Introduction: Homemade Heating Pad

Picture of Homemade Heating Pad

Make your own heating pad at home in two minutes!

I often strain my neck after staring at a computer for many hours.  A couple weeks ago I strained my neck really bad and couldn't go into work for a couple days.  Jason gave me the idea to make an at home heating pad.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

1 Pair of Socks (make sure there are no synthetic materials in socks!)
1 1/2 cups of Rice

Step 2: Making the Heating Pad

Picture of Making the Heating Pad

Pour rice into one of the socks.
Tie a knot at the top of the sock.
Put the sock with the rice in the other sock, knot side first.
Tie end of outside sock.

Step 3: Using the Heating Pad

Picture of Using the Heating Pad

Put the heating pad in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Makes sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't smoke.

You will be surprised how long It will retain the heat.

Place under your neck and lay down. Don't watch t.v., use your computer, or do anything that will strain your neck while using the heating pad.


masoud6542 (author)2018-01-06

I'd recommend using salt instead of rice. it keeps the heat, doesn't go bad, and wouldn't introduce bacteria and microbes over time. cheaper as well!

JuliaR74 (author)2017-11-24

Very easy to make, I am excited to use this after long days at my desk!

TaraF22 made it! (author)2017-07-09

This works great for arthritis. You can also use a slightly damp wash clothe under it so it becomes a "wet heat" for deeper penetration which my dr. Recommended as more therapeutic. Just be careful as not to burn yourself which you can easily do with wet heat.

LeslieW43 made it! (author)2016-11-08

Awesome works great, how long can you keep the rice?

BeckyB53 (author)2016-05-09

I heat the rice in a small measuring bowl I have with a spout. You can use a bowl or cup also. I use a fuzzy long sock and pour it in. That way i don't have to worry about a fire. Works great. If you want you can pour essential oils on the rice after heated. I use lavender for ear infections. Im not sure why it unclogs my ear but it does. I read it online. Tried it and it worked. We did it once to heal a poisonous spider bite also.

Sunnydog (author)2016-03-29

Do you have to like replace the rice or can you just keep it

Yellowgal (author)2016-03-20

It worked REALLY well!!!!!!!! Thanks a million!!!!!

AmandaP67 (author)2016-03-08

Great idea it helps me a lot !Before you take any action you should try manipulating the pad. I also follow these heating tips for better results.

DeeThePro (author)2016-01-29

My friend showed me this... I guess Ill try it

Leei1337 (author)2016-01-23

great instant fix for my wife's sore back, took 2 minutes and I came in like a hero! thanks :)

VictoriaS42 (author)2015-12-09

This is awesome! I used it for my belly :) I get bad period cramps and this is I deal for those! I don't have a camera to post it! Loved it! I will definately be using this in the future!

TabethaB made it! (author)2015-11-24

Thank you so much you are truly a lifesaver! I have a really bad abscess the only thing that seems to help is heat unfortunately I don't have an extension cord for my heating pad. I found this and tried it and it works wonders thank you so much.

okbutdude (author)2015-10-31

Important thing: don't do this with arborio rice. Any moisture in the sock, it will absorb. I don't think it's too dangerous (I mean it smells ricey but hey), but your sock does, uh, expand... a little

okbutdude (author)okbutdude2015-10-31

Or I might have just put too much in. Hard to tell when the rice is covered in sock.

okbutdude (author)okbutdude2015-11-04

Well the rice is no longer covered in sock and it seems like I really did just put too much in. So don't worry guys, it is ok to use Arborio rice so long as your socks are dry.

Sunlit Dreams (author)2015-09-29

Excellent post, but does need some more instructions for safety. I've been using rice 'Hot Socks' for about 8 years now. So here's some VERY IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER:

1. ONLY USE COTTON OR WOOL BLEND SOCKS & MATERIALS (I've found 80% cotton or more is usually safe. Wool will likely shrink, but is less flammable. You can shrink it first deliberately with a hot water wash and/or hot dryer for drying): Cotton athletic socks are often excellent. Be very cautious of socks or materials that feel thin and stretchy! They are usually not suitable. NEVER USE ANY SOCK OR MATERIAL WITH METALLIC THREAD! I recommend only white or light colored socks also, as dark colors can heat the material faster than the rice.

2. USE ONLY PLAIN, DRIED, WHITE RICE (DO NOT INSTANT OR QUICK-COOKING). You can also use dried beans, flaxseed, barley & whole corn kernels.

3. FOR FIRST HEAT, START WITH A 10-30 SECOND WATCHED TEST (instructions below) & NEVER HEAT A SINGLE SOCK MORE THAN 2 MINS: Remember: just like a conventional oven, a microwave oven can set any flammable material on fire! Also, some microwaves can be inclined to overheat some materials (I've watched one of a set of 'microwave safe' plastic lids melt in a minute in a small, cheap, microwave oven, but that's never happened to the rest of the set in my high-powered microwave oven. So you never know!).


A) Heat for 10 seconds. Watch for sparks, smoking or burning (TURN MICROWAVE OFF IMMEDIATELY IF THERE IS ANY SIGN OF SPARKS, SMOKING OR BURNING AND DISCARD THE SOCK. So long as the rice isn't burnt, you can save and try the rice in a different sock). If no bad signs, touch carefully & cautiously take out and handle. If it looks fine and still feel pretty cool (slightly warm is okay, but SCORCHING OR HOT AT 10 SECONDS MEANS IT WILL BURN OR EXPLODE and your sock material, or microwave, is NOT SUITABLE for this), you can continue the test.

B) Continue to heat for another 10 seconds, and watch it as above. Then check it again as before. It will be slightly warmer now, and that is okay, but stop test immediately if there are sparks, smoking, burning or it is very hot already.

C) Test for another 10 seconds as above. Sock can be warm now, but should not be very hot. As before, any sign of sparks, smoking or burning is bad and you should stop microwave immediately.

D) If all went well, LET THE SOCK COOL FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS, then try a 30 second test. This should warm the sock, but it should not be scorching hot, and as before stop the microwave and discard of the sock at any sign of sparking, smoking or burning! This should not happen with cotton for up to 2mins, but it's better to be safe than sorry!

E) Again LET THE SOCK COOL for at least 2 hours, Now you're ready to try 1 minute. Watch the sock heating as before. Stop the microwave and discard of sock at any sign of sparks, smoking or burning. Your sock should be pretty warm if not hot now. If it didn't burn it should be safe to heat for up to 2 minutes in future.

HINT: Once you have the temperature right for you, write down the minutes and stick it on the fridge for future reference (especially helpful if someone else is heating your sock for you).


**USE A CLEAN MICROWAVE ONLY. Fabric & foodstuffs could cause a serious fire risk or even an explosion.

**ONLY USE CLEAN, LAUNDERED SOCKS/MATERIAL AND DO NOT USE ANY SOCK OR MATERIAL THAT HAS COME INTO CONTACT WITH FLAMMABLE CHEMICALS OR OILS, such as paint, paint thinners, mechanical oils, fuels, sprays, kerosene etc. Even if it is clean, it could still be a fire risk and very likely to cause an explosion (if you're not sure, then don't use the sock).

**Tie sock off with a knot in sock or sew iit with cotton thread. DO NOT use another material such as a twist tie! Twist ties are made with metal & plastic ties melt.

**Be cautious about what you add to your sock. Oils and fragrances can increase fire risk and some plant materials are very flammable also. If you're trying essential oils, be cautious to get a good quality oil and use only a few drops. Avoid anything that says 'fragrance', Fragrances can have flammable chemicals. DON'T EVER SPRAY PERFUME ON SOCK OR RICE. Always run the 10-30 second test after adding an essential oil.

**A second sock (or cover made for it) on top of rice holding sock is useful for keeping your hot sock clean, and is more easily laundered and replaced when the material is eventually browned (from light scorching) or grubby.

**Replace sock when it is brown from scorching. Scorched material is a higher fire risk.

soophiadelrey (author)2015-01-06

literally almost burnt my house down, exploded everywhere, smells like smoke and fire, almost caught on fire, my microwave is black from the BLACK rice, burnt my finger trying to put it under cold water, NEVER DO THIS

NoraM4 (author)soophiadelrey2015-05-22

if there was any synthetic material (rayon, for instance) in your socks, it could have melted and started on fire. I've never had a problem with my homemade rice bag catching on fire, and I've used it for years!

Kallista (author)NoraM42015-09-20

Rayon is a natural fiber, it is not synthetic. Polyester, spandex, acrylic, nylon, are all common synthetics; but rayon is plant-based silk product.

TschNJ (author)soophiadelrey2015-02-04

Use corn instead of rice... that's fried corn, there is some moisture in dried corn. Heat this for up to two minutes.

TschNJ (author)TschNJ2015-02-04

That's dried corn NOT fried!

slozoya17 made it! (author)2015-05-08

You mam are a life saver!!!! THANK YOU SOOOOO much!!! I was having the worst cramps of my life and now I am happily typing this with my "homemade heating pad" on my lower abdomen:)

lee9514 (author)slozoya172015-08-12

It really is a lifee saver just made it for the same reason and its working wish I would of found ths 3 days ago

Puppy82peace made it! (author)2015-02-13

Works great! Only two things only use as much or as little rice as you need and only heat it up for 1 min!

Puppy82peace (author)2015-02-13

Worked great! But only two things use as much or as little rice as you need and only heat it up for 1 minute no longer

billieleah.wessel (author)2014-12-12

it exploded and destroyed my micowave.

TschNJ (author)billieleah.wessel2015-02-04

Use dry corn instead, there is a little moisture to absorb heat from the microwave oven. Only heat for about 2 minutes.

bri.bondeson made it! (author)2014-12-21

Im sick and its been working great for the body aches so far.

blackbirdblackwolf (author)2014-12-14

thanks a million! my back was tighter then a drum and my heating pad was at work. i used 2 cups of rice because my husband has big feet LOL i only put mine in for a minute and it's plenty warm!

roseberry100 (author)2014-11-09

I made my Ma this and she was surprised, but it actually works, despite being a little silly. :-)

Carleyy (author)roseberry1002014-11-20

That's so awesome!

delightmtreleaven (author)2014-10-25

I used some dried garbanzo beans as that was all I had available. Worked great and holds the heat very well.

Good to know!

MortishaA (author)2014-10-08

this works lovely for menstrual cramps for those of use that menstruate and also take care to consider how powerful your microwave is, two minutes in some microwaves it nuclear :)

yvonned (author)2014-09-29

i have trouble with my hands i like to buy one

donna.ledford.961 (author)2014-09-27

add some lavender oil to help relax & with the odor from rice or any oil or scented leaves for a better smell :)

donna.ledford.961 (author)2014-09-27

add some lavender oil to help relax & with the odor from rice or any oil or scented leaves for a better smell :)

lindsay.shirkey (author)2014-09-11

Thanks so much! I just moved into a new apartment sans heating pad and forgot to pick one up at the store. This was so helpful for my cramps! 2 minutes was plenty for my low-wattage microwave.

However, just as a warning, mine steamed when I put it in the microwave - so make sure you're not right next to your smoke detector! It might have been the sock was damp or the rice had gotten damp after spending a few months in my cupboard.

Vicki.Humphries10 (author)2014-07-26

Made this just now. Works perfectly. Thanks!!!

Elliemae1 (author)2014-05-15

You can also use dry kidney beans...they stay hot even longer. I use them all the time.

lnelmel (author)2014-04-19

So happy to find this! Making one today for our dog who has just been diagnosed with spinal issues. Part of his treatment is heat on his back a few times a day. Thank you so much!!

psychashley (author)2013-12-11

This really worked for me, i have been having horrible cramps and i dont own a heating pad, and its too late at night to buy one. This worked perfect, the heat stayed a long time!

Znaffi (author)2013-12-08

Wow! And they have an nice "rice aroma"

obeh kok siang (author)2013-11-24

Great post!!
We here use same technique, we put red bean instead of rice. Work well too.

ceealice (author)2013-11-21

wonderful idea for sore neck or back !

timwikander (author)2013-04-10

This is great!

ccarreer (author)2013-04-09

OMG! I feel like facepalming here. xD

Friend of mine totally gave me one of these for Xmas, but I've worn it out already. I was trying to figure out how to make another one, and BAM! Duh! Sock!


Suzi17s (author)2013-04-04

this is a realy good idea.

0johnlewis0 (author)2013-01-17

Great "waste to best " idea !! This will surely make the resources go well utilized :) Utility Heating pads.


ktyrel (author)2012-03-12

i hurt my shoulder last year i cheerleading and this feels great on it. it probably inst going to heal but it feels a little better. and btw. i didnt want to cheerlead...ever but my mom made me.

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