Most ring wearers will know how hard it is to remove a very small ring on their finger. Pulling it out hurts a lot and can take forever to remove. Using butter simply doesn't do the trick anymore and Google doesn't do any good. Is there a fast, painless way to remove those stubborn rings?

Notes: Please no cutting off of fingers or rings. I need my hand and ring to be fine, undamaged please.

  • Remember that fingers get thicker as you get older, and I don't mean old, just older... it may be that you need to wear your rings on different fingers, or replace them with slightly larger ones. It sounds like the day is approaching when the only way the ring/s you have now will come off is if its cut off...
    – Bamboo
    Apr 5, 2015 at 11:13

5 Answers 5


It is completely possible to remove the ring by using some string/dental floss. I've seen it done personally before.

The way to achieve this is by wrapping the string around the finger just before the ring, then push the string under and through the ring, then simply pull the string from the side where you pushed it through to (essentially unraveling it), and the ring should come off. You could aid this my adding the slightest drop of olive oil/lubricant.

You can see it in action by watching this Youtube video

enter image description here

String the floss under the ring, and wrap it around your finger. Then, unwind the floss to move the ring up your finger.


This is commonly referred to as the Floss Method

  • This is similar to the elastic band method suggested by @michaelpri, and that seems a little more comfortable.
    – holroy
    Apr 8, 2015 at 7:09

A jewelry store was able to remove my wedding ring over a swollen knuckle using a copious spray of Windex (sorry if that sounds like a Big Fat Greek Wedding joke!). I've also successfully used an ice-cold water bath and dish-soap on less-stuck rings.

Good luck!


I have always done something I found on Lifehacker a while back. You will need an elastic band (like a rubber band, but stretchy fabric works better) and tweezers.

Get the elastic band and wrap it around your finger tightly up until the ring. Now, using the tweezers, grab the end of the band and pull it under the ring. Now, you can just grab the part of the band that unwrap it from your finger.


enter image description here

  • Sounds painful if you wrap the rubber band too hard Apr 4, 2015 at 23:05
  • @PythonMaster You don't have to wrap it too much
    – michaelpri
    Apr 4, 2015 at 23:33
  • You have to use stretchy cloth material. An actual rubber band won't work as well because metal and rubber will create friction.
    – Nelson
    Apr 13, 2015 at 18:28
  • This is one of those things that is so simple yet it still blows my mind.
    – user5023
    Apr 14, 2015 at 17:40

Try several methods:

  • Take grease, such as mineral oil, olive oil or other loose oils and soak the finger in it. Twist the ring gently and try to slip it up the finger.

  • Also, raising your arm for a while can help the ring get off, this helps if it is a medical problem, as well. Soaking the hand in cool water, also helps, as it helps to resize the ring.

Doing multiple methods helps if the ring just won't come off.


The ring may have to be cut if:

  • It has been on the finger for a while and the finger grew into the small ring.

  • Or the finger is swollen and the ring is constricting. This may cause you to loose your finger if you don't remove the ring.

Don't discount cutting the ring off as a method. Rings can be fixed as good as new and the ring can be cut from the back. After removing the ring to avoid this issue, buy larger rings and utilize ring resizers.

Try the Floss method. This method I have not really tried, so it may or my not work.


If your finger is swollen or just too big, cutting it off is your only option.

If it's only just a little too small, try soaking your hand in ice water as long as you can. This will cause your skin to shrink a little bit but not much. Then, soap your hand thoroughly and try to take the ring off. While soaping make sure to spin the ring and get the soap water underneath the ring. This is clean and works as well or better than oils for me.

If you need steps like these, do not put the ring back on until either your finger is smaller or the ring has been resized to fit properly.

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