Removing a Stuck Wedding Ring: DIY Methods and Ring Saving Tips

Even for the least sentimental person, there is a lot of symbolism and emotional significance to a wedding ring. It may just be the only piece of jewelry you wear, and it's likely been a part of you for many many years. Which is why, like me, you might find yourself with a very stuck wedding ring that can no longer be removed! The prospect of cutting it off can be daunting, and you might not have to! I've got various DIY methods and ring-saving tips that you can try to safely remove your ring, before you need to reach the last resort of cutting it off. 


Removing a Stuck Wedding Ring: DIY Methods and Ring Saving Tips


Why a Wedding Ring Gets Stuck

Before we dive into the removal techniques, let's take a look at why a wedding ring might get stuck in the first place. The most common reasons include:

Weight Gain: Gradual weight gain can cause fingers to swell, making it difficult to remove the ring. This is common during pregnancy, or if you've been married for an extended period of time.

Swelling: Temporary swelling due to weather, pregnancy or medical conditions can make your ring feel tight.

Arthritis: Arthritic joints can create difficulties in removing rings.

Ring Size Mismatch: Choosing the wrong ring size during purchase, or heck, even trying something on at the store that doesn't fit, or perhaps inheriting a ring that doesn't fit properly. 

Dehydration: Lack of hydration can lead to finger swelling.

I was 19 when I got married. I had a size 3.25 wedding ring. Over the course of 25 years, I've had three full term pregnancies and gained and lost 30 pounds, and kept a few of those pounds on too. I've not only gotten older, I probably also have gotten some form of arthritis now that I'm in my mid 40's. 

In the process of sharing my experience about getting my wedding ring stuck on my finger, I've heard that this is a very common occurrence. It's nothing to be ashamed of! I want to give you the tools you need to help remove your ring without cutting it off.

But sometimes, cutting off your wedding ring is the only option.


When to Consider Cutting Off Your Wedding Ring

Cutting off your wedding ring should be the last resort, but there are situations when it becomes necessary:

Medical Emergency: If your finger is injured, swollen and turning blue, don't hesitate to seek immediate medical attention, which may involve cutting the ring off to save your finger. 

Irreparable Damage: If you've exhausted all other removal options without success, it might be time to cut the ring off, before you are faced with a medical emergency.

I hadn't removed my wedding ring in five years. The last time I removed it, it was tight and took some work. My finger seemed to have grown smaller around my ring, and the problem in removing it seemed to come from not being able to get it above the knuckle. I could still move my ring back and forth on my finger, and slightly up and down. But, with an upcoming international trip looming, I wanted to remove my ring so that I didn't find myself in an emergency situation in a foreign country. 

I also wanted to be able to have a ring that fit me again. We all deserve that!

DIY Methods and Ring-Saving Tips for Removing a Stuck Wedding Ring

Now, let's explore various DIY methods and ring-saving tips for removing a stuck wedding ring before resorting to cutting.

Soap and Water

This classic method of using soap and water is the first place you should start! Here's how:

Find a bowl of cold water
Soak your hand in the water for several minutes to reduce swelling 
Apply a generous amount of soap {pump soap works best} to the ring and your finger
Gently twist and pull the ring while it's still slippery from the soap.

If you attempt this method in a sink, make sure the drain is closed.


I heard this so many times after my ring removal video went viral, but prior to that, I had never heard of using Windex before. This is apparently an old jewelers trick!

Apply Windex generously to your finger and the ring
Twist and turn the ring gently, gradually working it off


Ice can help reduce swelling and make the ring easier to slide off:

Wrap your finger with an ice pack or place your hand in a bowl of ice water
Wait for a few minutes until your finger has constricted due to the cold
Gently twist and pull the ring


Lotion can act as a lubricant and ease the removal process

Apply a generous amount of lotion to your finger, ensuring it covers the area under the ring.
Twist and slide the ring while it's slippery from the lotion

In addition to lotion, you can use alternative lubricants like olive oil, coconut oil, cooking spray or even hand sanitizer to help make the ring removal process smoother.

Elevate Your Hand

Sometimes, elevation can help reduce swelling:

Raise your hand above your heart for several minutes
While your hand is elevated, gently attempt to remove the ring

String Method

This is the method that ultimately worked for me. I have watched a LOT of videos at this point now using this method and most doctors and nurses use this method at the hospital. My ring was VERY stuck, so I'm glad it actually worked.

Some people recommend using dental floss or thread with this method, and if that's all you have, then give it a try, but from the response I heard, many people said that the thin string cut into their finger actually making the removal process that much more painful.

We cut the rubber strap off of an N-95 mask. Flat elastic might work as well.
Slide the string or ribbon under the ring
Start wrapping up from the ring around your finger
Gradually unwind the string or ribbon to remove the ring

Some Tips When Using the String Method

You might need to wrap tightly to push the fluid in your finger away from your knuckles.
Twist and turn the ring as you go
This method works best with two people, so the ring-wearer can pull their hand back, while the ring remover twists and pulls up.

If All Else Fails

If you need to have your ring cut off your finger, there are a few places you can seek help. 

Emergency Room: I knew for me, I didn't want to go to the emergency room, because could you imagine that bill! 

A Jewelry Store: I did call around to several jewelry stores to ask about removal and if they cut rings off, some jewelers will cut the ring off, some will not. My ring is soldered together, making it a more difficult cut that requires more force. 

Fire Station: The jewelry store that I got my ring at suggested I go to the fire station since they no longer cut rings off. If you go this route, know that firefighters are kind humans, but they may have one goal in mind, removing your ring. They may be a bit more aggressive with removal from what I've heard from others experiences.


It's off!

I had exhausted all of the DIY options, and finally had success with the string method. My ring finger was a hot mess though! It had been through some trauma. 

Leave Your Ring Finger Naked!

Keep a ring off of your finger for at least two weeks before you consider resizing your ring, or even seeing what your ring size actually is. You can get measured, and it may not be accurate.

After a few weeks, I actually purchased a fake ring from Amazon because after 25 years of wearing a ring, my finger felt naked. I started with a silicone ring to allow my finger to continue to heal and breathe and then went to a jewelry store to find my new ring size and bought a fake wedding ring set under $10, to make sure that the new ring size felt comfortable to me before I got my wedding ring resized. I was afraid that my ring would spin and feel too loose, and a trial ring helped me to make the best decision for a new size. 

Resizing Your Ring

Once you've successfully removed your wedding ring, given your finger time to heal, and found the right size fit for you by trying out a fake ring, it's time to address the issue that caused your ring to get stuck in the first place!

Go to a jewelry store and get your ring resized by professionals. It took just a few days, and while the jeweler did need to cut my ring to resize it, they did tell me that because of the channel set that I have, cutting it to remove it could have created damage to my ring. It would have been more difficult to repair and would have cost more. 

It ended up costing me $300 for the jeweler to resize my ring and redip it {it's white gold}. My wedding ring looks better than when I left it with them and I'm happily wearing it again and taking it on and off just because I can!

A stuck wedding ring can be a stressful situation, but it's not uncommon! Try these DIY methods and hopefully you'll have success removing your ring so you can get the right fit!

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