How to Make Your Own Hot or Cold Compress

A well-made hot compress can help chase off all kinds of aches and pain, with the heat penetrating sore tissues, increasing circulation, and helping to relax tight muscles. A lot of times though, we use something like a washcloth soaked in hot water, which loses its heat within minutes. In stores, hot pads usually cost upwards of $20.00 to $30.00 dollars. The good news is that making a cost effective compress at home, one that really retains its healing warmth, is easier than you might think.

cold compress

You will need…

-A clean tube sock, or scrap fabric
-Dry and uncooked rice, beans, or oats
-A pinch of peppermint, cinnamon, or the contents of a pleasantly fragrant herbal tea bag (optional)


Fill up a new or clean tube sock with dry and uncooked rice, beans, or oats, leaving enough room to tie off the top after you’ve filled it. If you like, throw in a pinch of peppermint or the contents of an herbal tea bag to give it a nice, relaxing, fragrance. Tie off tightly, or sew, if you prefer. Microwave for a few seconds up to a few minutes, depending on how hot you want it. If you’d rather not use a tube sock, cut up an old T-shirt or sew together some scrap material instead.

Tip: Toss it in the refrigerator or freezer and use it as a cold pack too!

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  1. Christa Haseloff says:

    I also use corn or small bird food.
    After a while and many microwaves ,the corn smells like popcorn, then you start all over again.
    I always have cold feet going to bed, so this helps a lot.

  2. Anna says:

    Wheat is good in these too (from the health shop). And if you put a half-glass of water in the microwave when you warm these, it stops the contents from drying out too much or burning.

  3. Deanna says:

    What if you don’t have a microwave?

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