· Natural Remedies · This Is The Cheap And Easy Way To Treat All Your Aches And Pains

This Is The Cheap And Easy Way To Treat All Your Aches And Pains

Heating Pad

Most of the time, I love my electric heating pad. It really helps relieve the frequent unexplained soreness that seems to be inherent to getting older. ;-) But even though I love my electric heating pad, there are some instances when it lets me down! For instance, I can’t use it while relaxing in my favorite recliner chair, because the cord isn’t long enough to reach an outlet from there. And even on the lowest heat setting, my electric heating pad gets really warm (uncomfortably so!) I often find myself wishing it had an even lower heat setting.

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Heating Pad

In those cases, I put my electric heating pad back in the closet and grab my homemade “heating pad” instead. You might already be familiar with this sort of heating pad, because it’s been around forever. (Maybe you even made one in Home Ec!) It’s essentially just a bag filled with rice, but it actually solves both of my complaints about my electric heating pad. Since you warm it up in the microwave, you can use it anywhere without worrying about the closest outlet. And you can control how hot it gets by microwaving it for more or less time!

Heating Pad

Today I’ll be showing you how to make one of these homemade heating pads, but with an added therapeutic twist. I like to add essential oils to mine, according to whatever ailment I’m dealing with at the time. The one I use the most frequently is infused with lavender and peppermint essential oils to help treat headaches and migraines! (We’ll get into more details about essential oils shortly.) These therapeutic heating pads are easy to make, easy to use, and are SO inexpensive to make. I think they’d make a lovely and thoughtful gift too! Here’s how you can make your own.

Related: 9 Simple Home Remedies for Headaches

Homemade Heating Pad

You’ll need:

*Note: There are plenty of different ways you can customize your “heating pad,” depending on which essential oils you use. Below I’ve included several different “recipes” of essential oils that can help treat or ease certain conditions. Use of my recipes, or use your own!


First, you’ll prepare the rice mixture that will get sewn into your bag. Pour the rice into a bowl or bag and add your essential oils. Stir the rice well with a wooden spoon, or roll it around in the sealed bag for a few minutes. This will ensure that the oils are evenly distributed throughout the rice. Set the prepared rice aside.

Heating Pad

Next, cut your dish towel or fabric into two pieces of the same size. My finished pouched ended up being about 6″ x 10″, but you can make yours bigger or smaller.

Heating Pad

Place the right sides of the fabric together, then sew 3 of the sides to form a pouch. On the remaining open side, sew in from the edges while leaving a 3-4″ opening in the center.

Heating Pad

Turn the pouch inside-out by pulling the fabric through the opening, then pour in the prepared rice mixture from earlier.

Heating Pad

Finally, sew or hand stitch the opening closed. Make sure to seal it up well so that your rice won’t fall out!

Oil Blends For Your Heating Pad

Here are a few different blends that you can add to the rice you put into your heating pad. If you want to make your own custom oil blend, just aim to use about 10 drops of oil in total!

For Menstrual Cramps

For Headaches

For Arthritis

For Joint Pain

For Back Pain

Heating Pad

How To Use Your Homemade Heating Pad

Place your heating pad in your microwave for 15-30 seconds, just to warm it up and activate all those beneficial oils. Then lay the heating pad across your body wherever there’s pain or discomfort, and relax! Let your heating pad work it’s magic for at least 15-20 minutes, or longer if you prefer. Use as needed for quick and easy relief!

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Natural Remedies

  • Might I make a couple of variations? First — I like to use sand instead of rice. It seems to hold the heat longer AND you can freeze it and use it as an ice pack if needed. AND — if you need moist heat — you can dampen it and then heat it in the microwave! I also double bag it. It takes a little more material and time but it is well worth it!

  • I have a similar type heating pad I purchased years ago that I use often for menstrual cramps, so great because I can tuck it into my pajama pants to help it stay in place when I lay on my side. Mine is made of a soft plush fleece type fabric that I’m sure is probably polyester. It came with a little pocket on the front with a small cloth bag of lavender in it. I have actually put a cotton ball in that little pocket with essential oils on it. That would be a great feature to add to this bag! Just sew a little pocket (maybe 2″ square) onto one side before sewing the bag together. Then you can easily change what oils you need by putting a few drops onto a cotton ball and inserting in the pocket. I would add the oils after heating the bag.

  • Would you be able to use a kitchen syringe (like the ones available to “inject” spices into a turkey for instance) to replace the essential oils when needed? I’m envisioning poking it right through the bag…avoiding stains or opening up a seam. Would that work when it comes time to rejuvenate?

    • You might try putting it in the oven on a cookie sheet or on top of the stove in an iron skillet on low heat and turn it very often. It would need to be watched very very carefully to be sure it doesn’t catch fire. Also my husband said his mom, many years ago, would put corn meal in a skillet and heat it, pour it onto a cloth and fold it up and use it if one of the kids had a tooth ache, etc. It worked well.

  • DO NOT use any fabric of choice! Use cotton. If you use anything with nylon or other synthetics (including polar fleece!), you run the risk of the fabric melting or catching fire in the microwave. That goes for Velcro too- DO NOT use it on anything you put in the microwave.

  • I’ve been using g rice bags for several years now. I just didn’t k ow about the essential oils. I’ll be using them in my next batch. I make them for gifts for others.

  • I have rice bags, corn bags, and a small low cut sneaker sock bag that has flax seeds that makes a great eye mask. I have the same question about refreshing or even changing the oils. Can it be done without disassembling the bags?
    (P.S. How does one ask a question or find if its been answered ?) Thanks for an always helpful site Jillee.

    • Placing extra oils onto the cloth will work just fine, although they might leave a small stain. Cutting one of the edges off, adding oils to the rice, and sewing a new hem would work even better, though!

  • My mom has made these for several years. She doesn’t use the oils. She also has used corn fed – from farm supply stores. She made these one year for our family for Christmas. These are also great for traveling. I use it for my back on long car trips.Also my hormones have been so:wacked out it’s frustrating trying to find an outlet for the heating pad when I’m. I’m on trips- so this takes care of this problem.

  • I’m assuming that the oils in the rice mixture will eventually lose their potency. How do you refresh them? Do you just put the oils directly on the cloth or do you tear open the bag, apply the oils to the rice, and resew the opening?

    • Placing extra oils onto the cloth will work just fine, although they might leave a small stain. Cutting one of the edges off, adding oils to the rice, and sewing a new hem would work even better, though!

  • We have been using this idea for years! It’s perfect, and the rice holds the heat nicely. Instead of making a little pouch, I always use one of the socks whose mate has been lost. Use a funnel to make it easier to fill the sock, then simply knot the top or use a cable tie and fold the excess back over to hide the tie. The shape of the sock is perfect to go around your neck. You can also put it in the freezer to have on hand when cold therapy is more appropriate. Our family would be lost without our beloved rice socks!

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