Sunday, January 8, 2012

You can’t microwave polyester!

One of my husbands coworkers bought one of those microwave heating packs awhile back, but she wasn’t completely happy with it; it wasn't large enough and she said it smelled bad. So he, being the wonderful man he is, pimped out my services and told her I could take care of it.

It took me longer to get around to it than I’d have liked ~ mostly because I’ve been so wrapped up in other projects and partly because it just slipped my mind ~. When he reminded me yesterday, I decided to take care of it this weekend before classes start on Monday.

I ran out to the store and grabbed some really cute pink and purple fleece and was all ready to get started with the cutting when I started wondering, ‘Can you even microwave fleece?’. A quick internet search turns up that you, in fact, CAN NOT microwave fleece. ~ Well at least not the fleece that's mass produced at Hancocks since it's all 100% polyester. ~ There were all kinds of horror stories ranging from melting to fires, but it all boils down to being a serious no-no. I’m really glad I thought to check.

So, it was back to the fabric store. It wasn’t a complete loss because I ended up with a really cute flannel filigree bird pattern ~ in 100% cotton I might add ~.

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To combat the ‘bad smell’ she complained of I decided to go with flax seed with a few drops of Water Lily scent mixed in. I’m not a flower person myself, preferring citrus scents, so I hope it’s to her liking.
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I spent about an hour, or so, putting it together, which wasn't so bad considering I've never made one of these before. And I think it turned out rather well. I put in three chambers to keep the flax seeds from chunking up on one side of the pack which keeps things nice and even. Hopefully she’s happy with the results.
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Now to go scrub the evil water lily scent off my hands so I can stop sneezing.

12 comments:

  1. As the person for whom this lovely heating bad was made, I must say I LOVE IT!!! It is a great size: perfect for relaxing with. The fabric is adorable; very cheery but not overly loud. The smell however, is my FAVORITE part! It is a heavenly scent and I keep smelling it and enjoying it. The idea of making seperate chambers was BRILLIANT; now the wonderful-ness is evenly spread out. Thank you, Courtney! I could not be more happy with this! I highly recommend your work!
    PS: Sorry The Water Lily made you sneezy!
    ~Morgan

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  2. Cute idea, I'm sure you could use the fleece to make a cute cover for it. Easier to keep clean and whatnot!

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  3. Do you think that buckwheat would work also?

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    1. I have some slippers filled with buckwheat. I also made a heating pad using plain wheat berries. Both work great.

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    2. I have also used rice (brown and white both work), and dried pinto beans (they have an unpleasant smell). Rice has become my favorite. It's inexpensive and small enough that the bag doesn't feel "pokey" at all.

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  4. I have been using fleece from Hancock or JoAnns for over 10 years now to make these and I microwave mine all the time. I never heat it over 3 minutes though as it gets too hot. Sometimes I use a towel under it on my skin if it is too hot. Never had any problems. Makes me wander what the heck people were doing to have all of the problems.

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  5. I have been making flax & rice bags with fleece from Walmart, JoAnn's and Hancock for years. 2-4 minutes in the microwave is all you need. I have never seen a problem.

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  6. This looks really cute. How long does the smell from the oil last?

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  7. I've been reading a lot of horror stories about Polyester and microwaves also so I dug out a 'Potato Express' microwave potato bag that I bought a couple of years ago. I checked the tag to see what it was made of: 100% Polyester Lining, 100% Polyester Outer Fabric, 85% Polyester/15% Cotton Batting and 100% Polyester thread. I've never had a problem with it. I don't understand how something mass marketed could be made of Polyester if it's so dangerous. Regardless, your heating pad turned out lovely and I'm sure it was appreciated.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I'm not sure if you will see this, but I am hoping someone can help... I am making Heat Socks (some with rice, some with beans) for friends/family over the holidays. I have seen a few warnings about using anything other than 100% cotton. Since I have been sporadically buying socks over the past few months, I removed the labels. So, I am not sure what they are all made out of. If they do have polyester, spandex or elastic in them, will they catch on fire in a microwave?

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  8. I'm not sure if you will see this, but I am hoping someone can help... I am making Heat Socks (some with rice, some with beans) for friends/family over the holidays. I have seen a few warnings about using anything other than 100% cotton. Since I have been sporadically buying socks over the past few months, I removed the labels. So, I am not sure what they are all made out of. If they do have polyester, spandex or elastic in them, will they catch on fire in a microwave?

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