your Finger!

Note that if the formerly wrapped finger hurts, another bath in cold water should help it to feel better almost immediately.

If this method worked for you, you just saved yourself a trip to the jeweler or doctor AND saved ruining a ring by cutting its band. Congratulations!

If this method didn't work for you, I recommend trying it again (as long as the knuckle can fit through the ring) early in the morning, before your hands begin to swell, and making sure that the wraps are VERY tight and close together. Also, applying Vaseline or cooking oil to the wraps quickly but thoroughly should also help.

Have you tried this method of removing a stuck-on ring?

See results

If you answered "yes" or "something similar" in the previous question, did it work?

See results


Whether successful or not, this effort deserves a small celebration. For a quick, inexpensive spa treatment for both hands (that works great for feet, knees, and elbows, too, for that matter), try this method for you and your helper. It's almost free and totally easy. Your hands will feel 10 years younger and oh-so-soft:

"An Easy, Fast, Cheap—Even "Green"—Two-Minute Spa Treatment for Hands or Any Rough Skin"

About the Author

Information about the author, a list of her complete works on HubPages, and a means of contacting her and sending fan mail are available over on →Laura Schneider's profile page. But wait--don't go there yet! Please continue scrolling down to leave ratings and any comments you have about this article so that it can be improved to best meet your needs.

All text, photos, videos, and graphics in this document are Copyright © 2013 Laura D. Schneider unless indicated otherwise or unless in the public domain. All rights reserved. All trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

Questions & Answers

  • What do you do to get a stuck ring off if you can’t get the floss under the ring?

    Try using a floss threader, which can be found near the dental floss in your drug store or many retail stores such as Target. They are flexible pieces of plastic filament, similar to fishing line, with a loop in one end forming a “needle” that allows you to feed the floss through dental work and, in this case, under a stuck ring.


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    • profile image

      Rick ac 

      10 months ago

      My wedding band was hopelessly stuck. I went by my jeweler. He sprayed my finger with Windex. After several tired and more windex, I was able to get my ring off!

    • profile image


      12 months ago

      That’s insightful. If I was ever confronted to this situation I think I would try wrapping the finger in teflon tape as used by plumbers (you can easily find that in any hardware store). Teflon should be even more slippery than wax and because the tape is wider it should wrap teh finger more evenly. Also it’s extremely thin. Just an idea I never tried it.

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      my ring is too wide

    • profile image


      2 years ago


    • profile image

      Dan Buckley 

      3 years ago

      I got my finger jammed in a machine once, and it swelled up. The dr. at the hospital wrapped suture material around the finger and my wedding ring came right off.

    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 

      4 years ago from Jaipur

      I found this article useful. Thanks for a good hub. There is some different process, generally adopted in India.

      It's just rubbing some soap water on the finger and pushing the ring out. It is a very simple method and often work.

      Rated up and interesting.

    • Laura Schneider profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Schneider 

      5 years ago from Minnesota, USA

      I think my grandma was the first to tell me about it... Hope it helps!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      How did you find out that amazing idea

    • Laura Schneider profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Schneider 

      6 years ago from Minnesota, USA

      Thanks, SamitaJassi! I hope this helps you or someone you know someday. I know it's saved me on a number of occasions. :-)

    • Laura Schneider profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Schneider 

      6 years ago from Minnesota, USA


    • SamitaJassi profile image

      Samita Sharma 

      6 years ago from Chandigarh

      Great dear.. well done

    • Laura Schneider profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Schneider 

      6 years ago from Minnesota, USA

      You're very welcome, rose-the planner. But I'm so sorry to hear about your sister-in-law's predicament. Hopefully this helps at least a few people from needing to cut off their rings (I know it doesn't work in all cases, but in many it does). Certainly worth trying.

      I hope she and her ring are whole and healthy once again.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      I wish my sister-in-law knew of this method before she went to the jeweler to get her wedding band cut off. Poor thing was so swollen with her first pregnancy that she couldn't get her ring off on her own. Great article! Thanks for sharing.

    • Laura Schneider profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Schneider 

      6 years ago from Minnesota, USA

      Tina, your poor daughter! I hope she wasn't too scared. It looks scary, even if it doesn't hurt, when they have to cut off the ring.

    • Laura Schneider profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Schneider 

      6 years ago from Minnesota, USA

      Thanks, DDE! I hope this idea works for your friend(s) who need it. I'm sorry that you had to have your ring cut off; I can imagine how heartbroken I would be at having several of my rings cut off.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I remember years ago I had to get a ring cut off my finger if only I had known then but it si no too late to learn something new, I will definitely recommend this Hub to someone else. Voted up!

    • vdragonsblood profile image

      Tina Elliott 

      7 years ago from Saint Cloud, MN

      Great article! I wish years ago I could have used this idea on one of my older kids. My daughter placed a ring that was too small on another finger and it was imposible to remove. We had to get it cut off in the ER.


    • Laura Schneider profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Schneider 

      7 years ago from Minnesota, USA


      Oh no, that's too bad! Rats--time is so mean to us sometimes.

      Hopefully you'll never need another ring cut off again. It doesn't work in all cases, but in many. (especially if you use waxed dental floss and can stand to have the finger wrapped REALLY tightly)

      Best of luck!


    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I wish I had known this the two times I had rings cut off! It is very interesting technique! Voted up for interesting!

    • Laura Schneider profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Schneider 

      7 years ago from Minnesota, USA

      Thanks, SusieQ! You sound pretty resourceful yourself, so I'm sure you can tackle problems like this with creativity and wit. If you find another way that works for the REALLY stuck-on rings, let us know!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi Laura! I've not heard of this before. I have a "stuck ring" but its my wedding ring so I don't want to take it off, but it's a great idea. I always thought I'd get mine off, if I need to, with oil or lotion. Voted up and useful.

    • Laura Schneider profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Schneider 

      7 years ago from Minnesota, USA

      Thanks, Debbie! I've used this method a number of times myself and although it's a little uncomfortable for a minute or two it works like a charm! Cheers! --Laura

    • debbie roberts profile image

      Debbie Roberts 

      7 years ago from Greece

      What a good method of removing a stuck ring! I'm sure this hub will come in handy one day, in fact if I'm honest I can't wait to try it out!!Curious or sad?....I'm not sure.

      Thank you for sharing this, I'll be passing it on...


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