How To Make A Microwave Heating Bag

SuppliesInstead of using electric heat pads & blankets or hot water bottles for your aches and pains, these microwaveable packs are just the ticket!

They’re known by a few different terms such as: bed buddies, stress busters, rice or magic bags, corn cozies–but they’re basically all the same thing.

These serve a dual purpose as you can also keep them in the freezer to use has a cooling pad or freezer pack when needed.

If you’d like to learn how to make them, you’ll find a tutorial below along with tips for different kinds of fillers to try and directions for using them.

Introduction:

No pattern is necessary, simply cut two pieces of cloth in the size/shape you wish (leave a seam allowance about 1/2″). More detailed instructions are found below.

Some prefer regular square shapes, others prefer tubes or more rectangular shapes. Experiment, whip up a few different sizes and shapes to try.

These are really easy to whip up as well as cheap!

Filler Options

  • Uncooked rice
  • Wheat
  • Feed corn
  • Buckwheat hulls
  • Barley
  • Oatmeal
  • Beans
  • Flax seed
  • Cherry pits

You can also add the following to the above for a soothing, fragrant sack: Spices, herbs, essential oils.

  • Ideas: lavender, rose petals, ground cloves, nutmeg, ginger, rosemary, cinnamon, peppermint oil, crushed mint
  • If using: Mix herbs, spices and essential oil with choice filler (such as rice) and let sit in a sealed container for a few days (occasionally stirring). This will help set and distribute the fragrance a bit.

Fabric Options

  • Cotton: (plain, prints, flannels, denims)
  • Alternate ideas: old socks (sew or knot end closed), washcloths, old towels

You can also make cozy, removable & washable outer pouches, this is especially nice to do when giving as gifts.

  • Fabric Ideas: use old towels, fleece, velour knits, pretty fabric prints and flannels (don’t microwave anything other than cotton fabrics). The softer & fluffier & better!

Instructions

  • Cut and sew the fabric in the size and shape you want (usually a large washcloth size works well).
  • Leave an inch or two open on one side so that you can fill pouch with your choice of filler (about 1/2 to 3/4 full, more or less as you prefer). You don’t want it too full though, the sack should be able to mold itself around your body when you apply it.
  • Once it’s full, sew opening closed either by hand or machine (keeping filler pushed to the opposite side of bag while sewing).

If wanting a removable cover, just sew a “pillowcase” idea with your soft, plushy fabric by making it a little larger than your pad and leaving an open end (make sure to finish off ends by sewing a hem). Or you can add a strip of velcro to close it. Careful: Make sure to never microwave this cover unless its content is full cotton. Remove cover to wash as needed.

Filler Suggestion For Headache Soothers

Rice (or other grain listed above) and a mix of:

  • Dried lavender
  • Marjoram
  • Betony
  • Rose petals
  • Cloves
  • Rosemary

Directions For Use

Heat for 1 to 3 minutes, depending on size. Do not leave unattended “just in case” the filler smokes or starts on fire. As a precaution, you can set a cup of water inside along with it to add moisture or spritz sack lightly with water first. If you add spices and herbs, this is a good idea to do.

If You’re In a Pinch:

  • If you need something “now” and don’t have time to sew one, try filling a ziploc freezer bag (use the microwaveable kind) 3/4 full with uncooked rice, seal shut. Zap it for a minute or two then wrap in a hand towel and use as needed.
  • You can also fill a clean tube sock, tie closed the open end, heat and use as needed.

Caution:

These are glorious to use for aches and pains, or just to pamper yourself after a long, hard day–but be careful before applying to body. Shake it first, feel around and check that it’s not too hot and won’t burn, especially when using on a child.

Related Posts

10 Homemade Playdough & 5 Fingerpaint Recipes Embarrassed By A Dirty Microwave? See How Easy It Cleans!

Comments

    • Justina Justin
    Reply

    I can not believe how amazing these bags are!!! I started reading this article 18:00 & by 18:19 I had followed the tips & advice & thought to myself I only have rice, oats & spice in the cupboards but read that this should still be efficient & like that, I was curled up on the sofa feeling warm & bewilded.

    Thanks!!

    I used two stocking and a bright colour sock for protection!!!!

      • Renee
      Reply

      Ha, ha. Fabulous!

    • L
    Reply

    I’m thinking of making a heating pad, has anyone tried using dried soy beans as filler? Would that work?

    I’m going to be mailing this to a friend as a gift, any recommondations as to what material as filler that would be the lightest?

    In addition to cotton as suitable fabric for the casing, is silk a suitable fabric as well?

    Thanks!

      • Andrea
      Reply

      Hello! Being that these arrent time marked, I don’t know when you posted this. You probably already have your answer, but I think silk would be a good case to slip over the cotton, but not to use as the part that would be warmed up. hope this isnt too late, or at least it helps someone else asking the same question.

    • TipNut
    Reply

    Hi guys, to answer a few questions:

    I’ve never tried using potpourri oil and don’t know what the results would be like or if it’s ok to be heated in a microwave.

    As far as what kind of herbs to use and how much, there’s no exact science to it. Use dried herbs, not fresh. Depending on what size bag you use and how much filler is needed, I’d use about 2 TBS dried herbs per 1 cup of filler. If you find that too much or not enough, adjust. Some herbs are stronger in fragrance than others so there’s no way to give a definite answer.

    For essential oil, I have no exact measurement, it’s based on preference and some oils are stronger in fragrance than others. Add a few drops to the filler (it won’t take much–maybe 2 drops per cup of filler) and seal in a container for a few days as noted above. Because you’re sealing the filler first the fragrance will be absorbed and the EO will stretch a lot farther so you won’t need much.

    • lynda
    Reply

    a friend of mine made one for me and she sewed a litle pocket on to it. the pocket is a scent sachet. that way at night i put lavender in the pocket and during the day i put an invigorating scent.
    i store mine in a decorative tin. mice love these and will tear them to pieces.

    • pattyjoe
    Reply

    What kind of herbs, How much, and do you use dry or oils? I would like to try and make these. If any one could help. Thank you…

      • Nana Teresa
      Reply

      U can use herbs to make them sented such as lavender, cinnamon, sage and other desirable dried herbs, but from what I have heard and read you should put the filler and herbs in a large freezer bags for a few days and shake or stir couple times a day to mix with the filler then remove any extra herbs and fill with just the filler and sew as directed. Hope this helps. Good luck

      Nana T.

    • pauline
    Reply

    hi i have bought the wheat and cotton, can you tell me is it safe to use vanilla pot pourri oil this is also used for oil burners, i am makeing my wheat bags for myself and for christmas presents, many thanks pauline.

    • Judi
    Reply

    I’ve been using these heating pads for years but always seem to notice an odor no matter what filler I use. My husband says I can hear and smell a gnat fart 10 miles away. What do ya’all think about using aquarium gravel? Kind of harkens back to the hot rocks of old. I’m going to give it a try, maybe pea gravel too. The paint in my microwave is peeling and it is pretty old so a new one is on the horizon any way!

      • Jen
      Reply

      Has anyone tried using pea gravel yet? I would love to make this, but would like to use something that wouldn’t have to be eventually replaced. My plan is to make a removable cover for washing, so that it can last a lifetime. 🙂

      • MegaBossNaki
      Reply

      Judi – aquarium gravel is probably NOT a good idea – even the ‘natural’ gravel is sealed with a clear enamel or paint to prevent any minerals & whatnot in the rocks from leeching into the aquarium water.
      My only other concern would be whether or not there were any residual metals in the rocks themselves – you know, those little flecks of ‘shiny’ that you see in some rocks. Not sure whether or not those are metal or mineral….

    • Emily
    Reply

    I make these for my family. They are so comforting on a cold night. I buy pillow cases from garage sales add 2 pounds of brown beans (from a local salvage store) Tie a knot near the opening so the beans are loose and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes. The beans are still warm after 8 hours when used as toe warmers. You could also use pea gravel. Rice gets sticky and smells when heating.

    • TipNut
    Reply

    No the heat doesn’t last through the night Lolly, it would depend on the size too but Jane listed 20 minutes (above), that would be the peak heat I believe. There’ll be some heat for about 2 hours, it does depend on the size and the filler used.

    • lolly
    Reply

    Hello can anyone tell me how long does the heat last i was thinking of making some cushions for my dogs and wondered will they last through the night?

    Many thanks for sharing a great idea!

      • momstaxi04
      Reply

      Hi…I have made these for my puppies and they love them….they lay on them when they are warm and there body heat afterwards seems to keep the bag warm through the night (if they stay on the bag). I had a border collie with arthritis and i made a larger one (actually 2) and he loved them. Hope this helps.

    • TipNut
    Reply

    Karin I really don’t know of any information or guidelines that show how long you can use it before the filler needs changing, sorry. But having a glass of water heating in the microwave with the bag will keep things moist enough so it helps prevent the filler from drying out too quickly and sparking.

    Gill it is the wrong corn, it shouldn’t pop. This link was mentioned above already, but has info on what to look for in corn: Microwave Heating Bags:

    Different types of fillers are used, but I chose deer corn, which is also called feed corn or field corn. Corn is a larger grain than rice, wheat, or flax, so it can hold it’s heat longer, yet remain moldable around arms and legs. It’s not the same as popcorn, which is sealed closed, builds up steam, and bursts open. Feed corn is naturally cracked open at the bottom where it comes loose from the cob, and will not pop open when heated. For the corn bags, you should use whole corn, not cracked corn, as the cracked corn will dry out too quickly.

    • Gill
    Reply

    I bought some whole maize (corn) today at a pet store. I made the inner bag and put in microwave about 750kw for 2 minutes and a few of corns popped and it smells like popcorn. Does this happen first of all and the popped corn taken out. Have I used the right corn. Thanks for the help

      • lisa
      Reply

      Deer Corn works good but you have to watch that you dont heat it too long because some will pop keep checking it every once in a while to the temp you like.
      It does smell like popcorn!!!

        • Chi
        Reply

        MADE THESE FOR FAMILY. I HAD BEEN TOLD “NO LONGER THAN 3 MINUTES, IN THE MICROWAVE”, HOWEVER, WHEN HEATING ONE UP AT HOME, A FEW OF THE KERNELS POPPED AND BURNT THE FABRIC ON THE BOTTOM. WHAT ARE THE RISKS, AND SHOULD THERE BE A WARNING/INSTRUCTION LABEL SEWN ON EACH????

          • Meringue
          Reply

          I bought one which has a label on it, saying I have to put a glass/cup half full with water in with the pack when heating it in the microwave. Today, when googeling how to make my own, I read that the wheat can catch fire if you don’t have a glass of water in it. So I’m thinking of embroidering some small instructions on my heat packs.

          • meryl
          Reply

          These are lovely if used with caution. I have personal experience of an old age nursing home that down, and the cause of the fire was a heating bag which was heated too long, and smouldered and caught fire once in the bed. Several old folk died in the ensuing blaze. So USE WITH CAUTION!!!!

    • Karin
    Reply

    I want to make a heating pad for an elderly uncle and like any project in our family there was a debate. Many felt that the corn would be uncomfortable and since we have a field of millet we should use that. My question is after reading the precautions from prudences friend, how long can you use a grain like millet before it is too dry and becomes a fire hazard and will it hold heat for any length of time? Thanks

      • Laura
      Reply

      I just bought a big bag of Millet – would like to know anyones thoughts on this as well. Thank you.

    • Pamela
    Reply

    After much trial and error, I created small pockets and filled them with the rice. Guess what – it worked!

    • Pamela
    Reply

    Since I don’t have a sewing machine I found that making a bag with my vaccum sealer worked great! The bags are boilable and microwaveable. However, the problem I had was that when I placed the bag against my back while sitting up, naturally all the rice slid to the bottom of the bag and ended up feeling like I was leaning against a rock – albeit a very warm rock, but uncomfortable none-the-less.

    Can anyone give me any suggestions how to keep the rice flat?

      • Nana Teresa
      Reply

      I heard if you sew it like you would a quilt with the pouch style filled it keeps them from all flowing to bottom. Then after heating or freezing cover with a cotton pillow case so that you can remove the pillow case and wash it if it becomes dirty.

      Good Luck.
      Nana T.

    • TipNut
    Reply

    Hi Adrienne, I wouldn’t try the spandex, just 100% cotton to be safer.

    • Adrienne
    Reply

    I have a 95% cotton shirt with 5% spandex; would that shirt work if i cut it up or would the spandex be a problem?

    • TipNut
    Reply

    How Excellent Jane! Thanks so much for sharing that with everyone, I appreciate it! 🙂

    • Jane
    Reply

    Hi again… well, this is what I put in with the heating pads now…. if you have any suggestions or amendments, I’d really appreciate hearing them….or comments, good or bad 🙂
    — bye for now.

    ALL NATURAL WARMING PAD

    (I have a photo of one here)

    When heated in a microwave oven, it provides warm relief for aches and pains, especially where a regular heating pad is difficult to use (e.g.neck)

    (remove and dispose of plastic cover before use)

    Put the bag, folded, into a clean microwave oven with a turntable for no longer than two minutes on high
    – take out and “shake” to distribute any hot spots;
    this should stay comfortably warm for about twenty minutes
    If you want to heat it up and it is still a bit warm to the touch, only put in microwave for up to one minute, or it will get too hot

    • Do not use if too hot
    • Do not use on children, or someone who can’ tell you its too hot
    • Like any other food product, if it is left too long in microwave it can burn… If this happens it should be put into a sink full of cold water until thoroughly soaking wet and then disposed of as you would any burnt food
    • If used according to directions it is safe and you will be able to use it on your aches and pains for many months…..

    Only new, pre-washed, fabric is used –
    Cover is washable
    (don’t wash the actual rice bag)

      • Andrea
      Reply

      Hi Jane, thanks for this great info! I’ve been wanting to make these for myself and also if I can come up with a good recipe maybe sell some on my esty shop site. This was the only thing I was worried about though. I live in a house with a total moron. She doesnt read instructions, and throws away extra parts if she doesn’t know what they’re for. If it’s not hers and she has no need for it, she just randomly puts it somewhere, crystal, glass, top half of a vaccuum cleaner. So, I’m thinking about people buying my items, I always think about the people that use my items. Working in retail myself, I know that not many other people read directions either, and these seem like they’re pretty easy to follow.

      • Darlene Kennedy
      Reply

      thanks Jane,,, i will slip a note with my rice bags too!

    • TipNut
    Reply

    Hi Jane, I’m sure many would love to see what you write for the bags, please do share! 🙂

    • Jane
    Reply

    Hello… I have made possibly 200 of these bags over the years; first using raw oats, now rice (I preferred the oats but does seem to have a “smell”)….
    I live in North Bay, Ontario – a few years ago a lady overheated her heating pad (not one I had made incidentally) in the microwave; she put it in the sink. It smelled, so she put it in her porch overnight – it was winter time. The bag reignited and burned the house down…. this is true, the story was in The North Bay Nugget. Since then, when I make the bags and give them away I make sure I have a list of instructions containing warnings like: do not heat for longer than 2 minutes; if bag hasnt cooled off before reheating, only 1 minute.
    I still make them and we use them every single night…. but I thought you just might be interested in this story.
    If anyone wants a copy of what I write to put in with the bag, I think I could copy and paste it into here…???
    Thanks for the many tips on other types of stuffing.

      • Lorie
      Reply

      Hi Jane – I just bought 100 of feed corn and a bunch of fabric. I tested the corn in the microwave and sure enough it’s popping. the kernels are not actually changing shape but I’m wondering if you know if it’s safe or will reduce the integrity of the heating capacity or make it more of a fire hazard? Also, do you know how to further dry out the corn? I only paid 10 dollars for the corn but i have so much I don’t want to waste it before I switch to rice or something else. Any tips would be greatly appreciated 🙂

      Thanks,

      Lorie

        • Nana Teresa
        Reply

        I have been told you have to use feed corn in order to prevent the popping. If you have a farm supply place near such as Orchelns, MFA Feed or something like that you can usually buy the feed corn in bulk rather than by the bag so you can get what you will use rather than having a bunch left over. Also, be careful not to heat for more than 1 or 2 minutes.

        Good Luck. I hope this helps.
        Nana T.

      • Shannon
      Reply

      I work with geriatrics and started making my own hot packs that were much lighter and created different shapes for a good fit to various body parts. The ones supplied in our therapy department are huge and heavy on most of my patients so this works very well, then they can keep them to take home and use. I would appreciate the copy of warnings and directions you referred to, to give a copy with the packs for home use.
      Thanks so much
      Shannon

        • heather
        Reply

        Hi Shannon,

        Can you please tell me how you made the geriatrics hot packs so they were more lightweight? My mom is always cold, (she is in here 90’s) and yet cannot take anything heavy.

        Thanks so much!

        Heather

        • Ruthann Graham
        Reply

        what filler did you use that was lightweight

      • Tuula
      Reply

      Hi Jane,
      yes, please let us know what you write for using the bags, I’m very interested. What an unfortunate story about the house burned down!
      Thanks for these tips.

      • Ruthann Graham
      Reply

      would love copy of note you put with bags thank you

      • Kim
      Reply

      I would love to have a copy of your caution instructions! My first time making these, and with the lavender essential oil I can’t wait to use and give as gifts! But I am concerned about them catching fire and me being one of the gift-giver’s. Thanks ever so much!

    • Denise
    Reply

    I made one of these years ago and it’s terrific… I want to make more now, but I don’t have a microwave. Is there a way to heat them in the oven or on the stovetop, like maybe a 200 degree oven???

    Any ideas would be appreciated!
    Thanks,
    Denise =D

      • Danni
      Reply

      yes this is a suitable heating method but make sure you keep an eye on the wheat bag so it does not catch fire

      yours sincerely danielle

      • Gina
      Reply

      My mom made rice socks and put them in the oven when I was a child. (No microwaves then) The were very comforting on a little girl with chronic ear aches.

    • Roberta
    Reply

    also what kind of material is used in the Ice Pack tubes that initially look like a tube of material, but when placed in ice water they swell up into a nice tube to wrap around your neck. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank You,
    Pam

    The substance used in those neck coolers are the granules that you can buy to add to soil to hold moisture or for in vases of flowers. It forms a gel when wet. I had one when I was undergoing chemotheraphy and it saved me a lot of discomfort from overheating due to hormones raging. Use only about 1 teaspoon to the entire length of the narrow scarf. divide in 4 and add 1/4 teaspoon to each section.
    Take care
    Roberta

      • Tracy
      Reply

      Awesome! Thank you!

      • Bella
      Reply

      Vermiculite? That’s what is sold to be added to plant soil to hold water.

        • Debra
        Reply

        not vermiculite, there is a clear gel bead that will absorb water and very slowly release it to your plants. Or in the case of tube will absorb water and slowly release it from the tube while it is around your neck…this is a simulation of sweating…

        • Rose
        Reply

        No, not vermiculite. The ones they mean are tiny mostly clear crystals that also used for soil. But the crystals are not only sold in agricultural, but in florist and hobby/craft stores, look near the products for arranging fresh flowers. As stated above when soaked in water, they turn to a gel consistency, and hold the moisture for hours and feel cool. These are not for warming, just for cooling. So do NOT microwave.

    • Abigail
    Reply

    I’ve got a sty in my right eye and when I talked to my doctor about it she said it’s no big deal and can be treated at home with a hot compress 3-6 times per day. Using a hot, wet washcloth was too messy, but these heating pads are perfect!! I made one with a small crew sock and it’s the perfect size for one eye or both at the same time. Great tip!

      • Hilda Dohogn
      Reply

      A sty will have a white hair in the center. If you tweeze the white
      hair out, the sty will immediately start to go AWAY

    • Tillie Polen Scholz
    Reply

    I keep several heating pads as I get cold during the winter while I’m on the computer so I pop them into the microwave and put them on my shoulder and back or if I have shulder pain I use them and my husband also uses them, I would be lost without them.

    • TipNut
    Reply

    Cheri I can’t think of a dried bean that couldn’t be used, is there a bean you’re wondering about?

    Sorry Pam I’m not familiar with the ice pack tubes, maybe someone reading this can help you out. What do you mean by flame redardent pellets?

    • Pam
    Reply

    Heating pads are my backs Best Friend these days. I am curious to know what kind of pellets can be used that are flame retardent for heating pads and also what kind of material is used in the Ice Pack tubes that initially look like a tube of material, but when placed in ice water they swell up into a nice tube to wrap around your neck. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank You,
    Pam

      • Tracy
      Reply

      I have had one of those “ice pack tubes” for 24 years and I LOVE it! It’s like a bandana tube, filled with those “mystery” pellets. I just soak mine in a sink full of tap water until it swells up, then tie it around my neck before I go out into the hot Arizona summer sun! What ARE those pellets, and would they also work for a heat pad?

        • Pat
        Reply

        I don’t know about the heating part, but you can often find those water soaking pellets in the floral department cause they used them in flower arraigning to keep water closer to the stems in decorative displays.

          • Joan
          Reply

          Cricket pellets also work well. the kind you soak in water then put in the cage for them to drink out of. They’re little orange beady things. You can find them at any pet store. They dry out eventually but I don’t know if it will get the tube wet.

    • Cheri
    Reply

    you said this can be made with beans…any beans or a certain kind?
    thanks

      • Katie
      Reply

      Navyor pea beans are the small white ones and the cheapest. I have a jar of these that I use over and over for pie weights and they are only slightly darkened after years of use,

    • Jennifer
    Reply

    I first experienced these by filling socks with rice and heating in the microwave. Now I use a store purchased bag with dried herbs and flax seed. They are awsome for just about anything. We use them to preheat the bed and to keep our feet warm at night. I have also used them for earaches, cramps, and recovering from surgery. When I rescued 2 wk. old baby suirrels I was able to keep them warm by putting one in the cage with them.

    • chicoblackboowhite
    Reply

    olay is my favorite word! these heating pads are awesome and work well for keeping orphaned kittens warm when they are very small!

    • Sanabtha
    Reply

    I am always looking for inexpensive, useful items to make. These hot pads to sew up for the body aches are a lot cuter than hot water bottles (yuk!) I read the section about the mice tampering with the contents, if accidently left out, not good. How about pellets? Are these only for freezing and not for use with microwaving? I am referring to pellets used in bean bag chairs. Samantha

      • Khat
      Reply

      Pellets would be fine, as long as they’re the hard plastic ones. That’s what they use in the commercial hot/cold bags.

        • Deb
        Reply

        But where can I purchase these pellets at. Dorchester NB

          • Katrina
          Reply

          I know I’ve seen them at Walmart for a great price.

            • Katie

            Try Moncton, it’s not too far away. Have been away from “Down Home” to long to know the places that mightcarry pellets but I would try Home Depot and such places. Try the net. And I, if for myself would go thrifting looking for an old beanbag chair, if the price was right.

    • vicky burkhard
    Reply

    if you use a long (over the calf) mens tube sock you can tie a knot in the end and it is easier to check the rice to see if it needs changing. Rice that is all clear instead of white is too dry, has a fire risk when heated and needs to be changed.

    • Sandy
    Reply

    Be aware that mice like to eat the content of these bags. Before leaving for vacation, I left the cherry pit bag out. When I came home I found cherry pits in the back of my closet, my dresser and in my attic. Now, when the bag is not being used I keep it in a ziploc bag in the freezer.

      • suzanne
      Reply

      May I use wool covers for my heat corn bags in the microwave?

    • Lynda
    Reply

    I have made tubes of muslin, filled with millet, sealed with stitching, and then placed in a “pillowcase” I made for the tube. I made these for gifts one year for Christmas after purchasing one. The thing is, with any type of natural ingredient, you have to freeze it for a minimum of 24 days. I was given that number of days, in order to kill any eggs or insects in the grain, etc. I do that before I pack the bags. I was able to put them in the microwave (for about 3-5 min. depending on how big the bags are), and also wrap in plastic bag and place in the freezer. You could make one for hot, one for cold.

    I recently took 3 packs I had made and opened them up with a seam ripper in order to clean the bags and repack them. I had waited way too long to do that. The bag I had purchased initially had dead bugs in it. The bags I had prepared, with the prefrozen grain, didn’t have any signs of insects at all.

    • Kirsty
    Reply

    Any idea what is the best filler for keeping cold? My 2 year old loves ice packs so I’d love to make a few more. Rice hasn’t seemed to hold the cold that long – is there a better option?
    Thanks!

      • Deb
      Reply

      why would a 2 year old use ice packs, just out of curiosity. Maybe my family has missed something.lol

        • Dina
        Reply

        We have a ice pack just for my 2 year olds..they are constantly getting hurt and cold helps with swelling and pain. My boys run to the ice pack as soon as one gets hurt they know it works!

          • Pat
          Reply

          Ice packs for kids in the teeth losing stage is also good. We often dull the “pain” with a popcicle but having an ice pack on the jaw feels good after the tooth comes out.

          My kids are like yours constantly using an ice bag for minor boo boos. Keeps them from crying as long. LOL

        • Cris
        Reply

        LOL My kids LOVE sleeping with our cold packs! Not sure why so I laughed out loud when you asked why because I have no idea they just love them.

      • bonnie spurlock
      Reply

      Feeder corn is the best

      • Debra
      Reply

      soak a sponge in water, then freeze it in a ziplock bag…use it with the ziplock bag (and a cloth cover) the sponge will keep it from leaking, the water is completely safe if it does…

      Need a softer icepack? Mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with 3 parts water and put in ziplock bag…doesn’t completely solidify but MUST be watched with young children!!

    • michelle
    Reply

    I have one that is filled with beans, and I love it. I use it every night almost. You do need to be careful how hot you make it, and if it is a bit too hot, I just put a towel around it, then when the heat does not feel as hot, I then take the towel off. I have to tell you animals love these too. My dog is always cold, and she loves to cuddle with me when I am using mine.

      • Tara
      Reply

      what kind of beans did you use?

    • Hilda
    Reply

    Just found your site and I love it! Thanks for all the wonderful tips and keep them coming.

    • TipNut
    Reply

    I had an email asking where to buy the cherry pits or other filler suggestions, but my response bounced back. Here’s the info in case that person is still reading this, others may be wanting help with this too:

    You can get the various filler items at bulk food stores or in the bulk section of your grocery store. If there’s no bulk section available, you can try farm supply stores.

    Things like rice, barley, beans and oatmeal can be found in your grocery store with no problem.

    Some health food stores carry many of the items too, or you can find pretty much everything online.

    Cherry pits are a little trickier to find locally, but check with craft stores. You can definitely find them online too.

    There must be a way to clean and sanitize the cherry pits if you have access to fresh cherries, but I have no info on how to do that. Maybe boiling them clean then allowing to dry out? For cherry jam makers, this would be an ideal way to use up those cherry pits.

      • Tara
      Reply

      So I got dried pinto beans to use cause thats what I could find and afford and am gona take the advice of another and put peppermint tea bags in with the beans. Are the tea bags safe to not catch on fire? And are these beans gona smell so bad that it is unbearable. Im gon use them either way just wondering. Thanks

        • jamela
        Reply

        just be careful with the tea bags with metal staples! you don’t want to microwave those! :0)

          • diane
          Reply

          Tara, the small pcs. of metal will be ok, I have microwaved food w/spoon or fork in it and nothing happens. I was told by my brother how it worked, I was also skeptical….Wish I could explain it, LOL Still kinda freaks me out, but nothing happens, not even a spark. Always be careful though, keep an eye on it…also do not leave any of these Bags in too long…with the Rice, mine started smelling burned…made years ago and love them~ Good Luck~ These are wonderful gifts~

        • Tahlia
        Reply

        Ive used beans for years.They really all smell the same and its not that bad.Just be sure to shower if you’re gonna go somewhere that people are gonna be close to you.lol.

      • Joni
      Reply

      I tried cherry pits one year. They stink when they are hot. Could not stand to use them.

    • TipNut
    Reply

    Sandycalli: Prudence had the link in her name (Microwave Heating Bags)

    Lin: The bags can last for ages (years), but I don’t know of any guidelines on when to dump and refill. I’ve opened up bags that were a couple years old and they had no mold, bugs or anything like that. I think the freezing/heating prevents that from happening, even though the bags can sit for months without being used. I like to heat the bags a few times when I first make them just to kill off anything.

    ETA: The bags are definitely nice to have on hand for cramps

      • Carrie
      Reply

      The frezzing is what kills bacteria,,, you can do the same with paints if you dont want to wash them just put in frezzer over night and fresh smelling and bacteria free paints…

        • meg
        Reply

        Freezing does not kill bacteria, it only slows down their growth. Heating or other solvents kill bacteria.

          • K
          Reply

          True that freezing will not kill bacteria but it might do in some insect eggs – I know you freeze worm compost to kill off mites, same principle might apply. The microwaving probably takes care of at least most bacteria. 🙂

    • Lin
    Reply

    Thanks so much for posting this!! Been troubled by cramps frequently. Just a question:

    How long can each heating pad last?

    • sandycallli
    Reply

    What is the name of the website of the nurse who lists some hazards to watch for when making/using the heating pads.????

      • Peggy
      Reply

      Did you find out anything, I would like to make this myself and have the direction card.

    • Lisa
    Reply

    omg. thank you for posting this. My grandma use to make these and I was just thinking about making one! It’s like you read my mind.

    Thank you!

    • rob
    Reply

    cool, thanks.

    • TipNut
    Reply

    Rob there are knee high socks, dress socks, stockings, sockettes, etc. “Tube sock” is in reference to the type of sock, they have no formed or fitted heel.

    At least…that’s how I always understood it :).

    • rob
    Reply

    I’ve always wondered why people refer to socks as ‘tube socks’ – are there other kinds of sock? and if so, what are they?
    Thanks

      • julie
      Reply

      Tube socks are generally sold in the mens sock department at discount stores. They are different than regular socks in that they do not have a heel so they are just one long “tube” Great for things like this and other crafts.

    • Robyn
    Reply

    If you make teddy bears and fill them with the fillers like rice it makes something really nice for kids and you don’t have to keep it hidden if your picky about whats on the bed. Make the legs longer too and it gives a pillow and the legs can wrap around your neck. VERY NICE!

    • Brianna
    Reply

    I dont know about your offices, but mine is normally on the chilly side. I keep a heating pad at work, pop it in the microwave, and I bundle up with it. It works like a charm!!

      • lorrwill
      Reply

      Oh snap, you are brilliant. I work at a client site once a week and it is absolutely freezing there. I could take a small rice bag and zap it. Thanks so much for this idea!

    • Prudence
    Reply

    Just an FYI. There are precausions you should take.
    A wonderful website, written my a nurse who uses these in her hospital will give you heads up for what NOT to do.
    I love these..and have made them for my family, but did not know some of the safetly issues this site talks about.
    It’s worth taking the time to read. She also offers free patterns and notes you can print out.
    Stay warm!
    Prudence

      • Gail
      Reply

      Prudence,

      Could you give me the website of nurse that tells you what NOT to do???

      Thanks

        • Robbie
        Reply

        what are safety factors to know when making lavender hot packs for gifting?

      • Joann Drye
      Reply

      What is the website from the Nurse about the safety tips? Thanks

      • TipNut
      Reply

      The site is no longer available online, here’s the web archive page: Microwave Heating Bags – Diamond Threadworks.

        • Jenn
        Reply

        That site is FANTASTIC!!! Thank you so much!!! <3

          • Darlene Kennedy
          Reply

          This is a very informative site. Thanks for everyone’s input!

        • Hilary
        Reply

        Fantastic – so thorough and answers ALL my questions. Well done and thank you to the lady who did the research and put this together.

        • MEG
        Reply

        WOW, you are right, that is an awesome site! There is so much information…..thanks!

      • Janet
      Reply

      My rice sock has been through many aches and pain. It has been with me for neck pain, leg aches, warms the cold feet. I love the cozy feeling and how, unlike a hard heating pad, it forms into every place you need it to be. Wow long sentences.

    • caycequilter
    Reply

    It might be neat to make one the size of a pillow case to warm your bed on cold nights too. You could fold or roll it to heat it in the microwave, then spread it flat under your blanket to warm you bed and your tootsies.

      • MrsSpunkmeister
      Reply

      I just lay the hand towel size one down the front of me–every cold night– and love it.

      • Paulette Dellaero
      Reply

      Thank you…great pillow case idea. Will use for my mom’s bed…instead of little square I was trying to heat an area with for her. I never thought “pillow case”. I appreciate these great ideas ideas .
      I googled this as my old (gift) bean? bag is starting to burn….12 yrs old lol! Thanks again.

    • ruby
    Reply

    If your one of those more lazy people, I sugest using a sock.I recantly just rescued a abandon 1 day old kitten, And they need warmth, I just used an old thick sock and it works like a charm. My kitten loves it
    xoxo help the tip helps

      • Karissa
      Reply

      awwww, thats soo nice, and adorable! Haha, I love kittens♥

        • selena
        Reply

        ummmmmmmmmmmm im making one for my dad 🙂

      • Shirley
      Reply

      Hi, I’m looking for something to make for feral cats this winter – about how long does this stay warm?
      Thanks so much!
      Shirley

        • becca
        Reply

        it lasts about an hour or two at most if microwaved for 2 minutes… thats about a sock sized one. Hope the kitties stay warm!

          • Wendy
          Reply

          I’ve found a wonderful insulating fabric at my local fabric store. Use this as an inner liner and your filler will remain warm longer. This fabric is known locally as hot potato fabric.

            • Becky

            Can you microwave this inner liner insulating fabric?

            • Janet

            what kind of insulating fabric are you using?

            • Will

            Use of this type of fabric would make the heatpad useless. A heater pad is useful because it allows the transfer of heat energy to pass from the heated rice to your aching muscles. Insulation fabric is designed to keep heat energy right where it is. If you made pants out of it, it would keep your body’s natural radiant heat energy inside your pants, instead of passing through the knit of the pants. Making a making a microwave heating pad out of insulating fabric would only serve to keep the rice warm by way of preventing any of its heat energy to escape.

            So, yeah, no, I see where you are coming from, but it’s important that anyone reading your suggestion realize that this is not only a bad idea, but a potentially dangerous one. Depending on how the insulation is rated in the fabric, it could potentially cause a “lightning storm” in your microwave. Microwaves (the wave, not the appliance) are another wavelength of energy. And when a microwave has something reflective (of energy) placed inside and a session started, it often results in miniature lightning show and a broken microwave.

            I know you’re just spit-balling ideas here but that is a bad idea.

            • Tina Vasquez-Armstrong

            if you are referring to wrap and zap yes it is 100% cotton and is microwave safe

        • Rhonda G
        Reply

        U can build them something u take very big tote and some really thick styrofoam and put it around the sides and the bottom and then stick a tote a bit smaller then the larger one so its tight in there and then cut out the front of the totes so they can go in and out and u can put old blankets and hay and stuff in there so they can get out of the elements that way to stay safe and warm and dry

          • Diane
          Reply

          Great idea…you just gave me another. Im thinking tote bag, canvas seems like it might work well and are available quite cheap. Fill sew closed and heat. Now, take it to your car on cold days! Friends and Family gonna love me this Christmas. Any thoughts?

            • Mary Paul

            Hay for a Ferrell cat bed it will keep them warm. We took care of Ferrells for 30 years. A storage container works well.
            Cut a hole the size of a plate, fill it with straw and that works well.

          • Sue Nicol
          Reply

          How would I keep weevils away from it?

            • Mindy

            100% weevil prevention.. um, microwave regularly? It’s a microwave… not long term pantry storage.

        • Vickie
        Reply

        It won’t last really long but insulating it might help. Like making a thin pillow to place on it etc.

      • maggie rees
      Reply

      Good idea ruby so kind of you to rescue the poor kitten.

        • Kristin
        Reply

        I just adopted OUT 3 kittens that I found at @1week old. They were so sweet-I used a heating pad(electric) I wish I had thought of these instead, but the hating pad was mandatory! I was sooo attached to these little guys-I could barely give them up-but I already have 3 others that I rescued-I didn’t want to be the ‘crazy cat lady’ haha. The first couple that came to meet the babies (at 8-9weeks) took all 3! so they got to stay together with their bros and sisters! I sure miss em! Good luck! lmk if you have any ‘parenting’ questions!

          • Laura
          Reply

          I adopted a really cute puppy last year, but the owners came the next week 🙁 I used a heating pad, but it wouldn’t have worked as well as these!
          P.S would using a polyester teddy work, because I’m going to make one for my niece for Christmas.

            • prairiesunshine

            Polyester teddy won’t work, polyester will melt or catch fire in a microwave. But you could remove the stuffing from his belly and make a removeable grain pillow made of COTTON that can go in the microwave. His tummy could be laced back together with ribbon or attach velcro 🙂

            • Sherry

            NO! You can’t microwave any fabric that isn’t 100% natural. Polyester will likely melt or catch fire.

          • Deckie
          Reply

          I hope the couple that took all three weren’t using them as bait. You have to be weary about people that take 3 kittens. They usually use them for snake food. Your might want to ck to see if they still have them.

            • Debra

            They might also be using them as dog bait. I heard that most people who answer the pet ads on Craigslist are looking for bait, not for pets. I hope I am wrong, I just heard that.

      • Linda
      Reply

      I made these for a church auction with cute patterned oven mitts I found at a dollar store. Filled them with lentils and sold them for about $4.00 each. The mitt is like a cozy hand on your neck, head, shoulder, etc.

        • Luzviminda Clay
        Reply

        This is what I’m searching for, if I can use lentils and black eyed peas for fillers because I have lots at home. So how was the lentils as fillers? Thank you.

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