How To Unscrew Tight Balls On A Helix/Cartilage Piercing

After the huge success of my How To Unscrew Tight Balls On A Piercing Bar At Home video series, I decided to make a better version. While this version focuses on cartilage/helix piercings, it will work for any piercing with threaded jewellery. I used demonstrated unscrewing my cartilage piercing purely because it’s the one I’m asked about most.

3 Ways To Unscrew Tight Piercing Balls

1. Using rubber gloves

Rubber gloves are something that can be found in most households which makes it the starting tool for helping you unscrew a tight ball on a piercing bar. However, while they’re good at providing extra grip, they can be a little clunky and oversized making it harder to reach and securely grip smaller balls, especially if they’re tucked away inside your ear.

2. Latex gloves

Latex gloves can be bought from most pharmacies, usually as a box of several disposable pairs (which is great as you’ve then got some if you have the issue again in the future). They come in different sizes making it easier to overcome the clunkiness issues we had with the rubber gloves and tend to work well for most piercings. but if it’s particularly tight you may need something with a bit more grip such as in step 3.

Use nitrile gloves if you have a latex allergy.

3. Haemostatic Forceps

Haemostats are a vital tool in a piercer’s arsenal and is often what we use on a stiff piercing if gloves alone aren’t enough. They do require a bit of an investment, but for those with multiple piercings the cost can be outweighed with the money saved going to see a piercer. Clamp the haemostats on the bar to keep it from spinning and twist the ball with your hand (lefty loosey, righty tighty).

You can also clamp them on the ball and hold the bar if it’s easier (as I did in the original video), but I find it’s easier to hold the bar with the forceps and the ball with your fingers. However, this method can be easier when there’s not much space for your fingers to hold the ball.

The next step is to try with two pairs of haemostatic forceps. Clamp one on the bar to keep in from spinning as in step 3 and the other on the ball perpendicular to the first pair so that you can use its grip to unscrew the problematic ball.

Other things that can work:

  • Small clean pliers- be aware these may scratch or damage the jewellery but can be a life saver when it’s urgent (i.e. you need to take it out for an MRI or surgery)
  • Some tweezers – if they have good grip

If none of these work for you, you’re probably going to have to go back to your piercer.

Leave a Reply