How to Get a Ring Off Your Swollen Finger

Mercy studied civil engineering but hates construction and fluids. She's a sucker for…

Sometimes when we wear rings, they’re too big and need shrinking. Other times, they’re too small, and we can’t get our fingers out. The first problem is mildly annoying, but the second can fast become distressing. This article will show you how to get a ring off and reduce the stress of struggling to free your finger.

How to Get a Ring Off in 8 Ways

People take trips to the ER to get their rings off, but that’s not always necessary. You can get your stuck ring off at home with different household tools. Here are eight easy ways to do it.

Gently Twist and Pull

Panicking can agitate your finger and leave you with bruises. Work gently on the ring and twist it slowly up your finger.

How to Get a Ring Off Your Swollen Finger

Apply a Lubricant

Rubbing something slippery around your fingers can make it easier to slide off the ring. Practical examples include soapy water, Vaseline, Windex or other glass cleaners, butter, hand lotion, and baby oil.

Rub the lubricant around your finger and the ring. Gently rock the ring back and forth to get it moving off your finger.

Elevate Your Hand

Gravity will work in your favor for this one. When you elevate your hand, blood flows downwards and away from your fingers. This process might reduce any swelling in your fingers. Keep your hand elevated for a few minutes, lower it, and immediately try to remove the ring again.

Apply Ice

If your finger has mild swelling, ice can reduce it. Submerge your hand in a bowl of ice-cold water for a few minutes, and try to take off the ring again.

Try the RICE Method

If any previous methods don’t work, try the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) to reduce swelling. You can follow these steps in the process.

  1. Fully submerge your finger in ice water.
  2. Keeping your finger submerged, elevate the bowl above your head for about ten minutes.
  3. Take your finger out of the water. Use your hand to compress the swollen place above the ring.
  4. Try removing the ring gently. You can use a lubricant here to aid the process.
  5. You may need to repeat the process a few times. If you do, wait 10 to 15 minutes in between.

Use the Wraparound Method

For this method, you can use dental floss, thread, ribbon, or nylon cloth.

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Slide one end of the thread or floss beneath the ring. Keep most of it towards your fingertip.
  2. Start at the top of the ring, and wrap the thread around the finger. Keep the loops even and close to each other, and compress the finger’s tissues as you go.
  3. Take the other end of the string and unravel the rest of the wrapped string. As you go along, the ring should fall off.

Use a Rubber Band

This method is similar to the wraparound method. The only difference is you use a rubber band or elastic band instead. Because the rubber band is stretchy, it won’t be as compressive on the swollen finger. 

Here’s how to use a rubber band to remove your ring.

  1. Wrap the rubber band around your finger, starting from the top of the swelling and working down to the ring. Make sure the wrapping compresses the tissue to reduce swelling.
  2. Slide the end of the rubber band beneath the ring. You can use forceps or a toothpick to make this step easier.
  3. Unravel the wrapped rubber band, using the end you slipped under the ring. As you go, the ring should jiggle out of place and come free.

Cut the Ring

If all else fails, you need to cut the ring. A jeweler can cut it for you and help you repair and resize it. But you can also cut it by yourself at home.

How to Cut Off a Ring at Home

If you’ve tried everything and your ring is still stuck, it’s best to cut it off. You can do it at home with a small saw or other household tools.

You could get hurt trying to cut a ring by yourself, so get a companion to help you. We also don’t recommend using this method unless you can’t access a professional, like medical personnel or a jeweler.

Here are the tools you’d need for this process.

  • A rotary power tool with a small blade for cutting or a ring cutter tool
  • A piece of foam, wood, or metal to wedge between your finger and the ring
  • Some cold water or ice to cool the metal when it heats up

Using those tools, you can cut softer rings, like those made of gold and silver. Here is the process to follow while cutting the ring.

  1. Place the wedge between your finger and the ring.
  2. Bring the blade to the ring for a second or two. Add a few drops of ice water in between to reduce the heat.
  3. Cut the ring in two places, making it easier to remove.

If you have a harder ring, like one made of tungsten carbide or ceramic, you can cut it using a vice. Though tungsten carbide is hard, it’s brittle and cracks easily.

Here’s how to crack off a brittle ring.

  1. Adjust the vice grip to fit lightly over the ring. Clamp it down on the outside of the ring.
  2. Release the vice and adjust the tightening screw with a slight turn. Clamp again.
  3. Repeat this process until the ring cracks.

Ensure you wear safety goggles while carrying out this cutting method. The ring can shatter forcefully, with small fragments flying into your face.

Caution: We strongly discourage trying to cut your ring when you have: 

  • Severe pain and swelling
  • An injury responsible for the swelling
  • Bluish or purplish discoloration

A professional will be better equipped to handle these conditions without further agitating the area. Go to the hospital if your finger is in a lot of pain.

How much does it cost to get a ring off?

You can get your ring cut at a jeweler’s store or hospital. Jewelers will cut your ring for little to no fee. But they’ll usually charge between $50 and $100 to fix the broken ring. The more the damage, the higher the cost of repairs.

The hospital won’t treat your jewelry with the same reverence a jeweler would. But they’ll examine your finger to ensure you have no further damage. It’s better to visit the hospital when your finger is injured or badly swollen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Though we’ve covered a lot about stuck rings, you may still have some questions. Here are our answers to help you out.

Is it okay to leave a ring on a swollen finger?

No, it’s not okay. Keeping the ring on can cut off blood flow to your finger, so you must remove it fast. Try reducing the swelling with ice or using the wraparound method to remove the ring.

If your finger is injured or badly swollen with discoloration, go to the hospital to have them examine your finger instead.

How do I get a ring off a swollen finger?

If your finger is swollen, reducing the swelling is the best option for getting off your ring. You can place your hand in ice water and elevate it. 

Put your hand in a bowl of ice water, completely submerge the swollen finger, then lift your hand and the bowl above your head for ten minutes. Massage and compress the swelling above the ring, then attempt to take off the ring.

💡 Take Note: Seek medical aid if the swelling is painful and your finger is purplish or blue. Your finger might be injured, and medical professionals will handle it better.

Set Your Finger Free

We know the discomfort of having a ring stuck on your finger. We also know the wide-eyed relief when it finally comes off. Don’t panic – the ring will come off, and your finger will be safe again.

Once you notice your ring is stuck, try using a lubricant to ease it off. But the more stuck it is, you can elevate your hand, ice it, use a rubber band, or use many methods in combination. Remember to see a professional for help, if the swelling and pain increase.

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