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Filler for heat bag?

So I really want to make this rice heat bag for a friend, but I read about the different fillers one can use and now I'm torn. Apparently, rice doesn't stay hot as long and can scorch, but it's "softer" and can hold scented oils. Cracked corn is easier care, and it retains heat much longer, but I'd imagine it's more "lumpy" and as far as I know, you can't  really scent it. :/ Has anyone used one or the other? Help me decide.


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 14th, 2008 08:08 am (UTC)
While I didn't make it, I did used to have a heating bag made of cracked corn and I found it to be comfortable enough.
Nov. 14th, 2008 10:22 am (UTC)
I've never used one myself (I don't own a microwave) but there's a local company here in Michigan that uses flax seed. If you google 'relax with flax' it ought to pop up. Supposedly, the flax seed works well.
Nov. 14th, 2008 11:15 am (UTC)
You can use dried flowers mixed in with the main filler to help you scent it instead of oil if you like. I just ordered some dried lavender buds to toss in for a relaxing scent.
Nov. 14th, 2008 11:27 am (UTC)
i don't know if this would work, but if people have used cracked corn (which i've fed my chickens before), then maybe the mixture called "chicken scratch" could also be used as it has more seeds in it with the cracked corn that would act like flax - i went on that "relax with flax" website but saw no prices for flax ~ O_O
Nov. 14th, 2008 11:30 am (UTC)
I use the cracked corn in mine. I make them from a plain muslin, then make covers for them. The covers are used to protect the bag from body oils and other dirt and stuff in the air and they are launderable.

I don't know why you would want the bag scented. Of course, artificial scents and perfumes bother me and cause me breathing problems. If I want a nice scent in the house, I light a candle or bake something.

This site, http://www.microwavecornbags.com/pattern.htm, has an explanation of the different types of fillers for therapy and explains why corn is their choice. This lady sells her bags to hospitals and care centers.
Nov. 14th, 2008 11:52 am (UTC)
I don't use cracked corn.. I use whole corn! I love it. It is lumpier than rice, but not in a bad way. I've used rice bags, buckwheat bags, and corn bags. The advantages to buckwheat and rice are that the grains are smaller, so it feels more like a bean bag, but they do cool down faster - and one major downside to rice is that it can pick up smells from the microwave, and is easy to burn if overheated -- once its burned, it will smell really awful. (of course, this comes from someone who has the hot pack on her hands constantly all day long at work, so I heat it in the work microwave every hour all day long every day, so I'm kind of a "power user". It took about a year of this for the rice bag to smell so bad that I couldn't stand it.)

I have also found that rice and cracked corn have sharp, jagged edges that will eventually fray your seams and make holes in the bags. Whole feed corn just doesn't do that, because each piece is soft. Its also really nice to massage against your muscles, because the grains are nice and big.

I've never scented mine, so can't answer about that - if you really wanted a scent, you could mix the rice and corn so that the rice has the scent in it.

So, as a hot pack power user, I vote corn. But everyone's taste is different.
Nov. 14th, 2008 02:16 pm (UTC)
Does the whole corn not pop?
Nov. 14th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
The corn does not pop. It is not popping corn. You do need to be sure it doesn't get wet though, or it might cook.

I can buy a 25 pound bag of the cracked corn at my local feed store for $10.00
Nov. 15th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
I've gotten it damp on purpose, and it doesn't cook. Not wet, though.

And yes, I buy the 25lb bag of whole feed corn for the same price.
Nov. 14th, 2008 01:05 pm (UTC)
I didn't even know corn was an option when I made rice socks for myself and friends who were all pregnant at the same time. I've never had problems with scorching, and I'm good with the heat.
Nov. 14th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
Rice socks?
Nov. 14th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
I use flax seed. It's small enough that it conforms well to the contours needed. I add a bit of cottom wool with a dab of essential oil.
Flax seed can be a bit spendy, so try to find it bulk, rathe than the small packets sold in markets.
Nov. 14th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)
I've always used rice, but I also use a layer of 100% cotton batting between the rice and outer fabric and I'm sure this would help with the "lumpiness" of corn if you opted to use that.

I also use it in my "tater baker" bags.
Nov. 14th, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
What's a tater baker bag?
Nov. 15th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC)
It's a bag that steams/bakes potatoes in the microwave :)
Nov. 14th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
Not sure you or anyone else will know - but I've hopped on the bandwagon of trying to make these things as well and I'm trying to find where the best (and by best I mean cheapest, quickest, best quality, etc) place would be to order dried lavender flowers to put inside - but also for making little satchels for your drawers and stuff too...

Anyone??? Lavender flowers?? Ehh??

Thanks! :D
Nov. 20th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
I used to buy mine at WalMart, and I got enough for less than five dollars to do five or six of the eye pillows. I ran out of flax seed at that point, so I might have been able to make more, but I just bunged the remaining lavender into the last bag.

It doesn't take much to scent the bag. A couple tablespoons will do it.

Of course, my local WalMart then stopped carrying the lavender flowers. Go figure.
Nov. 15th, 2008 04:37 am (UTC)
I have used lentils. Buckwheat is another choice.
A friend gave me a lentil bag and I liked it so much I make my whole family lentil bags for Christmas one year.
Nov. 15th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC)
how do the lentil heat up? do they "pop" at all? how long do they hold the heat? i like the size of them - may have to try it myself!!! thanx for the idea ~ O_O
Nov. 15th, 2008 05:14 am (UTC)
flax seed is small and kind of slippery, and holds heat and cold quite well. I like it much more than the rice one I made, which smelt funny when I microwaved it. Just throw in some oil, or dried lavender, etc, and you're good to go.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )