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replacement for rice in a 'hot pad'

 
gardener
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Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
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We have been using a sock filled with rice for a 'hot pad'. This is put in the microwave for three minutes then placed on the neck, or wherever the body hurts, for pain relief.

Hunny really does not like the aroma. Oh, excuse me, the STENCH. Is there any other substance that would hold the heat as well, or better?
 
pollinator
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Location: Virginia
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I have one I use the same way that is filled with buckwheat. It does have a bit of a smell, but I actually like it. For some reason, there is less smell when I heat it on the wood stove.
 
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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We have always used flax seed.  It seems to hold the heat a long time, maybe due to the oils in the seed?

At the moment we have one filled with basmati rice and love the smell...it does not hold the heat as long though and feels 'heavier' to me.

I don't remember noticing any odor from the flax.
 
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Those hot and cold gel packs are over 90 percent water, so perhaps just using a couple of those would make sense? We have a few that we have used for injuries and cooling food for over 10 years and they are still functioning.

An alternative might be to source soapstone beads and heat them and place in a cloth bag. Might be hard to find affordable beads as they seem favored for jewelry creation rather than the suggested use, that and they are hard so may not provide the comfort a softer material could provide.

Finally, the good old hot water bottle could be a good choice. I think we have one from my family that was made in the 50’s.
 
pollinator
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You can also use corn. NOT pop corn.  ;)  (It smells faintly like pop corn though so if he likes that smell, so much the better.)  I have two - white rice in one and corn in the other - and they are so great in the winter.
 
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Even pea gravel would work, the added weight and different texture could be a pro or a con -- depending on what feels good to him.
 
pollinator
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Sonja Draven wrote:You can also use corn. NOT pop corn.  ;)  (It smells faintly like pop corn though so if he likes that smell, so much the better.)  I have two - white rice in one and corn in the other - and they are so great in the winter.


Yes, whole grain feed corn is what I use for my wrist warmers/keyboard rests (when it is 55F in my office they are part of my warming strategy). I've tried a variety of things and some things do get nasty smells (wheat berries were particularly bad).
Found that putting heads of lavender flowers did not make a pretty smell, just a nasty one.
Also, good to realize that they may get moldy and you may have to empty them and compost or feed them to critters, wash the fabric and then refill (i find i need to do so every so often). At least with grain you can do that with no guilt.
 
pollinator
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When I was a kid and had serious ear aches two or three times a year, we used a small pouch of salt, about 1/2 cup, maybe a little less. Trying to remember how it was heated - maybe a double boiler or maybe just a dry pan (already in the pouch). The salt pouch was _very_ hot and my mother wrapped it in 4 or 5 heavy linen napkins which I removed as it cooled. Lasted for about an hour, IIRC. Localized high heat, great feeling.


Rufus
 
pollinator
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Coarse sand, if the fabric/seams are tight enough to prevent leakage?
 
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I've used cherry pits. My favorite was corn and it lasted the longest too. I'm using rice now and sgree the smell can get pretty strong.
 
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My family always used wheat for hot pads...you have to keep it really dry (no challenge here, as it is arid, but maybe more of an issue in humid climates).  It does have a smell when it is heated, but I find the smell pleasant and soothing, like baking bread.
 
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Location: High Plains of Southeastern Colorado, Zone 6a
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I use winnowed chicken scratch in doubled-over stockinette, like what goes on a broken bone before the cast. The packs don't have much odor to them, but at times, just for fun, I use a drop of essential oil on them.
 
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