The Jewelry Box Blog

What to Do When You Can't Get Your Ring Off

How to get a ring off a swollen finger

Maybe it’s hot out. Maybe you wore your ring when you shouldn’t have. (Swollen fingers from working out, anyone?) Maybe you tried on a friend's ring - a friend whose fingers are slightly smaller than yours.

Now you can’t get that ring off!

Panic sets in and you pull and twist until your finger is red. You think: "That's it. I'm definitely going to have to cut my finger off."

Good news: we have a couple tricks that will get that ring off in no time. And you even get to keep all your fingers.

How to Get a Ring Off a Swollen Finger

1. Elevation

This one's simple. Keep your hand above your shoulder for 5 to 10 minutes. Did the swelling go down?

If not, try this ...

2. Place Hand in Cold Water

Ever notice that rings tend to fit more loosely on your finger on a cooler day? Fill up a bowl of cool water (add ice cubes if you’d like, but don’t overdo it) and let your hand sit there for a few minutes. Using cold water helps constrict blood vessels.

Still not budging?

Avoid getting your ring stuck by finding out what your ring size is with our Printable Ring Sizer!

3. Soap and Water

Mix a slippery solution to reduce friction between your skin and the ring.

Choose something that’s safe for your skin and your ring. A gentle dish soap mixed with cold water should do the trick. Gently spread a generous amount all along the finger and slowly twist to remove the ring.

No luck?

Last, but not least ...

4. Remove a Ring With String

You'll need a string, ribbon, dental floss or elastic band for this ring-removal trick.

1. Slip one end of the string underneath your ring, then you wrap the string several times around your finger, up to your knuckle. Do this tightly, but not so tight that you are in pain.

2. Unwind the string from the bottom where you slipped the string under the ring. The ring should slowly move with it.

3. Repeat if necessary, until the ring is off your finger.

4. Celebrate! Your finger is free!

Check out this video from The Today Show to see how it’s done.

Is the Ring Still Not Budging?

You may need to seek professional help. If you’re in pain or the ring is stuck due to injury, head to your doctor first.

After your doctor says it's okay to remove the ring (or if you don't need medical help at all), call your jeweler. They will know how to cut in a way that will hopefully save the ring from any further damage.

Depending on the type of metal, the jeweler may be able to resize and solder your ring back together.



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About Jewelers Mutual Group

Jewelers Mutual was founded in 1913 by a group of Wisconsin jewelers to meet their unique insurance needs. Later, consumers began putting their trust in Jewelers Mutual to protect their jewelry and the special memories each piece holds. Today, Jewelers Mutual continues to support and move the industry forward by listening to jewelers and consumers and offering products and services to meet their evolving needs. Beyond insurance, Jewelers Mutual’s powerful suite of innovative solutions and digital technology offerings help jewelers strengthen and grow their businesses, mitigate risk, and bring them closer to their customers. The Group insurers’ strong financial position is reflected in their 37 consecutive “A+ Superior” ratings from AM Best Company, as of November 2023. Policyholders of the Group insurers are members of Jewelers Mutual Holding Company. Jewelers Mutual is headquartered in Neenah, Wisconsin, with other Group offices in Dallas, Texas and Miami, Florida. To learn more, visit