Piercing Ball Won't Unscrew? Five (5) Tips to Unscrew a Piercing Ball That Is Stuck
My Jewelry Ball is Stuck
Body jewelry is beautiful! A big part of being pierced is the ability to swap out your jewelry. Maybe you've got a belly button ring that looks great with a new bikini... Or maybe your cartilage earrings are specifically curated for your new outfit. The options are endless, and that's what makes jewelry so fun.
A piercing ball that is stuck can take all of the fun out of accessorizing... Not only that, it can be an incredibly frustrating experience. How can you unscrew a stuck piercing ball?
If you've got a stubborn piece of body jewelry that just won't open up, here are a few tips to help you loosen up that ball.
For most of us, we're ready to start swapping out our jewelry styles as soon as we've been pierced. Sure, you might be mentally ready to change your jewelry... But are you physically ready?
Swapping out your jewelry is actually pretty stressful on a piercing if it isn't completely healed. Changing your body jewelry (and the stress that comes along with pulling and prodding at the jewelry to get it out) can damage the fragile cells inside of the piercing site.
Keep in mind that although your jewelry might look and feel healed on the outside, it might still be tender on the inside. Piercings are technically puncture wounds after all - while you are still healing, you should treat them as such.
We recommend waiting an appropriate amount of time to let your body heal before attempting to swap out your jewelry. For a tongue ring, it might be as early as one (1) month of healing... But for a nipple ring or a cartilage piercing (like a nose ring or a helix piercing), it might be closer to a year.
Discuss healing times with your professional piercer while you're having the procedure done. They are most qualified to give you accurate advice when it comes to healing time.
Use a Latex or Rubber Glove
Body jewelry is relatively small and can be rather tricky! Sometimes, you'll just need to get a better grip on the jewelry to have enough leverage to get the ball unstuck.
A pair of latex or rubber gloves will usually provide enough grip to unscrew a stuck piercing ball. Make sure the jewelry is completely dry and grab the ball with your gloved hand.
The bit of extra torque from the rubber gloves might provide just the right amount of traction to get your ball unstuck.
Bonus Tip: are you trying to swap out your body jewelry over the sink? A bathroom is the perfect place to attempt to loosen your body jewelry (there's usually a mirror and good, bright lighting), but the sink is the perfect place to lose a piercing ball. Put a hand towel over the drain before you start to make sure your piercing ball doesn't get lost.
Make Sure You're Twisting the Right Way
This might sound super goofy, but make sure that when you're trying to remove your piercing jewelry, you're twisting the ball the correct way.
This can get confusing, especially if you're looking in a mirror when trying to loosen your jewelry. With piercings in hard to see or reach areas (think the daith or conch), sometimes a mirror is your only option for a visual of what you're doing.
Remember, righty-tighty, lefty-loosy! It might be as simple as that.
Ask A Friend For Help
Sometimes changing your jewelry just isn't a one-person job. Cartilage ear piercings are notoriously tough to swap out by yourself - even with a mirror for help, you might not be able to see what you're doing with 100% accuracy.
Your friend can use any of the aforementioned tips to help get your ball unstuck. Just make sure they've washed their hands thoroughly before getting up close and personal with your mods.
If all else fails, it might be time to visit a professional...
Be careful using this method, as you might damage your piercing irreparably.
Pliers are one way to get a better grip on a piercing ball. These pliers often have "teeth" that can grab onto the jewelry material with extra pressure. Plus, the pliers themselves offer a bit more leverage when it comes to twisting the ball.
Your professional piercer should have a pair of special pliers that will do the job. If you don't have the correct tools (or you're too afraid to do it yourself), stop in for an in-person session. They would be happy to help you insert a new piece of jewelry while you're there!
Some piercers will do this for free, but ask up front if there is any charge - if they do a good job, it's absolutely worth tipping them for their time!
Note: in more serious cases, your professional piercer might be able to literally cut the jewelry out of your piercing. There is some inherent risk associated with this method (although it's not as scary as it sounds), so we recommend leaving this option to your pro piercer.