No, you don’t have to lose your finger in the process! There are several techniques to get the ring off, some of which can be combined. All the techniques are designed to make your finger smaller temporarily.
If the ring has been getting tighter over time, these techniques may work just fine. But if you injured your finger, causing it to swell up, you may want to skip all of this and get to an emergency room or your local fire station and get the ring cut off. When time is of the essence, don’t mess around with these techniques—your finger is more important than any ring.
So, if you have the time and this isn’t an emergency, here are some things to try.
1. Hold your hand above your head with the fingers pointed straight up—some of the blood will drain from your hand and make the finger slightly smaller.
2. Wrap ice around the finger or submerge your hand in ice water.
3. Spray Windex® on the finger and rotate the ring off your finger, as if you were unscrewing it. People report that rocking the ring back and forth may help; others say that doesn’t work. Lubricants such as lotion, liquid soap, vegetable oil, etc., might work also but apparently the alcohol in Windex slightly shrinks the flesh temporarily so there’s a double benefit.
4. Do all of the above