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Fill a tube sock with 4-5 cups or rice or until the sock is 3/4 filled.
At the end of the sock tie a knot and pull tightly so the knot can't come undone easily.
Optional: Add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice. Add a few sprigs of dried lavender or rosemary.
Place the rice filled sock in the microwave for 3-4 minutes. You can also place these in the freezer to make a cool pack.
These are great to put around a sore neck or on the small of a sore back. Also great during pregnancy. Make a few of them and put them on all your sore spots. These are much cheaper than the therapy bags sold in stores and work the same.
Note: Don't let the pack get wet.
By Stella Bella from Manchester, WA
To make a nice heated rice bag, use fleece and make it as big or small as you like. Just put the white rice into the rectangular fleece bag and stitch it up. I'm sure you could also use a tube sock and just stitch up the end. Then you can put it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes to heat it up and put it on sore muscles or arthritis areas. (Also, our Chihuahua loves it to warm up in the winter). The rice keeps the heat for quite awhile and it is also moist heat. We have one rice bag from 15 years/ago that my mom made and it still works great!
They are telling us we are going to get our first snow tonight here in Colorado and I was thinking that I needed to do something to warm up our bed to keep us warm at night when we turn down the furnace. So here is what I am going to do. I am going to get some of that polar fleece and make some bed warmers.
Take a tube sock of whatever size you would like and fill 3/4 full of instant rice. Put in microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. You will have a natural heating pad. Have kids or anyone decorated it with stamps or clothing paint.
By Linda from Decatur, IL
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I am looking for instructions for making the bags that you can put in the microwave. The ones you use for aches and pains etc. What is inside and how do you clean them when needed?
PICO from ST. PAUL, ALBERTA
I made these out of a warm fleece material and stuffed them with rice last year. You can make them all different shapes and sizes - I made a long one that I heat and put around my neck and another one like a pocket that I can put my cold hands in. These are the greatest!
My friend makes hers out of tube socks. Just fill it with rice and sew the top shut. They are great for stiff necks or sore knees and elbows---or anywhere you need some deep heat on a sore muscle. Word of warning, though. Store them in a sealed container especially if you live in a rural area like we do. Mine were on a shelf in my bathroom and a mouse found them!
I take a terry cloth tea towel. I fold it in half length wise. I then sew it in thirds. I then fill it about half full of field corn in each of the three pockets. I then double stitich around the towel.
I heat in the micowave about 4 miniutes. When it no longer keeps the heat or it gets dirty, throw it in the washer. Lay it out to dry (DON'T) put it in the dryer.
This works great on a knee as it is big enough to lay on the top of the knee and around the sides. Enjoy!
My sister made some of these with a medium weight cotton fabric. She used regular rice and added some essentail oil like peppermint and lavender. They smell great and are very soothing. Then she sewed a little pillowcase for it out of some old upholstery that was pretty. That way, when it gets dirty, you just take off the pillowcase and wash it.
Here's a coincidence! Not 30 minutes ago I finished two hot pads for my Chihuahuas. I used 100% cotton fabric and 100% cotton batting (thin). I cut 6 layers of fabric using a plate for the shape and 2 layers of the batting. Layer 2 fabric, 1 batting, 1 fabric. Sew around the rim of all and leave a 4 inch opening. Turn it inside out so the batting has fabric on each side. This gives you a low temp side with the batting, and a higher temp side with the fabric. I stuffed them with cheap, bulk rice and then sewed the opening shut. Popped them in the microwave for 90 seconds.
A word of warning--a friend put his nylon or polyester socks in the microwave to dry them after he got caught in the rain. They melted and started a fire in the room.
I've been thinking of finding a cotton shirt and sewing on a liner with vertical tubes to fill with rice. I'd have the tubes run around the shoulders and across the back. My bursitis just yells for it. --Stone in OKC
For a medicinal heat pack for arthritis and rheumatism, dry roast in a clean pan equal amounts of fine diced old root ginger and rock salt till the ginger is golden and dry. Make a thick cotton case large enough to hold the mixture so that when flat the heat pack is 1 inch thick and seal. Make another as a washable case to put over it.
This can be heated in a microwave oven for 1 to 2 minutes to the desirable temperature. Do not over heat as salt can retain high heat and cause burns on fragile skin. Place on affected areas to soothe the pain. Store in dry cupboard when not in use.
I need a pattern for a hot/cold neck pack. Thank you.
By cotygirl from Canada
I've made rice bags from muslin. No pattern, really. Here are approximate measurements, based on one of my existing rice bags.
I cut a piece of muslin about 12" X 11". Fold it in half to 6'" X 11". Stitch along the bottom (short) side and the long side. Turn right side out. Fill with desired amount of rice. Fold unfinished edges in, and run two lines of stitches (for extra security) along the last side.
When I've given these as gifts, I've made covers out of flannel. Just make it a little larger than the rice bag like a pillow case. I made a couple button holes and buttons on the open end to make it cuter and to help keep the bag from shifting/sliding out.
The quickest way to make a hot-cold pack is by taking a pillow case (made of cotton or 50/50 cotton-poly) then pour in one or 2 boxes or bags of any type of rice. (Minute rice OR regular). Then tie a knot on the end of this pillow case so the rice stays in.
To heat: Simply microwave it to heat the rice up. Usually for 2 or 3 minutes. You can also freeze it. But I prefer to instead use this rice-bag for only heating, then use a bag of frozen peas or corn for cooling. Buy 2 bags of peas & switch them out when the first starts to melt. When you no longer need the frozen peas (or corn) you can eat the veggies. (as long as they stayed frozen!)
I like the way you can take the warm rice-bag with you in the car, unlike a heating pad, this bag is portable!
If you know how to sew, you can turn the empty pillow case inside-out, then sew 2 seams up the middle of the pillow case 1 inch apart, then with scissors cut between the seams so you'll have 2 thin tubes, then fill with rice & knot the ends. If you use a pillow case you will have lots of room to move the rice around for your best fit & comfort. Buy your pillow cases at Second Hand at any Thrift Store or Garage Sale for 50 cents.
---> If they get dirty, simply un-knot the pillow case then dump the rice into a container & wash & dry the fabric then refill with the rice again. Easy, Fast & Cheap... Plus, if you are poor, you can buy the rice & frozen peas with Food Stamps & eat them when you no longer need the hot-cold packs!
* If you want a nice scent, add several tablespoons of Dried Lavender, Whole Cloves or slightly crushed Cinnamon Sticks to the Rice.
I've made heat pads before and had no problem with them, but I do not remember what kind of rice to use. I'm concerned about fire.
I bought Carolina Jasmine enriched Thai fragrant long grain rice (Thai Hom Mali Rice) and Lundberg California white Basmati aromatic long grain rice. Does anyone know how safe these are?
By Marjae from NY
When I made mine several years ago, I used plain, cheap long grain rice. I've not had a problem. But I worried about fire, too. I read somewhere that, from time to time, you should put a cup of water in the microwave with the bag while heating. A little moisture from the heated water will absorb into the rice. So I do that every now and then, and it seems to work well for me. The slight moist heat is nice, too.
Boring old white rice is what is typically used.
I used Organic Flaxseed from Whole Foods. They sell it in bulk. I didn't worry about fire and I gave it to a friend that has used it repeatedly for years now!
When I make mine I just use the long grain, cheapie stuff. It will only catch fire if you heat it for too long. Small ones should not be heated over 2 minutes, large ones longer (3-4 minutes). Always test it to make sure it won't burn you.
I have had mine almost 8 years and have not had the first problem with any of them.
They also make a fabulous gift.
Mostly I've used whatever rice I had on hand. If I have to go buy some, I buy whatever is the cheapest store brand there. I've also mixed it with deer corn, dried beans, dried peas, lentils, almost anything like that is just fine. Never had a problem with any of it. Have fun with it. I just made 3 of them today!
I haven't done this for a few years, but when I did, I simply used whatever rice I had on hand. Honestly, I think I even used Minute Rice on occasion. :-) I just kept an eye on such as I was heating it in the microwave (usually less than two minutes) and it always turned out fine. As well, I was doing so super thrifty style and used clean, lone, tube socks as the casing. It's amazing how a clean, lone, tube sock filled with warm, dried rice can help a stiff neck!
I love DIY! I've used rice in a sock, but have found it eventually, "cooks". Has anyone ever tried saving and drying out tea bags, (without staples), to use a a filler?
I made a heat pad with rice, but when I first got it out of the micro wave it was sweating. Why?
By Cindy W.
I am looking for instructions for how to make cow corn microwave heating pads.
By Barbara from Haverhill, MA
Make it with whatever kind of cooton fabric you like and the size you want it and fill it a little over half way with deercorn mixed with you favorite scented oil not much of it you don`t want it to strong, and sew the end up and it`s ready to use, just heat it in the microwave for a couple of minutes but don`t let it get hot and enjoy.
Never heard of cow corn but these heating pads can be filled with many items like rice or dried beans.
I make all of mine from long grain rice. It is comfortable and stays warm for hours. I use a hand towel and fold it in half to form the bag. you can fold it lengthwise for a long one to go around your neck or at the center to create a size that would do well on the knee, elbow, or small of the back. Use a heavy needle and thread. I sew mine on the machine and hand-sew the opening. Don't use a regular funnel to fill as it will be ever so slow and troublesome. I use a large heavy pc of paper bag and roll it to form a funnel with at least an inch to 1 1/2" opening. To heat, (I like mine hot) I use 1 1/2 min. per pound of rice. Hope this helps!
Just make sure the fabric you use is 100% cotton (or wool or silk)!
I found that if you place a small cup of water in the microwave as you heat your rice bag the rice will get that burnt smell and it helps with the moist heat. Also, I made a fleece sleeve cover for my rice bags, it helps hold the moist heat in longer .
Beans, and cheery pits work best, as they are a larger grain and hold their heat longer. Does anyone have any ideas for non-stop use . I injured my back and I am non-stop using my rice heating pads and the microwave heating is slower when you are trying to heat up more then one heating pad.
I thought of setting up a steaming pot on the stove top to set more then one heating pad in so I would have instant heated pads on hand as one or more cooled down. But I'm not sure if that would actually cook the rice or not?
I had a pattern for a heating pad that has a removable inner pouch that is filled with rice or clean kitty litter. It can be heated up in the microwave and used many times. I cannot find the information about heating times and was hoping your site would have that.
Can I use silica gel beads as filling for a microwavable heat pack? Or, I've heard of glycerin beads, but can't locate them. Any ideas?
By vcates from South Jordan, UT
I've never heard of silica gel beads or glycerin beads being used in making a microwavable heat pack. I have a microwavable heat pack and it is filled with white rice.
I made a heating pad with rice out of a small square pillow case that I bought at the dollar store. I ripped out the zipper and sewed it up for microwave use. I used the pad maybe 20 times and then it exploded in the microwave. The rice was smelling like pop corn each time. When it exploded, the rice was burned. I used just plain white rice and heated it for up to 5 minutes each time as it was about 5 lbs of rice. And it wouldn't feel good unless it was heated for a few minutes then turned over and heated another minute or so. Has this happened to anyone else? What did I do wrong? Material type, type of rice? Heating length? (but I needed it hot, not just warm). Thanks.
I have a zipper on my wheat bag. Can I heat it in a microwave?
By John H
I just bought fleece fabric to make rice pack cover, but neglected to check fabric content. Must it be 100% cotton to be used in microwave?
By Jackie P
When making a microwave heating pad can it be sewn with polyester thread? I am afraid of the thread melting or over-heating and causing a fire?
By Elise L
Can you use vanilla essential oil purchased from the Dollar Store, or vanilla flavored tea bags, or vanilla scented potpourri in the rice heat pad?
By Carmela S.
I saw the cutest pattern for a cold pack for kids that was made like a chicken (it reminded me of the owl patterns you see everywhere). It was so cute. I wanted to make some for my great niece and great nephews who are always getting boo boos. Now I can't find the pattern. Please help me find a pattern and help the kids with their boo boos.
I see the pattern for the neck band made from a sock. I was wondering if you have any other styles or shapes that I could try. The bands are the ones that you heat of make cold and are filled with rice.
How much dried lavender do you put in a rice bag, hot/cold pack?
By Jeannie Y. from Elizabethtown, KY
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Can you use polyester fabric for making the microwave heating bags?
By Becky from Tucson, AZ
I wouldn't.The fabric would probably melt in the microwave. I get my flannel baby blankets at the thrift stores to make them with. (01/04/2011)
I use socks that are without mates and put rice in them. I place one in a jar and fold the top around the lid of the jar and pour in rice. I leave enough room for a knot to be tied in the sock. Microwave until it is hot enough; I rarely go a full minute. I will occasionally empty the rice out and wash the sock and refill it. It is a good freezer rice sock too for booboos. I just like to use old white socks, the ones you get in the big bags at Walmart. They get really hot. I use them when I get an ear infection or have a really bad bruise. They fit to the body part when they are in the freezer they are not hard like ice and won't melt.
By Robyn Fed
I personally wouldn't! I agree about polyester melting in the microwave because it's made from plastics. Have you ever put certain plastic or Styrofoam food containers, or even plastic baggies, in the microwave for a couple or more minutes? Not only can and do they melt, but also emit fumes that are released during the melting process. Please use cotton fabrics. (01/05/2011)
I too use the cheapest rice in a cotton sock. You can mix some nice essential oil in with the rice before filling the sock then secure it at the top. I put it into the microwave until it's at a heat I can place on my body. The essential oil will stop the smell of rice when heated. Also, you can do two and place one in the freezer to use as an ice pack this is good as it does not freeze. Let us know how you go on. Helen xxx (01/06/2011)
I am going to make some therapeutic bags for heating and cooling muscles and injuries. I plan to use flax seed for filler. What is the best kind of fabric (heat resistant, yet breathes) for me to use as the outer shell?
By Trixee from Phoenix, AZ
I made rice bags years ago, and I used unbleached muslin. I heat them in the microwave. I've not had any problems. (11/22/2010)
Jersey knit, like from jersey t-shirt sheets works great too! (11/22/2010)
Rice would be better than flax seed. The flax seed is smaller and easier to burn if you have it in too long. Rice burns too, but not as easily. They all crumble with time. Stocking fabric is good. Buy tube socks and use them. Cut off at the ankle and sew it at both ends. (11/24/2010)
Flax seed will mold when exposed to moisture and the oils in it will probably turn rancid when exposed to repeated heat. I'd use rice, beans, or something dry. (11/25/2010)
I have a friend who sells these at a chiropractor's office locally. She recommends only using cotton fabric (denim) and cotton thread and then fills them with corn from a feed store. They heat evenly, stay warm longer, and the cotton will not flame out in the microwave.
I made microwaveable heatpacks using terry cloth and rice. I put Velcro across one end so the rice could be emptied out and the terry washed. I also made covers for this using different fabrics for the different seasons. Good luck. (11/26/2010)
What can I use to fill a homemade heat pack?
Lori from Ponca, NE
I made a whole bunch of heat packs and filled them with oats. Because I had to buy a 50 lb. bag of oats, I used them in the bird feeder. (12/29/2006)
Rice grains, uncooked of course. Beans will work too. Add lavender or some sage if you want to. Enjoy! (12/30/2006)
Use an off brand rice, but not minute rice. It works great! (01/03/2007)
Fill a cotton tube sock 3/4 of the length with plain white rice and sew the end shut. Heat this in the microwave on a pie plate (to keep it clean) for 2 minutes. I usually put a washcloth under the heated sock at the beginning because it is really warm. As it cools, I remove the washcloth. It will stay warm for about 20 minutes. Mine have been used repeatedly. (01/06/2007)
I had the idea to make one for myself last night having sore muscles from jogging. I poured some Sushi rice I had on hand in a sock and tied it off with a scrunchie rubber hair band. It worked awesome. My legs went from being tight and sore to barely sore the next day. I'm gonna try adding lavender or sage, any other herb suggestions? Also, just curious why not minute rice? Does it puff up or explode or something? Now I want to try it to see. :) (02/15/2007)
Minute rice works well too. I didn't have regular rice. I also tied the sock in a knot at the end. (04/29/2007)
I use rice in an old tube sock. I just tie the opening in a knot. I have one I microwave for a heat-pack, and one I keep in the freezer for an ice pack. So simple. (08/08/2007)
There's this website selling specialized heating pad filled with mineral salt. The heating pad not only retained heat, but available with very nice natural flower scent. For some reason, salt ingredient has strong stimulate effect for blood circulation, and the weight of the salt also allows heat to penetrate under our skin surface that creates a more therapeutic effect.
This is definitely unique, and effective. It's available at http://www.saleyaremedy.com (09/03/2007)
I woke up at 3:00am with terrible back pain and was in NO condition to pull out a needle and thread and sew up a sock with rice in it. I took a wet medium sized bath towel and zapped it in the microwave for 2 minutes then placed the towel in a large freezer storage bag (don't put bag in microwave, it may melt) and TADA! Instant heating pad. The towel stayed very warm for almost an hour and solved my back pain problem. (10/28/2007)
Has anyone had problems with microwaving neck pillows burning, that are filled with a combo of flax seed and lavender? (11/30/2007)
We made one with flax seed, but the flax seed seems to turn bad a stink after a few uses. We will try rice or beans. (12/13/2007)
I was able to make 13 homemade heating pads with 25 lbs of rice, two bath towels, and 26 one serving packets of tea. First I cut the towels into pieces measuring 10 x 20 inches. I folded each piece long ways and sewed two sides, leaving one side open. I turned it right side outward and filled each sack with one full 20oz Dixie cup of rice. Then I added one packet of tea, a half a Dixie cup of rice, another packet of tea, and another half Dixie cup of rice. So each heating pad this size needs 40oz of rice (two full Dixie cups).
If these measurements are followed exactly there should be just enough rice and no extra. Lastly, I folded the raw edges in just enough to catch them in my seam as I sewed the last edge shut. Each heating pad should be about three quarters; full of rice. Three bath towels may be needed for some, as I had no scrap left over. Get the measurements of the towels you want and be sure to do the math before you buy them. Also make sure you get 100% cloth, whether you use a towel or not.
The tea I used was peppermint and chamomile, but any fragrant tea may be used, or none at all if you prefer, it's just to make it smell good. My only other note in making these heating pads is to be sure to have a funnel handy, it is a necessity. This project cost me approximately $24 for 13 beautiful and useful gifts ($1.84 per gift), and I know for a fact it can be done cheaper. (12/18/2007)
I filled a bandanna with some pinto beans. I tied all the corners together and put it in the microwave. No sewing needed. (04/27/2008)
(submitted via email)
I have been using rice with whole clove or cinnamon stick for scent enhancement to make my hot packs. I usually just buy the scrap fabrics that are reduced in price at the fabric shop for mine, so I have a variety of shapes and sizes for all different uses. I'd like to know if anyone has ever tried using the small river stones to retain heat longer?
DO NOT PUT LAVENDER IN THE MICROWAVE! It is one of the few herbs that burns in the microwave. I recommend dumping the contents of a tea bag (peppermint works best) to make it smell nice, as well as rice and a little salt, and place it in scrap cloth that you have tied into a small sack. Old socks tend to be smelly, especially after being microwaved. Works like a charm. They do tend to cool down within an hour, so be prepared to reheat. (11/27/2008)
My mom and I made 2 homemade heat packs to give as presents. My dad has one and uses it constantly. We put uncooked brown rice and lavender buds in them. Believe it or not, I'm 9 years old and might start going into a business with these cool things! (12/24/2008)
I buy fabric napkins on sale, generally for a dollar or so, and use those either two sewn together and sectioned off to make a BIG sack, or one folded in half, which is a perfect length to fit across my shoulders or along my spine (I'm kinda little). :) The napkins are generally a brushed cotton which is nice and soft and have pretty colors - and of course are pre-cut and edged which helps! If folding in half, I then just sew two of the open sides shut, turn inside out, fill with rice or wheat, fold in the top edges and sew shut.
Often you can find a napkin that's slightly bigger than the others and I use that to make a cover, simply fold in half and sew two sides shut and slip over the sack. These are wonderful gifts. I am a massage therapist and use them all the time on myself or clients. (01/01/2009)
I bought the hand warmers that stay hot for about 7+ hours and they work great. All you do is take them from the packet and they heat up. Then after they are done you can reuse them, by putting them into the microwave for 10-25 seconds and voila! It will be extremely hot for at least an hour. You might wanna wrap it up in a small hand towel after you take it out. (01/17/2009)
I make heat packs all the time and I find that using an old mismatch sock works great. Add uncooked white rice, tie the top and place in microwave for 1 to 2 minutes depending on the size of the sock. (02/07/2009)
We use these to help soothe our puppy in his crate at night. It is effective and safe if he happened to chew one open. I place it under his bedding. (02/11/2009)
Need instructions to sew hot/cold packs made from dried beans or rice and aromatic herbs for neck or muscle aches. Have some time during surgery recovery to make these as thank you gifts.
We have all seen those microwave heating pads selling in the stores for big bucks, and I always thought "Boy I wish I knew how to make one" They look so easy to make.