How to Sock It to Pain with this DIY Heating Pad

Image of rice heating pad on leg.Goodful

It’s six in the morning and your lower back has decided to exact revenge on you for that impulse workout the day before. Not the wisest decision. And didn’t you have a heating pad in the vanity cabinet? You’re in too much pain to drive to the store to buy one, and taking a pain reliever won’t cut it.

Cut to scenario two where your cramps are exceptionally awful this month. Yeah, the kind that take your breath away and make you want to curl up into a ball. It’s bad. You don’t want to move because movement just aggravates the pain. You need something besides a cup of tea to soothe you.

Here’s a nifty remedy. When socks and rice combine, they produce a lovechild with unique abilities. It possesses the properties of heating and cooling, and can help ease your pains. The video below from Goodful shows us how to make a homemade heating/cooling pad with a sock and some rice, things you probably already have on hand.



  • Sock (made of non-synthetic, heat-resistant material like cotton or wool)
  • Uncooked rice (avoid instant)


  1. Prep It

    Rice sockGoodful

    Grab a clean, empty sock and flip the top open wide enough to fill. To help avoid spilling rice, either use a funnel or place the sock inside of a cup to help keep it steady.

  2. Fill It

    Fill the sock up with about 1 to 1 ½ cups of rice.

  3. Tie It

    Tie a knot in the top of the sock and place it flatly in the microwave.

  4. Warm It

    Warm for 1 to 2 minutes in the microwave.

  5. Use It

    Rice padGoodful

    Remove from microwave, let cool if necessary, and place it on the affected area.

  6. Freeze It

    To use this as a cold pack instead, follow steps 1 through 3 and then place the rice sock in the freezer.

When heating the rice sock, you want it to be warm, not blazing hot! It can burn you if it’s way too hot to touch. If the rice starts to smell like it’s burning or cooking when you’re warming it, stop the microwave. To avoid any potential fire hazards, make sure you are using a sock that is free of metallic threads or that’s made of thin or synthetic material.

Keep in mind that the rice will need to be swapped out periodically. Pay attention to whether it smells “cooked” or burnt, and switch it out for a new batch. Some people like to use dry corn or beans instead of rice, and find it just as effective. Another option is the addition of essential oils that help with masking the rice’s scent or as aromatherapy. You can try lavender, peppermint, or chamomile.

We all have some orphan socks that need to find a new life purpose. All those single socks can be turned into hot or cold packs and distributed to each family member. Make more than one to keep on hand to use for all sorts of aches and pains on your body. You could even try making a small one for a stubborn pimple or puffy eyes! What do you think of this homemade remedy? Have you ever used a rice pack before? Share in the comments!