Heating pads are great to have around the house to comfort any small aches or pains, or just to wear when you are cold or crave the warm sensation. There is no need to buy an electric heating pad from the store when you can make your own at home for free.
All you need to make your heating pad is an old tube sock, uncooked wheat, lentils, beans or rice. Fill the tube sock with your mix, leaving space at the end of the sock. Then take the end and tie it into a knot. The last step is to pop your new heating pad in the microwave and use it wherever you want. Usually two to two and a half minutes is enough to heat the pad, but you may have to experiment to find your ideal temperature. Toss your fragrant oil or perfume with the uncooked material before adding to the sock for a soothing smell every time you heat the pad up. To wash the pad, simply untie the knot, empty out your filler and throw the sock in the washing machine.
It helps to distribute the heat more evenly if the sock is tied into smaller sections. This also gives the pad a bit more flexibility, especially if you want to wrap it around your neck. Section the sock by filling one-half or a third and tie off the filled portion. Continue filling and tying off the rest of the sock to your liking. You could also sew sections off, however, this can be a problem if you ever want to wash the pad.
Tube socks are not the only material that can be turned into a heating pad. Old shirts, slacks, towels and washrags can be converted to heating pads as well. Measure two rectangles according to the size you desire for your heating pad and cut the rectangles out of the material. Sew the bottom and sides closed by hand or machine. After sewing, fill the material one-half to three-quarters full with rice, oats, or wheat. Sew the remaining top portion closed. The best part about using old shirts is that you can decorate your heating pad with themed materials or colors.
You can also take the pockets out of old pants. Turn the pants inside out and cut the pocket away from the pants as neatly as you can. Make sure to cut in a straight line. Fill the pocket one-half to three-quarters full with your uncooked material and fragrance oil. Sew the opening closed using a machine or by hand.
If you have an emergency and do not have time to sew a heating pad, take a microwaveable Ziploc bag, fill with uncooked material and microwave for one to three minutes. It may not be as pretty as the other options but it gets the job done.
Your homemade heating pad can also double as a cold pack for swollen or bruised limbs. Put your pad in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is chilled but not frozen. Apply the pack to the injured area.
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