Get a Stuck Ring Off of Your Finger—No Cutting!
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 the bone is not soft. Ask your doctor if you have any doubts!
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
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: 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 the base toward the 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
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.
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?
If you answered "yes" or "something similar" in the previous question, did it work?
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.Helpful 3