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Published Saturday, June 17, 2023

How to Remove Body Jewelry: Step-by-Step Guide

Getting a new piercing is exciting. Usually, your piercer will recommend the best jewelry to give your piercing time and room to heal. The jewelry your piercer chose may be basic, but after you’ve had time to heal you’re ready for something different—something more your style with a better fit. After shopping for new jewelry, it’s time to switch it out. But it has been weeks since you got your piercing and it’s hard to remember exactly what your piercer said about removing your jewelry. We’re here to help make the process easier.

When can you change your jewelry?

Before you even try to change your jewelry, make sure your piercing is healed! Changing your piercing jewelry before your piercing is completely ready can irritate or harm your piercing. Everyone is different and depending on the location of your piercing, it can take a few months until your piercing is fully healed.

A piercing is an open wound, so even if it looks healed on the outside, it takes longer to mend internally. Once you no longer have any soreness, swelling, irritation or discharge, wait a few more weeks to make sure your piercing is completely healthy. The more time you wait, the safer it will be to switch your jewelry. Be patient. After all, you want your piercing to feel good and look good. If you’re ever in doubt, talk to your piercer.

Get Ready to Change your Jewelry

After waiting for so long for your piercing to heal, the last thing you want is to lose your jewelry. It’s helpful to stage the area you are going to use. If you’re doing it in front of a bathroom mirror, don’t forget about the drain. We recommend placing a towel or a piece of cloth to cover the drain, so you don’t lose your jewelry that way and to prevent your jewelry from bouncing and going across the room.

Once your space is ready, wash your hands with soap and water. You don’t want to touch your jewelry with dirty hands. If you have a mouth or lip piercing, use a saline solution to disinfect the piercing. We have several after care products here.

While you can change your jewelry with clean hands, we recommend that you use rubber gloves to help you get a better grip on your jewelry.

How to remove threadless jewelry (aka push-pin studs)

Whether you like to call it threadless jewelry or push-pin studs, threadless jewelry comes in two pieces: the post and the pin. The pin usually has a decorative top. To remove this type of jewelry, grip and pull each piece away from each other. If you’re having trouble pulling the pieces apart, twist the pieces as you pull away. Don’t worry when you see a bent pin. It’s supposed to look like that. The bend is what keeps the jewelry securely in place inside the post.

What makes threadless jewelry so popular is the endless style options you have for pins or the decorative tops. We have tons of threadless ends on our site. Shop for them here.

Learn how threadless jewelry works in the video below:

How to remove threaded jewelry

If your jewelry isn’t threadless, then you have threaded jewelry. Labret posts, barbells, circular barbells, curved barbells, and even some plugs can be threaded. Depending on the jewelry, the threaded jewelry can consist of either two or three pieces. For example, a labret post might have the ball end and a post and a fixed disk on one end, but a curved barbell will usually have the post and two ball ends that can be removed.

Something important to keep in mind is that there are two kinds of threading used for body jewelry: internal threading and external threading. An internally threaded post will have the threading on the inside, and an externally threaded post is one with the threading exposed on the outside. But the threaded ends are the opposite. A ball or end with exposed threading is an internally threaded end, because it is an end meant for an internally threaded post. And, vice versa, an end with threading on the inside is an externally threaded end, because it pairs with an externally threaded post. If you are shopping for jewelry components separately, make sure to look for ends that will fit the post you want to match it with.

To remove threaded jewelry, grip the post and turn the ball end to the left to unscrew the ball. If you forget which way to run the ball, remember, righty-tighty and lefty-loosey. If you’re screwing the ball back in, make sure the ball is screwed on tight. Threaded jewelry can become loose with wear.

Whether you want to change your post or ends, we have tons of threaded jewelry options on our site. Shop our labrets , barbells, circular barbells, curved barbells and ends.

How to remove a seamless ring

Even though the ring is “seamless” and looks like a completely closed ring, it still has a seam where the two ends of the ring meet. First, locate the seam and grip each side of the ring. Twist each side in opposite directions. Once the ring is open, it should look like the beginning of a coil. Do not pull each side away from each other as that may permanently distort the shape of the ring. To close it, just twist the two sides towards each other. If you’re having trouble removing your seamless ring, see your piercer for help.

If you want a sleek look, shop for our seamless ring collection here. Watch the video below to see how to open and close a seamless ring:

How to remove a clicker

Clicker rings are very popular because they have a hinged mechanism that makes it easy to open and close. To remove a clicker, locate the hinge and grip the opposite side of the opening area. Pull the opening area. To close it, push the opening segment back in the clasp. You will hear a “click” sound when it’s securely closed. From simple rings to ornate, jewel-encrusted pieces, we have tons of styles on our site. Shop for your next clicker here.

Watch a video of how to open and close clickers below:

How to remove a captive bead ring

Captive bead rings are open hoops that use a bead held in place by tension to close the gap; the bead is removed to open the ring and put back in place after it is inserted into the piercing. We’re not going to sugar coat it, removing a large gauge captive ring can be tricky. While smaller captive bead rings can be opened using a little force with your hands, it can be challenging to open a thick captive ring. You may need special tools to open and close rings larger than 10 gauge, and even smaller rings, like a 16g, are often easier to open with a pair of pliers made for that purpose.

To get started, make sure you have the right tools: ring opening pliers and ring closing pliers. You can find both of these pliers on our site here. Keep in mind that if you try to use other tools that are not meant for jewelry, you can scratch or damage the metal.

Start by sliding the opening pliers into the ring and placing the edges of the ring into the grooves of the opening pliers. Gently squeeze the pliers to open the ring. The bead will pop out of the ring. Once the bead is out, move the ring so that your skin passes through it. If the area isn’t wide enough, open the ring a little more using the pliers. Be careful not to open it too much as it can distort the shape of the ring.

To close the ring and put the bead back in, you will need to use the ring closing pliers. Set the ring between the notches of the closing pliers. Squeeze the pliers to close the ring slightly. The open segment of the ring should be slightly smaller than the diameter of the bead. Next, locate the dimples on each side of the bead. Align these divots with the open sides of the ring and push the bead between them. The bead should pop right in and close the ring.

If you’re having trouble removing your captive ring or don’t have the right tools, we recommend going to your piercer to remove the captive ring.

If the process of removing captive rings hasn’t scared you off and you want to shop for more captive bead ring styles, check out our collection here.

Watch a video of how to use tools to open & close captive bead rings:

How to remove a segment ring

A segment ring is similar to a captive bead ring. Instead of a ball, it has a curved segment that can be removed. Use ring opening pliers to open a segment ring the easiest way. First, locate the segment by finding the two seams on the ring showing where it separates from the rest of the ring. Insert the pliers on either side of both seams and gently squeeze the pliers to open the ring slightly. You can now push the segment out of the ring, which leaves you a gap to put into your piercing.

To close a segment ring, line one end of the segment with the open side of the ring and then lever it into place, fitting the notch on either side of the ring. If the gap is too narrow, use the opening pliers to slightly open the ring so that you can push the segment piece in.

Segment rings are a great option for a truly seamless look. You can shop for segment rings on our site here.

To match your style is an exciting part of having a piercing. Removing any type of jewelry for the first time can be a little intimidating, but with patience and practice, you can do it. If you have any trouble taking your jewelry off, we recommend seeing your piercer. They can answer all your questions and demonstrate how to safely remove your jewelry.