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How to Get a Ring Off a Swollen Finger

Rings can get stuck on fingers for several reasons. Perhaps the ring was too small or your finger has become swollen in warmer weather. You might have had the ring on for years, and now your fingers have changed sizes meaning you can’t remove the ring.

Whatever the reason, our experts have rounded up the best ways to remove a ring that’s stuck on a finger.

Stuck ring

1. Use the RICE method

If your ring is stuck on a swollen finger, the best way to remove it is by using rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Otherwise known as the RICE method.

Firstly, place your finger in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes to help the swelling subside. This works by constricting blood vessels in your finger, similar to how you would place an ice pack on an injury to help the swelling go down.

Then, hold your hand in the air, and above your heart, for 10 minutes to help reduce swelling. This works by allowing fluid to drain away from the area and is a tried and tested method for most injuries that involve swelling.

Now you can gently try to remove the ring, you may need to add a lubricant to help get it off. If this doesn’t work straight away, you can repeat these steps, whilst taking breaks in between attempts.

2. Lubricate your finger with at-home solutions

Another method to remove a ring stuck on a finger is by using a slippery substance to lubricate the skin underneath and around the ring. You want to use something that will be safe for both you and the ring. The best safe at-home lubricants are:

  1. Dish soap
  2. Shampoo or conditioner
  3. Baby oil
  4. Butter
  5. Petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or lotion


When using a lubricant, make sure to twist the ring to remove it. Do not pull the ring as this will only cause more swelling.

How to remove a stuck ring with baby oil

  1. Apply a small amount of baby oil to a cotton ball.
  2. Sweep the oiled cotton ball over the surface of your ring.
  3. Leave for around five minutes before gently twisting the ring to remove it.

How to remove a stuck ring with moisturiser or Vaseline

You can either use moisturiser or Vaseline; whichever you choose, the method for removing a stuck ring is the same:

  1. Apply the moisturiser or Vaseline to your ring and finger.
  2. Gently twist the ring around your finger, applying more product if required.
  3. Once removed, carefully clean your ring to prevent a build-up of product from dulling the sparkle of your diamond.


How to remove a stuck ring with Windex window cleaner

Yes, you read that right. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand recommends squirting some Windex window cleaner on your finger and stuck ring. The surfactants within the spray help to reduce the surface tension between your ring and your finger, making it easier to gently wiggle the ring off.

Don’t worry about Windex damaging your ring; as an ammonia-based cleaner, it’s gentle enough to not cause any damage to your diamond.

3. How to remove a ring from a swollen finger with string or dental floss

The finger-wrapping trick is handy for swollen fingers and rings that are too small. You can use several things for this, such as string, ribbon, dental floss, cling film or an elastic band.

To do this, you should:

  1. Pull one end of the material under the ring towards your palm, long enough for you to grab onto, and have most of the length pointing towards the fingertip.
  2. Tightly wrap the remaining material around your finger, starting from the ring and all the way over the knuckle. This will squeeze your finger so that the ring can fit over it.
  3. Grab the end that is sticking out at the bottom of the ring and slowly unravel it, the ring should move up your finger as you do this.


Remove a ring

You can try a combination of the above, however, it is worth noting that if your finger is swollen (due to the heat or otherwise), trying to pull and twist the ring off for extended periods can cause it to swell even more.

4. Have the ring cut off

If the at-home methods fail to work, visit your local jewellers and they will be able to cut the ring off safely for you. Depending on the material they may also be able to resize and repair the ring. This is usually done about a month after, so your finger can be properly sized after the swelling has worn off.

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

You should never leave a ring on a swollen finger. As the finger swells, the ring can become a restrictive band and cut off the blood supply to the finger. If this is left too long, you could be at risk of losing the function of the finger or losing the finger entirely.

If none of the at-home methods works and your finger is swelling, you should seek help. If it becomes very painful or numb, visit your nearest emergency medical centre immediately.

At the hospital or A&E, they will cut off the ring with metal cutters, don’t worry though as most rings can be repaired by a jeweller.

Why do people’s rings get stuck on their fingers? Expert reveals all

Neil Dutta, the Managing Director at Angelic Diamonds said, “The most common reason why someone’s ring gets stuck on their finger - especially during warmer weather - is due to the ring being too small in the first place. It’s normal for fingers to change size slightly, however, you should be able to spin the ring around your finger and have no bulge around it. If your finger bulges around your ring, then you should size up in the next ring. In the meantime, you definitely shouldn’t wear it in the summer or on holiday as it’s more likely to get stuck!

“If you’re pregnant, I’d also refrain from wearing your ring when the weather is hot as you’re already prone to your fingers swelling before you even add heat into the mix.

“And finally, if you want to wear your ring for sentimental reasons, whether it’s your engagement ring and/or wedding ring, or if it’s a family heirloom, you could consider temporarily adding it to a necklace. Not only does this avoid the issue of potentially getting it stuck, but it cancels out the risk of having to have it cut off.”
Time for a new ring? At Angelic Diamonds, we have a large selection of diamond rings to choose from and our handy ring size guide will help you get the best fit for you. We also offer ring resizing too, should your ring be too large or too small.

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