Sterling Jewelers Blog
October 20th, 2015
Did you know that impossibly stuck rings are no match for common dental floss and a paper clip. This low-cost home remedy has become a favorite topic on YouTube and promises to save many a precious keepsake from a costly repair or premature demise.

We bet you know someone who's finger became so swollen that a wedding band or engagement ring had to be snapped off with a ring cutter. But, the next time you're confronted by a ring that won't budge, try this solution. Thirty inches of dental floss.

The internet is teeming with self-help videos that demonstrate a simple, inexpensive, quick and painless way of getting mis-sized rings to come off. Here's the concept: By tightly wrapping dental floss around the soft tissue of the finger, the ring has just enough room to advance over the knuckle.

In a video viewed by more than 3.7 million YouTube fans, the folks at UrbanHowToDo outline a step-by-step method that removes rings in minutes. The only tools necessary are a roll of dental floss and a small nail file or paper clip. (Caution: A doctor told us that this method will restrict the blood flow to the finger and should be completed quickly — in less than five minutes.)

• The first step is to take 2 1/2 feet of dental floss and lay one end parallel with the stuck ring.


• Then, using a small nail file or a paper clip, push the end of the dental floss under the ring (from the finger side to the palm side). Be extremely careful not to poke your skin. The video actually shows the use of a safety pin, which is potentially dangerous and not recommended.

• When the floss emerges on the palm side of the ring, pull through six inches and leave two feet of floss on the finger side. Hold the shorter end under your thumb to secure it in place.


• Then use the longer length of floss to tightly wrap the finger, starting close to the ring and working up past the knuckle. If the ring is extremely tight, the wraps need to be very close together.


• At the end of the two-foot length, create a loop and tuck the end under the loop to secure it.

• To remove the ring, grab the end of the six-inch length and slowly pull the floss through from the finger side to the palm side.


• The ring will start to move up the finger toward the knuckle, wobbling back and forth with the unwinding of each wrap. As soon as it passes the knuckle, it should easily slide off.

Other YouTube videos provide variations on this method. Some recommend starting the floss wrapping from the finger above the knuckle and moving down toward the ring. The justification is that the blood should be moving away from the extremity. In another video, the doctor uses string instead of dental floss.

We must emphasize that this method may not work for every person and every type of ring. Rings with large center stones that jut out from the mounting tend to get hung up in the dental floss and make the process much tougher.

Also, some rings can get so tight (especially after an injury) that medical intervention is advised.

Nevertheless, YouTube viewers have written glowing reviews, and comments are nearly universally positive.

One YouTube user who suffered from the discomfort of a stuck ring for 10 years wrote the following and posted a video of a successful attempt to duplicate the "How To" solution: "My ring... has been... irremovable for at least 10 years. Not a chance, will never come off! So my wonderful friend Colleen says, "Just YouTube 'ring removal with dental floss.' And here are the magical results! This video is dedicated to my beautiful friend. You are AWESOME!"

Credit: YouTube screen captures.