Microwave heating pads, often filled with rice, are used to soothe aches and pains. This is a guide about microwave heating pads.
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
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.
If you want a really simple and quick microwave heating pad, this is a frugal way to throw one together.
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!
I have a zipper on my wheat bag. Can I heat it in a microwave?
By John H
I agree. What you might want to do is just pour your barley or the medium you heat in an old single sock. Then, tie a knot or sew it closed. No metal and no worries. Just a thought. PBP
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
I don't know about the rice, but I do know that deer corn works great. The corn has a moist heat and holds up very well, no worry about fire.
I need a pattern for a hot/cold neck pack. Thank you.
By cotygirl from Canada
You can microwave poly-cotton?
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.
Over time, it'll stop sweating. I think with ours on about the 3rd or 4th use it stops that.
I use popcorn, too, but find that is does tend to pop in there, and also the smell from the heated popcorn bag starts to bug us after 20 or so uses, but not so the rice bags. We love these in our house all winter for taking to bed at night, and they make great Christmas presents!
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
I'm not sure about the fleece. I use socks for mine and although they are cotton, there is always the stretchy threads in them..?? Try heating a small scrap of the material and see how it does.
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 also agree that 5 minutes was likely too long. I have one my neighbour made for me; it is filled with wheat and she put 3 or 4 cloves in it for the aroma. I have had the cloves overheat and char the flannel, and make a little hole. I only ever heat it for three minutes, and then re-heat for 2. Mine is about 1 pound, maybe two. I suspect that 5 pounds is too big, and parts of it overheated before the center got warm, and this caused your explosion.
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
Hi there! We use men's tube socks or women's knee high socks for heat packs (one of a pair that remains with no holes or tears) and fill with dried white or brown rice or dried barley. Works like a charm and if the sock happens to rip, we save as much rice or barley as possible, boil it up and add it to our dogs' food before starting all over with another stray sock. Can't get much thriftier than that! :) Good luck!
I am looking for instructions for how to make cow corn microwave heating pads.
By Barbara from Haverhill, MA
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?
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.
Make a square out of polar fleece and fill it with clean kitty litter. These then can be popped into the microwave and put in our bed to warm it up before we get in. Since the kitty litter will hold the heat, it should keep us very warm this winter.
By Debra in CO
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.
The last two, yes. Anything you put in with a dry grain and esp' in a fabric bag must be dry. That sounds like a wonderful project though. Try peach and orange cinnamon tea and let us know how it went?
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
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.
Don't know about a chicken, but I use a Boo Boo Bunny. Instructions are here: http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/boo-boo-bunny-660989/
I stitch the face instead of use the glue on eyes and such so it is okay for the littlest child to use. Use it dry, wet, cold or warm to help whatever the boo boo might be. It holds an icecube very easily and absorbs the water as it melts. Good luck
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)