Inside: How to remove flat back earrings if you’re really struggling with it.

Okay so you just got your first piercing that came with a pair of earrings that use a flat back. Foreign concept.

I know from experience that you’re probably used to using butterfly backs, rubber backs, or barbells with the ball at the end that you screw off.

That’s all I knew for years and as soon as I got pierced with a flat back… I was so confused!

I didn’t know how to get it off for so long. I let the piercing heal and decided to keep the initial piercing in for a while, and then when it was time to give it something new could’n’t remove it.

A woman removing a stud dangle earring

So I’m here to give you some tips and give you information on all things flat back earrings, and help you out the way that I needed help.

Let’s dive into it.

Before Removing

Before removing earrings, especially if they are fresh out of the healing stage, you’re going to want to make sure everything is clean when you get started. Even if you avoided the potential infections while it was brand new, it’s still possible to get infected at this point.

As always, wash your hands.

Go ahead and clean the piercing with whatever solution you’ve been cleaning it with for the past six to eight weeks, most likely the saline solution.

Then you’ll want to clean the new earring you’re about to put in. Especially if it came in a box or bag where it could have been touched by other hands before it made it to you. And even if it didn’t, go ahead and clean it anyway. You can also do this with your normal saline solution.

Then go ahead and wash your hands again after this whole cleaning process.

Two different types of stud earring backs.

Gold From Maison Miru | Silver From Amazon

Different Back Styles

The biggest thing to note about flat back piercings is that there are two different kinds and they are removed differently, according to their type.

One type of flat back earring has a little screw on the end that the back screws onto. I wasn’t super aware of this fact, hence, the difficulty getting it off! I thought it was supposed to pop right off when you pull it like the more common butterfly back… but alas. Nope.

This brings us to the second type, the one that pops on and off of the post of the earring. Simple, classic, and probably exactly what you’re used to.

If you can’t determine which one you might have in your ear, and you’ve tried twisting it to unscrew it and you’ve tried just pulling it to no avail, I’ve collected some tips that will help you remove it.

How To Remove Flat Back Earrings: Screw Style

The screw off earrings feel a little counter intuitive to me, and I assumed they were super rare. But come to find out, they’re actually pretty common in the world of various piercing types and therefore different earring types.
I had a bit of a hard time getting it to budge once I discovered this was the style of earring I had in, but with some of these tips, I got it!

I tried pulling and pulling, thinking I was being too gentle with it, but with no luck, I had to look into the potential other options of what this could be.

I figured the best way to unscrew it would be to work with the actual back of the earring.

The best way to screw these off is to hold the back of the earring firmly, and twist the stud that rests on the front of your ear. The post is the part that needs to do the twisting, and once you’ve twisted it a couple times you’re free!

Push Pin Style Earrings

Push pins are the most common style of earring functions, and they come in many different styles: flat back, butterfly, plastic, you name it. There are so many on the market and the different earring backs depend on the style of earring and how it will hang on your ear.

If you’re working with a flat back right now, they can be a little tricky to get a hold on. To remove flat your back earrings just use the tip of your fingers and possibly your nails to get it gripped between the pads of your fingers.

Once you do, just… pull! And you’re done.

There’s a little ridge on before the end of the post on the earring to keep it from slipping off, so once you feel resistance, don’t stop, keep going! I’ve made this mistake many times.

Again, my usual mistake when it comes to removing earrings that I have a tough time with is feeling like I should be more gentle than I am. While you want to be careful, especially if these are new piercings, being too gentle won’t get you anywhere, unfortunately. So don’t be afraid!

Get a friend to help you if you need, but someone who isn’t scared of the process. I remember being called over to a guys’ night to help my friend remove his earrings because the boys there were simply clueless. They watched in awe as I simply gripped the flatback on the stud and pulled it right off!

A woman wearing three stud earrings

How To Remove Flat Back Earrings… When They’re Really Stuck

Okay okay, maybe you’ve tried all the tips and they’re really stuck.

If you know for sure what kind of back or post they are, and you can rule that out as an issue, you may potentially still find yourself with the earring stuck in your ear.

Even with your friends tugging on it.

There are three things I think you can try to make it a little easier to get the earring back off the post.
Latex gloves for a better grip.

Ring piercing pliers… This you DO need to be gentle with!

Vaseline. This one is a little tricky but it might work. Cover the back post of the earring and the back with vaseline and try to get it between the post and the earring back as best you can. Let it sit for a little while so that it hopefully slips between them if it hasn’t already. After a while, rinse it off and try again.

A flower stud earring

You don’t have to be new to earrings to struggle with learning how to remove flat back earrings, the process gets the best of even me!

When you invest in quality jewelry, it can be a bittersweet situation, since they’re made to not fall off. It can be a little difficult to get them out even when you want them off, so you’ve got to put in some work.

I always appreciate a tough earring, since overall I know it’s going to stay safe in my ear, but it’s a little more work than I was anticipating just to switch to a different gold stud.

I hope this guide is helpful to you and that you can now successfully navigate your earring switching on the regular, regardless of the type of earring post you have in! Those flat backs, whether twisty or push pins are tricky and might trip you up, but you got this! You have my guide now.

If you want to dive into the different kinds of metals used in different earrings, use this ultimate titanium guide here! Titanium is a phenomenal metal to use for your piercings, whether your piercings are new or old. The lack of nickel reduces the potential of irritation if you have sensitive ears and skin, so worry not about your ears with these earrings!