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by Jesús Zabala - 4 min read

How to Remove a Tight Ring?

It can be quite a frustrating experience when a ring gets stuck on your ring. Sometimes, no matter how much you pull or twist the ring off your finger it doesn’t come off. But there’s no time for panic– there are a few methods you can try to remove the ring safely. 

How to Remove a Tight Ring Safely?

There are several safe and effective techniques you can try to remove a tight ring all within the comfort of your home.

1. Dental floss or ribbon method

Dental floss helps compress your swollen finger. Follow these steps to try this trick.

  1. Slip one end of the floss under your ring. If it’s too tight use a needle to get the dental floss under the ring. 
  2. Wrap the string around your finger, up past your knuckle.
  3. Unwrap the dental floss or ribbon beginning at the bottom part of the ring. As you unwrap the ring will go up your finger. Continue with the same movement until you get the ring off.
  4. We advise you don’t leave the floss or ribbon too long on your finger (especially if it’s wrapped tightly) to avoid cutting off the blood supply to the rest of your finger.
How to Remove a Tight Ring Safely
Source: shutterstock.com/ Photo Contributor: Wendy lucid2711

2. The RICE method

We recommend the RICE method in case your finger is very swollen. RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) may not work immediately, but you can take a break and repeat the process.

  1. Place a bag of ice on top of your finger or immerse your finger in a cup of ice cold water.
  2. Raise your hand with the pack of ice over your head for ten minutes. Keeping the arm up will help the fluid go back into your body and could reduce the swelling.
  3. Next, remove your hand from the water or remove the ice, but use the other hand to compress the finger with the stuck ring.
  4. Slowly ease the ring off your ringer. If needed, use some lubricant to aid in the process of taking the ring off.
  5. You may need to repeat the process a few times more, with 5 minutes intervals in between.

3. Remove the ring with baby oil, lubricant or moisturizer

You could use baby oil, hand cream, vaseline or soap to help remove the ring. But be cautious of how much you use. If you pour too much, it could make it hard to get the ring off your finger. Apply baby oil, or any other kind of slippery creams (jojoba, vegetable oil, or soap) on the skin around and underneath the ring. Once you cover the area, twist the ring around and slowly pull your finger away from the rin

4. Cut the ring

If the techniques above do not work, you should consider cutting the ring off with a ring cutter. How to cut a ring off your finger? While you can find a ring cutter from a jewelry store, emergency, or fire department, it is best to let a professional cut the ring of your finger. 

On the plus note, jewelers can repair the metal once taken off.

Cut the ring
Source: shutterstock.com/ Photo Contributor: Wendy lucid2711

Why Do Rings Get Stuck?

There are several reasons why your ring could get stuck on your finger. From the ring being too small to consuming too much salt in your diet, the options are nearly endless. We’ll briefly mention the most common reasons behind your ring getting stuck.

  • The ring is too small– you could be wearing a ring a size or two smaller than the ideal fit for your ring. If that the case, we recommend getting the ring resized to prevent futher complications. 
  • You never take the ring off– having a ring on for a long time on the same finger may result in finger grit enlargement. We advise you take the ring from time to time to reduce the risk of swelling in your fingers.
  • Diet with too much salt– the sodium causes your body to hold on to more water, causing finger swelling
  • Heat– hot temperatures causes blood vessels to expand which can lead to swollen fingers. 
Why Do Rings Get Stuck
Source: shutterstock.com/ Photo Contributor: andriano.cz

How to Reduce Swelling in Fingers to Remove Ring?

The best way to reduce finger swelling is icing the finger. Keep the finger in iced water or place a bag of ice on top of your finger for 5 to 10 minutes. The ice could make the blood vessels compress, which can reduce the swelling. If you still can’t get the ring off, here’s an extra tip: put your hand up to help the fluid go back to your body. If you don't want your ring to be too small, here's an article about how to measure ring size accurately. Taking the proper measurements can help you avoid issues with tight rings in the future.


Elevate your hand, add ice pack on top of your finger, use dental floss or use a lubricant to easily twist the ring off. Following these tips on how to remove a tight ring, you can safely and effectively get the ring off your finger. If none of these tips work, visit a jeweler to cut the ring off your finger and repair any damage (if possible) on your ring.

Jesús  is the founder and designer of JewelryLab. He is the Head of Design and also oversees production, quality control, and precious metal sourcing.