Making Microwave Heating Pads

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 254 Posts
May 23, 2012

Making a Microwave Heating Rice PadIf 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.

To Use:
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 from Manchester, WA

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April 6, 2013

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.

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July 19, 2006

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.

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November 12, 2004

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.

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28 Questions

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December 3, 2005

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?



By Starlight (Guest Post)
December 4, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

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!

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By bunnieknit (Guest Post)
December 4, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

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!

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December 4, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

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!

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December 5, 20050 found this helpful
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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.

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December 5, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

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

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By ollie (Guest Post)
October 6, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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December 22, 2010

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 Jae from NY

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February 15, 2010

I need a pattern for a hot/cold neck pack. Thank you.

By cotygirl from Canada


February 15, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 213 Posts
February 15, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 424 Answers
January 31, 2019

I plan to make small cloth heating pads out of left over material and warm them up in the microwave. Does any one have any ideas on what to put in it to hold the heat?

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April 3, 2011

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

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December 24, 2009

I am looking for instructions for how to make cow corn microwave heating pads.

By Barbara from Haverhill, MA


December 24, 20090 found this helpful

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.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 138 Feedbacks
December 24, 20090 found this helpful

Never heard of cow corn but these heating pads can be filled with many items like rice or dried beans.

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December 30, 20090 found this helpful

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!

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July 3, 20100 found this helpful

Just make sure the fabric you use is 100% cotton (or wool or silk)!

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February 25, 2017

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?

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November 9, 2011

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.

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January 24, 2017

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.

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September 5, 2013

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.

By Blessedx100

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February 22, 2015

I have a zipper on my wheat bag. Can I heat it in a microwave?

By John H

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