Inside: How to remove earrings with a ball. It happens to the best of us– we all get stuck in a pair of earrings from time to time.

When I was ten years old and getting my ears pierced for the first time, I really thought there were two styles of earrings. With a classic butterfly or plastic back, or a clasp. That’s it. Now the older I get and the more I see all of the different kinds of earrings and backs and closures on the market, the more I realize I don’t even know how to operate all of them.

I’ve found myself stuck in a pair of earrings from time to time, even the easy and standard ones! If you’ve found yourself with a pair of earrings stuck in your ear, I have a couple of different guides with tips to get you out of them .

Today we’re talking about the kinds of earrings with the little balls on them to keep them in place. I’ve been stumped by these more than a few times, whether the bar, the hoop, or the horseshoe.

Let’s get you out of those earrings!

How to remove earrings with a ball the easy way

Getting Started

The number one thing you’ll need to be sure of while removing a stuck earring is sanitation. No matter how healed it is, you need to make sure that you keep everything nice and clean.

Wash your hands well, and if you’re dealing with a newer piercing you may want to consider rubber gloves.

Use a saline solution that you usually use to clean and take care of your piercings. If you don’t have any left from your most recent piercing, I recommend picking some up befores starting. You can get some from most piercing shops, or your local store in the first aid section. Any non-alcoholic cleaning solution and wound care would be perfect for this.

Clean the piercing area and the earring itself. While you’re maybe not putting anything else in, it should still all be clean as you start messing around with it.

Before starting too, it will be super helpful to make sure you know what type of back the ball is. While you may know if you have a hoop, bar, or horseshoe pretty obviously, they may also be one style of two: twist off or pull off. This is where I tend to find myself stuck, not sure if I need to be twisting or pulling the ball off.

If you can figure out how this is supposed to be put on and removed, you’re at a good starting point.

How To Remove Earrings With A Ball & Hoop

There are several styles of hoops that can be closed in different ways. If you have one with a ball, it can be a little tricky to remove when the ball doesn’t want to cooperate. They seem to have a mind of their own.

Often, the ball needs to twist and rotate off. Getting a good grip is the hardest part of this, as they’re so small and tend to be in a spot where your ear just stays in the way.

If you have a captive ball earring, the most common use of a ball earring, it’s a simple fix. These are meant to be able to pull the ball out, but are kept together by the pressure of the hoop holding the ball in place. Opening a captive ball earring is simple once you understand. The ball comes out from the hoop completely, so all you need to do is get a good grip on the ball and pull it out of the hoop. And that should be it.

Rotate the earring through your piercing until the gap allows you pull remove the earring from your ears.

A rook piercing that uses a ball back - tips for taking off

Barbell Removal

A barbell is where I tend to find myself the most stuck. Some of them come with a ball that pulls and some come with a twist off. But depending on the piercing, it’s hard to get a good enough grip on the ball to be able to tell if it needs to be twisted or pulled.

And as you go through trying to figure it out, it may be a little tricky.

One thing I did learn about the twist off or threaded earring backs is that the back isn’t the part that twists. I learned this the hard way by trying to twist the back for way too long, and realizing that the post is the part that you need to be rotating and twisting to remove it is a game changer.

Which is a no brainer… of course you want to be rotating the correct part. My tragus was impossible to figure out on my own and I needed to get a professional to look at it and figure out what kind of earring it was.

Some of them really do just pop off though, and you may be trying to twist something that just pulls off. The difference between these two is where I recommend going to a piercing shop and seeing if either your piercer is available or if any of them are free to give you a hand in trying to remove it. Or at least tell you how you should be removing it yourself!

If It’s Really Stuck

Sometimes earrings really are just stuck. It’s not always user error!

If you’re positive you’re doing everything right and the earring is really just not budging, there are a few things that you can do to learn how to remove earrings with ball easily.

  • First, I would try jumping in a warm shower and letting the water hit the earring, and seeing if that helps to loosen up the ball on it.
  • If that doesn’t work, you should try petroleum jelly like Vaseline to try to lubricate it. I would try to use a cotton swab to try your best to get it under the back, and then do your best to clear the area so that you can get a good grip the back well enough to get it off.
  • If you have the tools and the confidence to go this far, if you have a pair of piercing tweezers, they may help you grip and twist the earrings easily.
  • A trip to the piercer might be a better solution than this for you, but if you feel pretty confident about these kinds of moves, I definitely think it can be done.

A girl with several earrings in her ear piercings.

Being stuck in a pair of earrings is the worst. It’s hard to tell sometimes if the earring is simply stuck or if it is user error. Figuring out the best way to remove the earring is the first part, then actual execution is another story. Hopefully you’ve found your way out of your earrings by now. Was it the wrong kind of back? Or did you need to loosen it up a little bit?

I’ve often had to leave an earring on or in until I can take a trip to a piercing shop or tattoo salon to have them help me figure out what needs to be done to get it off. But I’m really hoping that you’re having better luck than I have and that this how to remove earrings with ball guide made it all a little easier.

Need to give some of your earrings a good cleaning? Check out this DIY earring cleaner guide. Refresh and sanitize your favorite earrings.