Medical Care

Sneaky Medical Trick To Remove A Stuck Ring



Want to know how to remove a stuck ring off a swollen finger?  This sneaky medical trick could just save your finger and your wedding ring. One of the most common injuries in the world is a hand injury. In normal, day-to-day situations, a broken finger, gash, cut, or sprain to your hand is frustrating. (I know, I have a tendency to mangle my hands on a weekly basis… and I have the scars to prove it!) But in a survival situation, the condition of your hands and feet can be the deciding factor between success and failure.

And if you wear a wedding ring, things can go from bad to worse very quickly. As your finger swells, the ring cuts off circulation, and if you don't get the ring off fast, you could lose a finger. My buddy Nick from sent me this video that he ran across. It shows a very interesting and effective way how to remove a ring off a swollen finger. This emergency ring removal will surely surprise you.

Remove a Stuck Ring | Quick and Easy Procedure


Tools Needed:

  • Stretchable string from a surgical mask
  • forceps

The procedure is fairly simple which involves only a few easy steps. Here we go:

Step #1. Wrap the string around the ring finger.

Wrap the elastic string around the ring finger nice and tight until it's close enough to the ring. A stretchy material is good for pressing down on the swollen tissues. Leave a bit of time for the compression to happen.

Step #2. Allow the loose end of the string to go under the ring.

Once the string is close enough to the ring, use the forceps to poke it through underneath. Make sure to do this nice and easy without injuring the finger. Do this until the loose end is on the other side.

Step #3. Rotate the string backward until it's off along with the ring.

Rotate the string in the opposite direction maneuvering to remove it. This will spiral the string and the ring around the finger until it moves across. It holds the soft tissue down and gradually gets the ring off the swollen finger.

The ring is off. Ring and finger are both intact. Problem solved!

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From Nick :

“Every now and then a ring gets stuck on my finger and it’s pretty scary. I live about 20 minutes from an ER but I also don’t want it cut off.

A trick I’ve used for years is soap or another lubricant to slip the ring off but it can still be very painful to remove the ring and can damage the tissues of your finger. And if swelling is too bad it doesn’t work at all!

I came across this video on Facebook and I wanted to share it with you now.”


Watch this video by ALiEM on how the ring removal is actually done:

That was pretty cool! Just imagine how many people have gone through the same problem with their rings. One look at this short video and your eyes are wide open in amazement. So there's no need to worry about how to cut a ring, and you can forget about soap and water or other ineffective hacks. All you need to do is find an elastic band and you're all set.

Do you find this sneaky medical trick of removing a stuck ring an amazing thing to learn? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Up Next: 13 Rubbing Alcohol Survival Uses You Need To Know


Editor’s Note – This post was originally published in August 2013 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

How to Get a Ring Off a Swollen Finger with String | Sneaky Medical Trick To Remove A Stuck Ring

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  1. Louise Price

    August 26, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    It should be noted that this will not work if you have arthritis in your hands and your joints are misshapen. If that is the case, cutting it off is the only thing you can do if it becomes necessary to remove the ring.

    • Fred Mueller

      August 5, 2014 at 6:15 PM

      It depends on how badly your finger joints might be misshapen. If the deformity isn’t too serious, this procedure should still work.

    • Brandi Herrera

      February 22, 2016 at 12:53 PM

      This did work for me, I have psrotic arthritis, and saved my great grandmother’s rings from being cut off. By the time a person’s fingers are at the point your referring to they wouldn’t be wearing rings. Mine were knobby & swollen to the point my finger was blue and I was hysterical crying for them to be cut off but my hubby knew how I felt about my rings and said I had to try this string “trick” first (we were 3 days into trying to remove set 2 pieces were off the 3rd wasn’t budging) it totally worked…it hurt like hell but it was worth….granted hubby had to grip my hand under his arm as I was screaming but this was the only time he’d seen it move in all our attempts so he was yelling over me saying it’s working and kept going. So if anyone has arthritis and needs to try this my only added recommendation would be ice and a stiff drink

  2. G Fraser

    August 26, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    I could not get my ring off and a woman in a jewelry store simply sprayed my finger with windex, I’m sure any window cleaner will work, and my ring slipped right off. She said they use it all the time.

    • Joe

      January 30, 2014 at 4:39 AM

      Same technique, less messy: Use an alcohol wipe on the finger, and blow on it. The cold will reduce the diameter of the finger. That is the recommended way of dealing with a finger that was just barely big enough to put on and won’t come off.

    • Yaz

      February 3, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      This saved me so much panic just now!!! Thank you!

  3. Chris M

    August 26, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Dental floss also works. Start at the tip of the finger and wrap the floss around the finger, down to where the ring sits.

  4. gary

    August 26, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Dental floss, fishing line, heavy suture material all work. Can slip 1 end under ring, then start wrapping away from ring toward tip, then just unwind from below ring, if you run out of turns, just wrap again from side toward tip and repeat.

    • David Hunter

      January 26, 2014 at 5:22 AM

      Exactly the way I was doing it 40 years ago. I always used cotton, but like the idea of the wide elastic they used…..

  5. Sonny Calta

    August 27, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    His so-called swollen finger was pretty much a joke. Having been a fireman, I know what “SWOLLEN” means in real life. On a survival list of foods, I saw “two big sacks of hard candy”. I had a bunch in a huge
    glass jar. Not trusting the jar, I had a gallon jug of Louisiana hot sauce, almost empty. I poured the rest into a serving bottle, rinsed the jug, washed it, & walla, big enough & break-proof! The silver-dollar sized lid was plenty big to shake candy out!!

    • Matt S

      January 21, 2014 at 7:05 PM

      Come on, Sonny. Having been a fireman, I thank you for your service, but surely you have critical thinking skills. The doctor’s finger was not at all swollen. Do you also believe his nurse actually stomped on his foot? He was using his hand and finger for demo purposes only to show a working principle. The key here is the band’s elasticity which compresses the area as swelling-causing fluid temporarily is distributed away.

      • Rachel

        January 22, 2014 at 3:22 PM

        Having been a firefighter myself and one with a stuck ring as well………….we tried EVERYTHING including this trick to remove my 1920’s art deco ruby ring off my finger one day while on duty! Opted to not use the ring cutter from the medical gear. I went to a jeweler to have it cut off and then resized.
        But yeah, windex, soap, freezing my hand, floss, strap off of a N95 mask, NOTHING would work, just glad it wasn’t an emergency.

        • Mike

          January 27, 2014 at 1:17 PM

          I’d like to see the combination of this compression technique combined with lubrication, dipping hand in ice water. Ice water should help reduce the size of the swelling, provided the ring does not contract.

          One interesting thing to try would be to heat the ring. Heating uniform metal should expand the internal hole; however, I’m not sure how you would heat it safely, nor how hot it would need to be to expand – this would be an interesting experiment for MythBusters.

          My guess is you could use something that has a low current, like an alkaline battery to slowly heat the ring. Again, not sure it would work, but if it did I’m guessing that the effectiveness depends on your pain threshold and how badly you want to preserve the integrity of the ring.

          • David

            January 31, 2014 at 8:49 AM

            Friction would be a good way to heat the ring. A buffing wheel on a Dremel tool would be an option.

    • Not so obvious

      January 22, 2014 at 9:22 AM

      You do realize this was for demonstration purpose only, right? Please tell me you know this. The fact that you’re unaware of this and you are/were a fireman is dreadfully scary.

    • Koke

      January 22, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      I think you mean: voila!

      • anthony cabezut

        January 26, 2014 at 11:23 AM

        Although I have never seen it before, I think walla is an excellent transcription/transliteration of the French ‘voila’. I recall a neighbor simulating a fencing move with his daughter, calling out ‘anga’, an English approximation of ‘en garde’. And what about ‘mush’, the English speakers’ rendition of the French ‘marche’!

    • LauraL

      January 29, 2014 at 12:44 AM

      You mean, “voila,” I’m sure. What is walla?

      • Linda

        May 2, 2014 at 8:19 AM

        A lot of people say “walla” instead of “voila”. It is probably a regional thing.

  6. Ruth

    August 29, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    thank you for sharing… i “wished” i had seen this before i went to er to have my mother’s wedding band cut off my finger. it is treasured item since receiving it upon her death.

  7. Sue

    August 29, 2013 at 5:11 PM

    You can use Windex. It works better than soap or lotion and if you have a jewel on the ring it makes it shine.

  8. Bob

    August 29, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    I have seen a mortician do this with a piece of string

  9. karl

    August 30, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Very good info!! As a student nurse and emergency volunteer, I’m very glad to know this. Thanks!!

  10. Donna

    September 11, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    While working as a hospice nurse and after trying soap and water, I found the alcohol based hand sanitizer worked like a charm.

  11. Amy

    November 3, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    My finger is much more swollen. We have tried cold water, ice, soap, lube, floss, Saran Wrap, butter, etc. nada. Who is better? Fire station or jeweler? Boo! Sniff.

    • Jude

      January 26, 2014 at 12:31 AM


      • Pat Berte

        July 4, 2018 at 7:42 PM

        Used a rubber band and alcohol. Inched the rubber band and ring to my knuckle, then my husband twisted it the rest of the. Hurt a bit, but a relief to have it off. That was my diamond. Still have wedding ring on, but I now have room to move it a bit if necessary. TYJ

  12. Donna Thompson

    January 16, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Very clever, thanks for sharing guys/gals!

  13. Jeff

    January 17, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Hadn’t thought of this before, and we happened to have the oxygen mask strap. It worked great! Thanks for the helpful video. Jeff (Nebraska)

  14. Joan Sporny

    January 18, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    A jeweler once showed me that rubbing alcohol works every time. They would know, since I’m sure people get rings stuck a lot in a jewelry store!

  15. Jamie

    January 19, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    More importantly folks. Is jack the staff nurse single and when can I take him out ? Tnx

  16. Linda hildreth

    January 19, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    I have seen this done with a patient…………the only thing I would like to add is it is extremely painful !!!!! Have a towel handy to bit on……….and warn the person. It works…………but I’m telling you, if you have a low pain threshold you won’t tolerate this !!!!!!

    • Stan

      April 5, 2014 at 5:06 PM

      Why wouldn’t you just block them no matter which technique you use?

  17. Louise Hayes

    January 20, 2014 at 4:37 AM

    anytime you have an injury – the first thing to come off are rings! I fell a few years back and broke my arm. Can’t take your ring off with a broken arm especially if you are right handed. So went to ER – first thing they yelled at me for was not taking off my rings. All they did was put dish detergent in water and had me hold my hand (finger) in it – my husband had to work the ring til it came off.

    • OJ

      January 26, 2014 at 8:10 PM

      I would always ask pts to take off their ring of the hand I started an IV on. Every once in a while, those infiltrate before someone catches it. Rings are hard to get off in that case!

  18. Jo

    January 20, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Does this work for a wedding ring stuck for a long time because of a finger that is no longer slender? I haven’t been able to get mine off in forever.

    • Tim

      January 21, 2014 at 9:54 PM

      Indeed it does. I have done this many times. To the people whom recommend Windex. That will not work to a traumatic finger or trauma proximal to the ring due to extreme swelling. Most people that have came to the ER had already tried every household method under the sun before deciding to pay someone $800 to have their ring cut off.

    • graeme

      January 22, 2014 at 5:26 AM

      should do

    • Susan

      January 24, 2014 at 9:23 PM

      Tip to help you: Don’t try to take it off yourself. Having someone else take it off works way better. (info I got from a jewelry store person)

      • Wil

        January 27, 2014 at 1:33 AM

        yes is much easier if someone else removes it as it is hard to relax while pulling it off yourself ,ring slides off easier when finger is relaxed.

    • cheryl

      January 25, 2014 at 7:29 AM

      Yes the principal of it works. My mother had worn her rings for over 40 years and had put on a lot of weight over that time so her fingers had grown as well. The rings were never painful to her but she could not remove them. When she had a stroke recently they wanted to cut them off in the hospital and she was nearly devastated until one of the nurses went and got a piece of yarn and

  19. faye lymbery

    January 20, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    quite often when the finger is badly swollen this method doesn`t work- and a lot of hospitals do not have the proper ring cutter– thse are available from most lapidary suppliers and jeweller suppliers and range from $20 to $50. would love to see this item and two pairs of point nose pliers in EVERY emergency room as i have had to cut a large number of rings off peoples fingers.– another tip is a simple one– if the swelling is due to fluid / or joint swelling from arthritis , get a plastic bag, fill with crushed ice, and place hand in. then tie the bag securely. raise your hand and arm so that the hand is above your head– leave in that position for as long as you can ( at least 3 minutes) remove ice bag quickly and try to leave your arm elevated and put some hand cream or oil around the ring should then slide off easily. by elevating the hand the you are reducing the blood flow and the ice contracts the tissue mass

  20. linda

    January 20, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    Spray your finger with windex and work it under your ring and it will come off in seconds. My jewelry store show me this trick.

  21. D. Harrison

    January 21, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    Good information but it is annoying to have to watch a video to get the answer. Can’t you put the information in writing below the video? Some people prefer to read explanations.

    • B

      January 24, 2014 at 7:48 PM

      Under the video it says very clearly to click the blue link to see the full article written out.

      “View the original article on”

      • Ms.CRKS

        January 25, 2014 at 11:44 PM

        The link is only to the original source; it doesn’t have the instructions written out, just the same video linked here. You’d know that if you had actually clicked the link, though, especially before responding to D’s comment. How’s that saying go? Open mouth, insert foot? Yeah, nom nom nom…

        • Deb Vozniak

          January 28, 2014 at 3:37 PM

          It’s not a completely new idea, but most medical clinics still primarily cut off rings. This technique could be much more comfortable for patients, and it preserves their valuable jewelry in the process as well.

          “What they do is wrap the finger with a thin elastic band to force the swelling down, then feed the end of the elastic under the ring and gently unwrap the elastic wiggling the ring off the finger along the way.

          It would be a good idea to sit down and practice this technique at home. Just be mindful of how tightly you wrap the elastic because you’re only practicing!” Quoted from right beneath the video on the link. What was that about foot in mouth?

        • Phyllis Benstein

          January 28, 2014 at 8:45 PM

          My mobile device does not support Flash player, so I had to read the comments.

  22. L.

    January 21, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    You can also spray your finger with Windex and a ring will come off . Learned this at the Jewelry / repair store

  23. Jean

    January 21, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    I had this done to me back in the late 70’s early 80’s at the hospital in Marysville, OH when I got my moms wedding ring stuck on my finger. Hurt like heck but they got it off without cutting the ring!

  24. Deanna Jones

    January 21, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    very neat technique…. and helpful in an emergency situation…. I do have another technique that has worked wonderfully for me… as 25+ years married…. finger got fatter! how did that happen? anyway… run cold water on finger for maybe 10 seconds, then spray Windex window cleaner on finger….slides right off!

    • Jeannine

      January 23, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      OMG Deanna, thank you!!!!!! Had a ring stuck on my finger for months now that I’ve gained weight..tried your trick,thou I also used dental floss and it came right off!! Can’t thank you enough! 🙂

  25. Pauline Odom

    January 21, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    My suggestion would be to slip the end of the strap under the ring FIRST. Then start wrapping from the ring out towards the tip. That way you are not compressing the swelling TOWARDS the ring. Once the wrapping is done, you do the same as was already demonstrated. I have used the string trick twice and have gotten the ring off both times.

    • peter

      February 3, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      You’re not pushing the swelling towards the ring, but you’re pushing it towards the tip of your finger. Where exactly is the fluid you are compressing supposed to go?

  26. Tim

    January 21, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    I’m an ER nurse in Missouri. I was taught this trick about ten years ago. I have successfully removed about 10 rings or 100% of the presentations. Sad to have seen so many of my colleagues cut beautiful rings off having no knowledge of this method. It really should be a standardized part of ER training.

  27. Lily

    January 21, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    Windex works every time! Had a 60,000 ring stuck on my finger at a jewelry store and started to panic when it wouldn’t come off and the salesperson calmly sprayed Windex on it and voila, off it slipped!!!

  28. graeme

    January 22, 2014 at 5:25 AM

    instead of those bulky looking tweezers, pass a small paperclip through from wrist side, pop the string though it and pull through, just like threading a needle..

  29. saundra fontenot

    January 22, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    To Put A Bangle Bracelet On An Arm Thats A Bit Small For Hand ..First Place Plastic Bag ( Grocery Or Walmart Bag) Slide Bangle Over And On To Hand….Trouble Taking One Bag Over Hand..Run Plastic Under bangle..Slide Bangle off

  30. catty

    January 22, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    that was awesome. I worked in an ER for many years and saw many many very beautiful rings turn into junk. good job doc…

  31. catty

    January 22, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    I worked in an ER for many years and saw many very nice rings turn into scrap metal. great job doc.

  32. Theresa

    January 22, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    If the finger isn’t swollen from injury and is just stuck, try spraying a bit of windex on your finger (its safe for the ring) and it comes off better than most soaps

  33. Barb

    January 22, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    You can also spray your finger with windex window cleaner and the ring will slip off easily.

  34. Johnny Doh

    January 22, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    Does it work on penises?

    • Don Keller

      February 6, 2014 at 9:37 AM

      Don’t put your wedding ring on your penis. Duh.

  35. Iris Brodeur

    January 22, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    I have been using that technique for the 26 years of my nursing career. I have had success every time and I take the opportunity to show nurses and student alike each time the need arises. many patients have thanked me for not having to get their rings cut off.

  36. mary

    January 22, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    That is COOL!!

  37. Dan

    January 22, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    Supposedly dental floss will also work using the same technique. Probably the waxed variety would be best.

  38. Jiette Bailey

    January 23, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    If you squirt Windex on the finger, the ring will slip right off!

  39. Daun

    January 23, 2014 at 1:04 AM


  40. Julie Giuricin

    January 23, 2014 at 6:40 AM

    OMG…. That is just incredible amazing and sensational. That seriously made my jaw drop. Thank you so much for sharing. Love it Love it LOVE IT haha. 🙂

  41. Keoni May

    January 23, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    I have seen deeply embedded rings. No way that technique could work on a ring finger over 40 years old.

  42. WB

    January 23, 2014 at 7:46 AM

    Fabulous video. It should be manditory viewing in all emergency rooms.

  43. gospace

    January 23, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    I’ve got an easier way- don’t wear rings.

    After my wife went through my workplace, she realized why I didn’t wear my wedding band. Turns out trust is more important then a ring around the finger.

  44. kkimsel

    January 23, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    I’m an ER nurse. I will have to try this. Excellent!

  45. elaine

    January 23, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    That’s WONDERFUL!!! I had my wedding engagement rings both cut off in Disney World one hot summer day and half way through, we realized that they were platinum, not gold!! Oh the pain!!!! I watched this filmstrip and it’s amazing just how “easy” it looks!! I’m going to repost it on facebook another time…I am sure it will help someone!!

  46. jamie

    January 23, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    why not just use dish soap around the ring to lube it up n slide it off? that is how i learned to remove stuck bands from my hand when swollen.

  47. Tish

    January 23, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    40 years ago, I was bitten by a brown recluse spider. My fingers were terribly swollen and this is exactly how my doctor removed my wedding ring.

  48. Vinnie Woods

    January 23, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    That is so clever.. Thank you so much for sharing that method .

  49. David Oliver

    January 23, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    My uncle a general surgeon for many years had a similar trick. He used suture thread or any other thread available.
    I think the compressing feature is neat and probably useful but thread is finer.

    Each approach might be the best according to the circumstance.

  50. pbgvdad

    January 23, 2014 at 9:05 PM

    No more “boil-and-yank”?

  51. Shirley

    January 23, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    I’m wondering if everyday elastic that is used in clothing would do the same thing?

  52. Bill

    January 24, 2014 at 12:54 AM

    Have you done this with a
    bad burn?

  53. Charlie Robertson

    January 24, 2014 at 6:34 AM

    Great idea, now how does someone miles away fro A&E get ahold of an oxygen mask to use.

  54. ruth

    January 24, 2014 at 7:30 AM

    If you use elastic instead, it wont cut up your finger…1/4″ will do

  55. Owain

    January 24, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    I’d be interested to see how this technique works with an open wound on the finger. I sliced the distal knuckle of my thumb open with a piece of china a few years back, I was wearing a cheap metal thumb ring. There was blood everywhere. They cut my ring off but I’m interested to know if this would have worked. I can’t imagine it would, but the doc said he has never cut a ring off. Is this because he’s just never had a patient with an exsanguinating wound distal to the ring he wants to remove?

  56. Susan Jobson

    January 24, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    Where would I find a stretchy piece of string? My hands always swell.
    Thank you,
    Susan Jobson

    • Kit

      January 28, 2014 at 4:01 AM

      The stretchy string in the video looks like regular elastic band, the same kind used in clothing. You can get it at a craft or fabric store.

  57. Patricia

    January 24, 2014 at 10:35 AM


  58. Griff

    January 24, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    Seen a similar trick using a piece of string soaked in washing up liquid. Might be an idea to combine both ideas using your idea plus the soap.

  59. Camille

    January 24, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    That is great information. I have worked in the medical profession for years and have had to help cut many rings off people who didn’t really want their rings cut off…and have had to work in surgery helping to cut the finger off someone who had an injury to their finger with a ring stuck on it… Not fun for anyone involved!

  60. Stephanie

    January 24, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    I’m a retired RN,and have used this technique many times, but with thin umbilical tape, more control and less stretch. And, yes it does work quite effectively

  61. Kathy Baker

    January 24, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    This was a neat way to get a ring off a swollen finger.

  62. DaRcy Louer

    January 24, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    I wish I would have seen this before cutting the class ring off my son’s finger. After way over an hour of trying to slick the skin, a dremel was used by my husband. When the ring got too hot for my son, we had him soak his hand in ice water. Process was not fast or fun for any party concerned. The ring can be replaced. His finger can not. It was the first day he had it too. Hopefully we can get it repaired before graduation in May.

  63. Donna B

    January 24, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    And in reverse, I lost a tight fitting ring when I was filleting salmon by the river.. I had never lost it washing dishes or any other way. I never felt it leave. I recommend salmon slime, seriously. However it is not easily come by.

  64. Mr.Kim.Sanders

    January 25, 2014 at 3:04 AM

    They Demonstrate with an “Oxygen mask strap”, but I’d Guess that Any “Fabric elastic” would do. I’m Thinking how to make this knowledge accessible to the Common (non-Medical) person. Can anyone Comment?

  65. Simon Carley

    January 25, 2014 at 3:49 AM

    Hi folks. It’s me in the video.

    Your readers are correct as there are caveats which we explain on the website.

    1. Just remember that this only works if the ring can usually come off. If you have had a ring on for years and the bony structures have increased (e.g. arthritis) then it won’t work.
    2. Yes, it was for demo purposes. Jack did not really jump on my finger.
    3. Some patients give it a try and don’t tolerate, or don’t want you to try. That’s fair enough you would then need to cut it off.

    It’s a great technique in the emergency department to reduce soft tissue swelling after injury.

    Full explanation here. & I’d be delighted if you wanted to link across for the extra info.



    • Jason

      January 26, 2014 at 10:45 PM

      Great information. Would like to add that with Tungsten rings, you can use adjustable vise grips and then tap with hammer. Tungsten doesnt like to be cut… Titanium rings may be able to be cut, not sure. Hope it helps.

  66. Johann Mitchell

    January 25, 2014 at 4:08 AM

    What is an “elastic band pastry?”

    That’s what the closed captioning says to use. What is she wrapping around his finger?

  67. Cheryl Clair

    January 25, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    That’s great but what if you don’t have anything stretchy or if you do, what if you don’t have anything to push it through the ring with? What then?

  68. SQL

    January 25, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    Holy mackerel!!! That IS fantastic!!!! Mine had to be cut off for surgery–whee were you, then!!!! Thank yor for the invaluable info!

  69. Stephanie

    January 25, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    Having had my ring finger completely shut in the back hatch of a durango, I’m thinking if someone’s finger is swollen quite large from a very bad injury and you try wrapping it that tight, they may stomp your head and not your finger. I know the pain I was in from a broke finger and I can’t imagine letting someone wrap it that tight without coming undone on them. And I have a pretty high pain tolerance. o.O

  70. Jeanette

    January 25, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    I was told by an undertaker the best thing to use to get a ring off a finger was windex….

  71. Diane

    January 25, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Spray the ring and your finger with winded and it will come right off, I learned that from a jeweler.

  72. BOBBIE

    January 25, 2014 at 7:45 PM


  73. pauline

    January 25, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    ive done this many times …but always started tucking the elastic under the ring and then winding the elastic down the finger to move the swelling that way 😉

    • Adrienne

      January 27, 2014 at 8:33 AM

      That sounds like it might work a lot better. I was thinking of that myself. But I don’t even know if I could get the rap under my finger and ring to start with then they swell.

    • Adrienne

      January 27, 2014 at 8:36 AM

      That sounds like it might work a lot better. I was thinking of that myself. When a finger is swellen how would you get the band in between the finger and ring? I don’t think I would have any room.

  74. Mke

    January 25, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    20 + years in EMS, and I am IMPRESSED. This will be mentioned in all my future EMT classes I teach.

  75. kathy

    January 25, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    I have been using this trick for years… only using a heavy string.. It was taught to me by a GP physician…

  76. Kathryn Smith

    January 25, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    I really learned a lot from that had to have my beautiful diamond eternity ring cut off and if I had known this I could have saved that thanks so much

  77. Marlenea Mielke

    January 25, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    Spray the finger with Windex..The ring will then easily slid off.

  78. meg

    January 25, 2014 at 11:35 PM

    OMG My ring was just getting my finger sweeling and the skin was kind of red and I did it, OMG it work will never forget this. my hunsbando wants to take me to the hospital and my friend send me this video BIG THANKS ring out finger getting ok

  79. Mike R

    January 26, 2014 at 12:38 AM

    Wont ever have this problem, if you don’t wear a ring. Mine was stolen in a hotel room, probably by the maid, and ever since have not worn one. When you go into factories or work outside a lot, or in construction, or use any type of power tool, it makes zero sense to wear one. I used to initially miss having it on, but I’ll never wear one again.

  80. Arron Hester

    January 26, 2014 at 12:44 AM

    Would a tourniquet work? Out here in the states we use an elastic tourniquet to start IVs. I do not know if other countries share this same terminology. But would that work?

  81. suzanne hoy

    January 26, 2014 at 1:13 AM

    very good it happens all the time with old arthuure in my hands ty

  82. nancy

    January 26, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    All good jewelers have a tool for cutting a ring off a finger when it can not be removed by any other means. It does this with out damage to the finger and the ring is left in condition so it can be repaired. the ER folks have no such tool.

  83. Colin O'Hare

    January 26, 2014 at 10:05 AM


  84. Rob

    January 26, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    This is why I no longer wear rings on my hands.

  85. Jackie Engelman

    January 26, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    My hubby and I performed a fix almost the same almost 35 yrs ago. I was pregnant with my son when I started retaining water in my last month or so and my wedding ring was compressing my finger and I couldn’t get it off. But instead of using elastic we used string that was wiped down with cooking oil. We wrapped my finger just as you did, slid the string under the ring and began to pull it off. My wedding band was saved.

  86. Marty Masker

    January 26, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    Glad to know how to get the ring off a swollen finger. however, my problem is enlarged knuckles. would it still work over bone or .cartilage?

  87. Mandy

    January 26, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    You can also try hand sanitizing gel. I have used that to remove my weeding ring when I was pregnant and could not get it off due to water retention.

  88. Heidi

    January 26, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    To remove a tight ring, what can you substitute for that blue stretchy tape if you don’t have any around?

    • Lori

      January 27, 2014 at 5:36 AM

      Sewing thread or dental floss. Start at the top by poking one end under the ring first. The inside of the hand is easier because you have a little give there where skin is not right on bone. Wrap tightly all the way down and then unwind.

  89. billy

    January 26, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    I don’t wear rings

  90. Beanster

    January 26, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    If it means the difference between losing my finger or losing my ring……cut the dang thing off. I can get the ring fixed, can’t replace the finger!!!

  91. Vicki K

    January 26, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    I really wish I had known about this in 1985-86. I had gained too much weight and my wedding band was stuck on me, cutting off circulation. Needless to say, mu husband cut it off with a hack saw. Didn’t hurt me, but it took me 12 years to get it fixed!

  92. Barbara Patterson

    January 27, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    The sharp edge of a ring had cut a friend of mines finger while water skiing.We were far away from the town. His hand had slipped and the sharp edge of his wedding band cut into his finger. There was no way the ring could come off without assistance as it was lifting up the cut when we tried to remove it. I fortunately found a piece of plastic from a chip packet and with some lotion was able to slip the plastic in below the ring and slide it over the cut. It was not pretty. He went to the doc a few days later and had to have some creation fitted to his arm to strengthen the muscles as these had been severed in the finger. Be carefull of tapered rings.

  93. Matt

    January 27, 2014 at 3:35 AM

    Jack is absolutely gorgeous! Ding dong 🙂

  94. Lori

    January 27, 2014 at 5:31 AM

    Seems backwards to me. The way I do it is with regular sewing thread. Tuck one end under the ring with enough to grab onto. It’s easier to tuck it on the inside of the hand as you can usually mush down the skin a bit there. Then wrap the thread all the way down the finger snugly, compressing the skin, then take the piece hanging you poked through and start unwinding. The ring will slide off the finger.

  95. Jackie

    January 27, 2014 at 6:24 AM

    Just about got the idea but most of the action is just off camera.

  96. Sandy

    January 27, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    A jeweler removed ny husband’s very tight ring with Windex. It’s soapy, and the slippery-ness made the ring slide right off.

  97. Adrienne

    January 27, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    I have a very hard time myself with my rings getting VERY TIGHT Very quick, especially in the summer. By the time I know the ring is to tight it’s already to late to just slip it off my finger. I have found for myself since my swelling is do it heat. If I run my hand under ICE COLD water for a few minutes and lots of soap. I can normally work it off with very little pain.
    If I tried to rap my finger like you showed I don’t think there would be room to fit the rap between my finger and ring.

  98. Jerry

    January 27, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    Brilliantly simple and simply brilliant.

  99. sonja waters

    January 27, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    What a terrific idea! Would never have thought about that ! Will get an elastic string and put in my first aid kit.

  100. jv

    January 27, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    If you have titanium and or tungsten then use vice grips if all else fails. Applying direct even pinching pressure on each side will pop the ring in half eventually and not your finger.

  101. doreen baker

    January 27, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    I remember several years ago Urgence Sante came in with a child on a stretcher with a locker room door and the child’d finger was stuck in the key hole Dr Nguyen did a procedure something similar to this/and everyone including Urgence Sante was shocked.Dr Nguyen told them in future to do the same procedure as he did if they got another problem like this.

  102. mimi

    January 27, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    will this work for enlarged arthritic knuckles…had to have my rings cut off before surgery…

  103. mimi

    January 27, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Enlarged arthritic knuckles caused me to have to have my rings cut off before surgery…so not necessarily true for everyone…

  104. naomi

    January 27, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    A 1/4″ penrose drain is adequate and costs less with the same results.

  105. linda Poage

    January 27, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    An even easier way to remove a ring is to hold hand upright and spray it with Windex. the Windex lubricates and will let the ring slip off.

  106. Greg Paix

    January 27, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    you can also use some xray film cut down to size Cheers

  107. Carol Trott

    January 27, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    I haven’t tried this yet, but I was wondering. What if my knuckles have gotten bigger? A few years ago, when I had surgery, I bruised my finger when getting my ring off. Does this work for knuckles that have gotten bigger, not necessarily more meat (or fat) on the fingers. I will try this, and let you know. Is it just elastic that you use? Thanks a lot! Carol

  108. sarah

    January 27, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    Use the finger if a disposable glove. Puah ynder the ring usung a thin implement. Then pull the end of the finger which gently pulls the ring off.

  109. Michele H

    January 27, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    As a nurse, I’ve used this method, but with dental tape. It’s strong and thin enough to get under the ring. All you have to do is “unwind” the floss and the ring while travel down the finger as you do.

  110. Kitty

    January 27, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    I was in hospital some years ago and my wedding ring got stuck, due to the drip being put in the bend of my arm, nurses said can’t find doc and did not want take the needle out! Ended up having my ring cut off! Had a massive fear since!! Should have created, shouldn’t i?

  111. Calla Gold

    January 27, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Fantastic solution. I’ll share this on my jewelry blog.
    I saw rings off people regularly. I have other methods to get rings off, but this one will be an excellent bridge between icing the hand and using lubricant and sawing the ring off.
    Since I then turn around and repair the ring and size it correctly my clients aren’t upset about the sawing off of their rings.
    This is a very good idea.

  112. Diana

    January 27, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    Yay!!! This worked! We used dental floss, and we finally got my too-small ring off!!

  113. John Young

    January 28, 2014 at 5:39 AM

    We are a Rescue Organisation in Australia, we use the same method of ring removal with dental floss or a shoe lace out in the field or Hospital, good trick was the elasticated band from the back of a dust mask.

  114. Ponsi

    January 28, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    Wow! So simple but I’m sure extremely painful in a real swollen case. Thank you for posting.

  115. Giacomo

    January 28, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    Burns; immediately apply Lanolin: no blisters & analgesic.

  116. jane

    January 28, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    Tried that with my new engagement ring 20 years ago.
    Didn’t work. Windex did!

  117. jan johnson

    January 28, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    I’ve done something similar to this but using thick string. You put about 5 inches of string under the ring up towards the hand. You then wrap the string snuggling around the finger starting just under the bottom of the ring. It will also cause compression moving the fluid down to the end of the finger, but when you “unravel” the string starting from above the finger, the ring slips down and off. Does this several times working in a nursing home.

  118. Esther

    January 28, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    As a nurse in a burn trauma unit I can tell you I have seen extremely swollen & mis-shapen fingers frequently. In 12 years I have never had to cut off a single ring when using this method on extremely swollen digits! We use umbilical tape (twill tie), start at the distal tip, wrap the digit tightly, all the way to the base, tuck the end under the ring and carefully untwist all the way up. Works like a charm and does not damage tissue.

  119. dianne

    January 28, 2014 at 9:06 PM

    This really worked. I broke my wrist and my fingers were swollen. I used eyeglass cleaner and the ring came off. Amazing.

    • Barbara

      January 28, 2014 at 9:39 PM

      Yes it works they did this to me at the hospital and yes i have arthritis
      in joints.

  120. Valerie

    January 29, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    That was awesome! And you have a new YouTube subscriber, now! I have 4 kids, and little tips like this are GREAT in THIS house!

  121. Kris

    January 29, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    I knew this trick as I had a doctor do this to my finger but they used wide band dental floss. Unconfortable ? yes for a couple minutes but the ring came off easily. Very cool.

  122. joan morrison

    January 31, 2014 at 7:09 AM

    This seems like a really good idea. I would really like to see it done with a properly swollen finger, I had recently had my wedding ring cut off!! Hated it! Thank you for tip. Will tel. my jeweller.


  123. Jon AmesMD

    January 31, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    Nice to show the public these tricks. I learned it 30 years ago as a intern in my ER rotation. We only used a good piece of thread. Not everybody has access to an oxygen mask unless you are in a an ER where any ER doc should know how to do it? Good job, though.

  124. Paul Hansen

    February 1, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    As a Paramedic, I used this concept many times to remove intact rings from swollen fingers. I was taught the technique by a Nurse who had trained in the U.K. I discovered that the ribbon style dental floss worked really well in that it is very smooth and incredibly strong. It is also easier to pass under the ring as you can also thread it through a curved needle if tweezers can’t easily be utilized.

  125. Loulou

    February 5, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    would this method work with a Russian 3 band ring, I didn’t fully roll it on my finger, I rolled it to the knuckle then forced it on and it appears to be cross threaded and not won’t move. please help.

  126. David May

    February 6, 2014 at 2:51 AM

    In dentistry when presented with a blood ‘blister’ under a fingernail we could relieve the pressure and hence the pain with a small diamond bur in the high speed handpiece. Not many have access to one of these so a good substitute is to heat a plain wire paperclip end to red heat and place it on the nail above the ‘blister’ until it penetrates into the blood.The blood is released and the pain goes.With gentle pressure this is painless although it sounds otherwise.

  127. Don Keller

    February 6, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    This trick worked great. Thank you so much. Haven’t had my ring off in at least 5 years. Didn’t want to cut it but was resigned to the fact that I probably would. Thank you so much guys.

  128. T. Miles

    February 6, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Brilliant extremely Brilliant Thanks for sharing, I will make sure this is a keeper in my book…

  129. J L Wofter

    February 7, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    I knew an orthopaedic surgeon who used string/cord the same way, and it worked for him.

  130. Floyd Gingrich

    February 8, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    I have limited monthly bandwidth (T-Mobile) so I don’t usually run videos. I would be nice if you also described the maneuver.

  131. JC

    February 14, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    I have to admit, I was skeptical about this procedure at first, however, I was very desperate. I very really take my rings off and unfortunately have put on some additional unwanted pounds. About 7 months (summer time) I attempted to remove my wedding ring to clean it, but couldn’t get if off. It had been a very hot summer and I had been doing a lot of outdoor work so I figured within time (at least in winter) the swelling would go down & the ring would come off. Well, we have had some extremely cold days and typically by this time my rings would just fall of on their own; not this time. My ring was still stuck and it was not budging. My husband helped me to try this method and at first it did not work…not even close! My finger was much to swollen and the ring was much too tight. We couldn’t find any elastic bands so we used a rubber strap from a dust mask. I thought maybe this was the reason it didn’t work. We tried again we a slightly slimmer rubber strap, however I first soaked my hand in very cold water for as long as I could stand it. My husband immediately began to wrap the finger as illustrated, but I sat on the floor so that my finger was above my head and heart. Once he had the finger wrapped, he poured vegetable oil over the finger, ring, and strap to make it easier to slide. I will admit, it was very, very painful (and I have a high tolerance to pain) but he got it off! I think one of reasons for the failure the first time was that I watched what was happening. My advice Don’t watch! And endure the pain as long as you can, you may get lucky and get it off without cutting it. I Did! And it was doubtful

  132. Mr G. Allan Heyn

    February 19, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    I wish this information was available 30 years ago. I have had to have my ring cut off twice. Both times due to swelling as a result of a the finger getting caught. And twice I have had to have the ring mended. Great info.

  133. Bry Grace

    February 26, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    My friend sent me to when we had this problem – my husband loves his and we never have to worry about cutting it off.

  134. Ann

    February 26, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    You have no idea how you just saved us! My hubby is having surgery tomorrow morning and he’s had his ring on for 35 years. He was more nervous about getting the ring off than the surgery itself! We tried ice, soap, wonder, nothing worked. This worked like a charm! He is so relieved. We were sure we’d have to cut it and my dad made his ring in the hand carved lost wax method of casting. Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

  135. rehana

    February 28, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    Practical, anyone can perform this tips and inexpensive. Very impressive! Thank you for sharing.

  136. Pingback: 3 Emergency Room Tips To Remove A Stuck Ring -

  137. Jenny

    March 27, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    I was at work a few years back at a hair salon & my ring got stuck right above my knuckle & it was swelling & turning bluish purple & I was using conditioner, hair oil, shampoo, anything bc I was starting to panic. A client was witnessing my pre- break down & told me to spray some windex on my finger, I thought ‘ridiculous’ but did not hesitate for a second and sure enough the ring came off almost immediately. I was amazed & thankful that now I possess a sure fire trick to getting off a stuck ring!

  138. Michael Phillips

    April 4, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    The survival Doctor showed a technique using duct tape or dental floss. Pretty similar.

  139. anita

    April 6, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    I had a ring stuck on my finger when I was little and had to have it cut off by a jeweler. We tried everything from soap and water to ky jelly lubricant and it just would not come off. Wish I’d known about this way back then.

  140. Pingback: Home Remedies For Preppers | SHTF First Aid | Survival Life - Survival Life | Preppers | Survival Gear | Blog

  141. Madeleine Eve Robins

    May 29, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Just used this trick and it worked on my wedding ring on the hand with a broken wrist. It was not without discomfort (I think the elastic I had on hand was too heavy to work gracefully)–but it saved me trying to find a jeweler who could cut it off, on an afternoon when I was already exhausted. Thank you

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  143. Blues and Twos

    June 27, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Hello sir,
    Thank you for your nice posting.“Every now and then a ring gets stuck on my finger and it’s pretty scary. I live about 20 minutes from an ER but I also don’t want it cut off.

  144. Jeff

    July 7, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    I was stung by a bee and did not remove my ring immediately. I am not allergic or anything. I did not think about the swelling until 36 hours later. I woke up in the morning, and my finger was throbbing and swollen. Then I remembered the bee sting. I searched the web and tried different solutions for 4 hours. Each time my finger got more swollen and the pain increased. I finally tried the method in the video above. No O2 mask! I looked for an elastic alternative. My first attempt failed. The elastic broke. I got another elastic band from a local fabric store, and got the ring over my knuckle where it was stuck. I gave it one more scream and pull and it came off! Thank you so much for this video. My wedding ring is safe, but my finger hurts like crazy. This method is EXTREMELY PAINFUL!

    • Lauren J

      July 7, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      Glad you got your ring off in one piece!

  145. Gema

    August 10, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Although it seemed impossible, I was able to get my wedding band off my swollen finger using this method. I’ve subscribed to your emails and look forward to receiving more survival tips!

  146. peter mcgrath

    August 13, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    great video on removing a ring stuck on a swollen finger very clever
    liked it also liked your dog attack article
    cheers peter McGrath

  147. Blues and Twos

    August 20, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Hello sir,
    Thank you for your nice posting.the condition of your hands and feet can be the deciding factor between surviving and not.

  148. annihilation marvel

    September 18, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    Really no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of after that its
    up to other people that they will assist, so here it occurs.

  149. Blues and Twos

    October 2, 2014 at 1:33 AM

    Hello sir,
    Thank you for your nice posting.A trick I’ve used for years is soap or another lubricant to slip the ring off but it can still be very painful to remove the ring, and can damage the tissues of your finger. And if swelling is too bad it doesn’t work at all!

  150. Victoria

    November 15, 2014 at 6:45 AM

    RE: Stuck Ring, WOW. I wish I had seen this a few months back & $90.00 Bill to repair. I had to have both custom made wedding rings cut off what a terrifying scare of losing my finger it was very swollen painful & purple, Thank goodness for my jewelry who were about to close for the day as he waited for me to arrive it was either them or the emergency room that would have been over a $250 bill. Hopefully this will never happen again but I now know the trick, thanks to this video listed by Survival Life. As a NEWBEE I am already greatful for the insite on things I am learning everyday from your site.

  151. jacob Edwards

    January 23, 2015 at 10:58 AM

    oh my gosh thank you so much I had my class ring on and couldn’t get it of this worked perfect!

  152. elliemae

    January 24, 2017 at 1:00 PM

    This worked GREAT!! I was able to get a ring off for the first time in YEARS!!!

  153. 1bmwdrvr1

    June 26, 2017 at 3:47 AM

    Better yet is that those three even bothered to do something nice like making that short video. Kindness has gone out of style, those three brought some back. Quite decent folks.

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  155. Pingback: Ring Stuck On Finger? This Cool Trick Could Save Your Finger… And Your Ring - Survive!

  156. Pingback: Ring Stuck On Finger? This Cool Trick Could Save Your Finger… And Your Ring

  157. Pingback: Ring Stuck On Finger? This Cool Trick Could Save Your Finger... And Your Ring

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