Hot Water Bottle to Reduce Heating Bills

Brrrrrhh! It's so cold at night now in Southern California - low 40s.

During the winter months for the past seven years (to help cut down our gas bill by not cranking up the heater in the evenings), we use the plastic water bottles. My husband fills the plastic bottles with boiling water for each of our three children before they go to bed. It warms up their cold beds immediately.


During the night, we place the bottles towards their feet (no body contact). This long lasting heat keeps their beds, comforters, and blankets warm throughout the night. It stays warm up until the morning and does not leak. Then, in the morning I recycle the water from the bottles by watering my plants. Everybody's happy, even the plants :-)

We purchased the water bottles from Walmart for $5 each.

By kanina5 from Placentia, CA

December 2, 20100 found this helpful

This is an excellent and thrifty idea. I don't know anyone outside my TF family who does this, but I remember reading of the practice (and similar ones) in Victorian novels...

btw, I can't help but chuckle to hear low 40s described as freezing - here in Ohio, it's only called "a little cool." Now, if there were a minus there, that would be cold! :D

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December 3, 20100 found this helpful

I'd be a little concerned about leaks, esp. where hot water is concerned. I've had bottles like that spring leaks, and it was a mess with cold water; with hot water, injury could result. In my honest opinion, it would be safer to use a hot water bottle, as it's made specifically for this purpose. Other options would be to make a microwaveable heat pack from fabric and rice, or even just use a heating pad. :)

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December 3, 20100 found this helpful

Interesting. I think I like it.

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December 5, 20100 found this helpful

I've been doing this for years! Here in Salem, OR I'm using 2 now, but later may use 3 each night. Use during the day too when you'll be sitting for awhile! This isn't made of plastic; it's rubber. I'm surprised you haven't burned a hole through the rubber because my box said to not fill with boiling water. I let the water get to just under boiling. And don't worry about leaks. After I press the steam/air out, I secure the cap and turn upside down to check for leaks. Always works! Try them, everyone!

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March 4, 20120 found this helpful

JustPlainJo, I, too, was chuckling at the "cold weather"... being from Iowa.

When I was growing up, we had no heat upstairs whatsoever so blankets and comforters were piled high. Yet my feet were always cold. My mother took bricks and heated them in the oven, wrapped them in newspaper and they stayed pretty warm all night long. That is another idea.

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March 4, 20120 found this helpful

I was raised in the US but my parents were from the UK, so I grew up with hot water bottles. Nothing like the little loves for warming a bed before getting in! My older sister used to fill the bottles and put them in our beds about a half hour before we were tucked up for the night. She'd put the bottles in the bed about where our backs would be, then when we went to bed we'd move the bottle down to the end of the bed about where our feet would be. On REALLY cold nights, lol, we'd sleep with the bottles against our backs-so nice!

I'd got out of the habit after leaving home in the 70s, but I remarried in 2011 and moved to Scotland where hot water bottles are a standard piece of homemaking kit-every home has at least two and do they ever work a treat for keeping a bed warm overnight! And yes, on really cold nights my husband and I each have a hot water bottle at our backs:)

I sew and have made several covers for the ones we have using scrap flannel left over from PJ projects. The covers keep the bottles warmer at night but are thin enough to let the warmth keep the bed cosy all night. Fleece ones are too thick, and whilst the fleece does keep the water in the bottle hot, the fabric is too thick to permit the warmth to spread.

Re the potential for leaking, the way a good hot water bottle is designed it's almost impossible to screw the cap in wrong, so the bottles don't leak a bit. If the bottle is going to leak you know right away at the sink after filling.

Having a properly filled hot water bottle saves quite a bit on heating costs. Sometimes I'm chilled but it's not cold enough really to justify cranking up the heat. So I fill a hot water bottle, slip the cover on, and sit with it on my lap. Ahh!

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March 4, 20120 found this helpful

I've had to replace leaky hot water bottles, but always from the same drug store. Finally I wrote to the company and they are going to replace it - again. The suggested an "O" ring in the neck for extra protection. Also, that maybe boiling water causes the plastic stopper or neck to become misshapen over time.

I would like to find a different manufacturer (this one came from California, but maybe imported?) and is sold at the major drug store in the mid-Atlantic area. When I was a child, our hot water bottles never leaked. It is standard for us now to have a rubber-band-secured baggie over the mouth - what a nuisance. But hot water bottles are wonderful. We use a marker to draw on a foot cartoon, or a lamb, or some other whimsical and cute drawing.

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March 4, 20120 found this helpful

This is a wonderful idea! I'm going to look for one. I currently use a heating pad which is nice but is an electic vampire.

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March 4, 20120 found this helpful

I think using flannel bed sheets is a better answer to this problem. Plastic bottles eventually will leak and look at the gallons of water over time that is wasted. Flannel sheets are a one time purchase, come in beautiful patterns, colors and size & can be used for years. They have a better impact on the ecology than plastic bottles ending in the trash heap. They feel so good on a winter's night because they stop the "cold shock" of getting into bed that regular sheets cause.

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March 4, 20120 found this helpful

I use a bag of beans that I heat in my microwave for a couple of minutes. The beans are wrapped in an old t shirt. The bag goes under my computer desk for my feet.

The vents are a long way off and I use it early in the mornings when I work on my blog.

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March 4, 20120 found this helpful

Yeah, I'm with some of the others, it's a waste of water (your plants can't drink that much in the winter) and they can leak. A bag or cotton sock (you can make the bag out of cotton in any size) filled with beans or plain white rice, heat in microwave works wonders!

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