Homemade Reusable Rice Heat Packs
Reusable rice heat packs are an alternative to electric heating pads. While electric heating pads are nice, did you ever read the warning labels? You have to be cautious using them while pregnant, and you have the risks of burns, electric shocks, and fires.
Geez! All you want is some heat on your sore back, and you have to risk electric shocks and fires? No thank you!
The solution is insanely simple and CHEAP! Reusable rice packs are way cheaper than any heating pad you can purchase in the store and they perform just as well – if not better – than the electric versions.
How You Can Use a Rice Heat Pack
You can use these rice heat packs in a multitude of ways. Some of our favourite ways include:
- Labor and Delivery: Labor can bring terrible back pain if your baby is breech or posterior. Placing a rice heat pack on your back can help relieve some of those pains and give you a bit of relief.
- Colds and Flu: When you have the flu or a cold, your entire body aches. Your muscles feel sore, and rice packs help keep them feeling loose and relaxed. Heat is amazing for colds and flu!
- Chilly Evenings: Sometimes, you’re just cold at night, whether it’s a particularly chilly evening or you have a bad draft somewhere in your home. You can heat up some of the rice packs and place them under your sheets below your feet to keep you feeling warm as you drift off. They’re great for kids as well!
- Sore Backs: The most obvious way to use a rice pack is on sore backs! If you spent too long in the garden bending over, your back might feel sore and stiff. You can lay down and place a rice pack on your back. It’ll make you feel so much better.
- Menstrual Cramps: Some women experience terrible menstrual cramps that can cause issues throughout the entire week of their cycle. Lay back in the recliner or on the couch with the pack on your lower abdomen. It’ll make the cramps go away quicker!
- Infections: Skin infections are never fun, but it happens! You might have an infected cut or an infected spider bite. Applying heat to the infection can help draw it out and get rid of the infections faster. You also can hold a warm rice pack over your ear if you have an ear infection. Those are never fun.
- Hand Warmers: Hand warmers are awesome for hikes when its cold out, football games, or any time that you might be outside when its freezing! Smaller-sized rice heat packs are the way to go.
How to Make a Reusable Rice Heat Pack
Supplies You Need:
- One 5-pound bag of white rice (brown works too)
- A 12-inch square piece of material.
- A sewing machine or a needle
- Fold the square piece of material that you selected in half with the right sides together. Sew two of the sides together, which means three sides will be closed, leaving one side open. It’s going to look like a tube that’s around 12 inches x six inches, and one of the six-inch sides will be left open.
- Turn the right side out now so that it faces you and hides the stitches.
- Fill up the tube with rice until its ⅔ of the way full.
- Then, fold the edges of the fabric inwards so that the rough edges aren’t showing. Sew the side shut tightly. You don’t want any rice grains falling out!
- Microwave the rice pack for 60 seconds or longer until you have the desired temperature. It does make a strange smell when microwaving rice; that’s normal!
Other Options Include:
Some people prefer to make their rice heat packs with old socks. This variation is super easy. Just pour the rice into a sock – make sure there are NO holes – and tie shut. It’s a way to make a quick rice heat pack, but it’s far from the prettiest version available.
If you want to make a really large rice heat pack, try cutting a pillowcase in half across the middle width-wise. Then, you can sew it closed part of the way. Fill it with rice, and sew closed the rest of the way! It makes a larger rice pack, perfect if you want to heat a larger part of your back.
Some people like to make a u-shaped warmer, especially if you want to use it on your neck a lot. Just cut your fabric into a u-shape, sew the sides as you would with a rectangle-shaped one, and fill with rice!
You can also make mini rice packs for reusable hand warmers! Measure smaller squares out that can fit into your coat pocket. These make great gifts or practical items for children who like to play outside often.
Aromatherapy Rice Packs
If you love aromatherapy, you can add essential oils to your rice packs for specific ailments or just to help you sleep.
To make an aromatherapy rice pack, use the same instructions as before. The only difference is that you need to mix 15 to 20 drops of your desired essential oil onto the rice and let it dry in a bowl before placing the rice into the pack. Then, when you heat it up, you’ll smell the oils that you selected!
A few essential oils ideas include:
- Lavender – for sleepiness and great to help children relax,
- Eucalyptus – great for chest colds and any type of congestion
- Spearmint or Peppermint – Place on your stomach and enjoy the scent when you experience nausea or a tummy bug!
- Lemon or Orange – Need a pick-me-up? Citrus scents tend to help your mood
Make Your Own Rice Packs
Heat rice packs are practical and loved. They make fantastic gifts for your friends and family. You can make a few for your friends that you know have back pain or neck pain often. Plus, these are so cheap to make! You can make a few in different sizes without spending too much money. Useful, cheap, and relaxing are good qualities for any gift!