How to Remove a Captive Navel Ring

by Yvette Clark ; Updated September 28, 2017

A captive bead ring, which is a circular piece of jewelry with a fully removable bead, is the most common piece of body jewelry for navels and other piercings. Because the tension of the ring holds the bead in place, the connection between the bead and the ring must be tight. This can make the jewelry difficult to remove, especially on a navel piercing. Although it’s best to go to your piercer to remove and change your jewelry, you can do it yourself if necessary.

Wash and dry your hands and your piercing thoroughly. Even a healed piercing can develop problems if germs or dirt enter into it.

Wrap the jaws of the pliers with tape so they don't damage your jewelry. Sterile medical grade tape is the best choice, but you can use any soft, clean tape.

Place one hand under your piercing and get ready to catch the bead. Using the pliers, grab the ring and gently pry it open until the bead falls out.

Test the ring to see if the opening is big enough to remove it from your navel. If your piercing is shallow, the opening may not need any adjustment. If your piercing is deep, open the ring a little bit more.

Add a small amount of liquid soap to lubricate the ring. Turn it carefully until it slides out of your navel piercing. If it doesn’t slide easily out, open up the ring a little bit more and try again. You may also want to add more liquid soap.


  • Ring opening pliers from piercing suppliers make the process of removing captive bead jewelry much easier. If your captive bead ring is especially thick or thin, it will be more difficult to remove. Thick jewelry can be difficult to open, even with tools, and thin jewelry bends out of shape easily. A professional piercer can remove these pieces of jewelry without damage.

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About the Author

Yvette Clark has been working as a freelance writer and writing teacher for over 10 years, specializing in animal, nutrition and lifestyle topics. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago.