You Should Put an Old Sock in the Microwave — Here’s Why

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Sophie Timothy)

I am sitting on my sofa right now, writing this, wearing a wool sweater, swaddled in a blanket, and I’m still freezing. My fingers, toes, and nose feel particularly arctic, and I dread leaving the house later to walk my dog. Yep, I’m one of those people: always cold. Like a heat-seeking missile, I will shamelessly and relentlessly navigate towards warmth, wherever and whenever I can.

Here’s a neat hack I use to get through winter.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin)

Fill up an orphan sock with some uncooked rice or buckwheat, knot (or sew up) the end, and zap it in the microwave for a little under a minute. It becomes a quick, homemade heating pad that you can use to warm up your cold sheets before bedtime, or to just cuddle with on the couch.

Because the sock is filled with loose grains of rice, it will mold itself to your body like a little snuggle buddy. The bigger the sock, the more warmth you’ve got to work with, so use a big long knee sock, or something comparable, and nothing flammable. (Of course, if you want something to take with you when you leave the house, there are also these smaller, more portable versions.)

For those days when you’re feeling under the weather, a long warm sock is especially nice draped around your achy neck and shoulders, or nestled against your tummy when you’ve got cramps. And don’t get me started about how good it feels resting against your lower back when you’re in any kind of pain.

For an extra little sensory boost, add a few drops of essential oils in with the rice before filling the sock. I’ve heard lavender is supposed to be relaxing, especially if you’re trying to sleep.

When the sock loses its heat, just stick it back in the microwave for another minute and you’re good to go again. Just repeat all winter long.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Here’s Why You Should Put Your Socks in The Microwave