Earring backs are the small pieces of metal that accompany earrings with post settings. A post setting is a straight piece of metal a quarter of an inch long, which you push directly into the piercing in your ear. The earring back is what you slide onto the post in back of your ear to keep the entire earring in place. Sometimes the earring back is difficult to remove. For example, if you have been wearing the earrings daily without removing them for several days, or if these are earrings from your first ear piercing (called “piercers”), the backs might be difficult to remove. However, there are things that you can do to make sure that you remove the backs without hurting yourself.

Things You'll Need

Earrings Worn For Several Days

Wash your hands and pat them dry. Moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol. Swab the back and front of the earring, as well as your ear lobe. Concentrate on saturating the earring back. This should loosen it, as well as sanitize the area.

Moisten a cotton ball in water as hot as you can stand. Swab the front and back of your ears, focusing on saturating the earring, particularly the earring back.

Place one clean hand firmly but gently on the front of the earring. Place the other hand on the earring back. Pull each hand away from the other slowly. The earring back should slide off. Repeat with more hot water or alcohol if the earring back is loosened, but not ready to slide all the way off.

Earrings Used for a First-Time Piercing

Wash your hands with soap and water and pat them dry. Moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol. Swab the front and back of the earring as a precautionary measure.

Place your forefinger and thumb around the front of the earring. Do not touch the earring back. Make sure you have a firm grip.

Press down with your thumb and forefinger around the front of the earring. Squeeze the metal as hard as you possibly can. This will be slightly uncomfortable, but you should hear a click and the earring back will pop off.