The past several weeks have been cold in the Seattle area. Actually, more like FREEZING. It’s the kind of cold that seeps deep into my bones and won’t let up, no matter how many layers of clothing I wear. My house is not that well insulated, and I have single-pane aluminum-frame windows that do little to keep the chill out. Since I work at home, I bundle up with layers of vintage cashmere sweaters and my trusty knee-high UGG sheepskin boots. Sometimes I throw my fuzzy leopard print Snuggie or bathrobe over the whole lot, leaving me looking like some sort of a vintage-clad Yeti. 😀
One thing that I’ve rediscovered is the trusty old-fashioned hot water bottle. By the way, in some parts of the world it is called a ‘hottie’. I’ve never heard it called this before, but I think it’s rather charming. This way I can truthfully say I go to bed with a hottie every night 😉 ha ha ha… but, I digress.
I found my newest hot water bottle at a thrift store a couple years ago. It was in new condition, and was clad in its own perfectly fitted cable knit turtleneck sweater, so I HAD to get it. It sat around for a long while until the recent cold snap. Then I realized it could maybe help warm me up.
I’ve used hot water bottles in the past and they really didn’t seem to help at all. What I realize now is that I was using it all wrong. Before, I just used hot water straight from the tap to fill it. The heat never lasted all that long. What I do now is boil a kettle of water on the stove and then fill it. Boiled water temperature is 212 degrees, versus the 120 degrees my hot water tank is set at. It makes a huge difference. The other thing is the addition of the sweater covering. This creates a bit of a buffer for your skin, and also helps retain heat longer.
What I’ve been doing these cold winter nights is preparing the hot water bottle in the evening. I then place it at my back while I’m reading or watching TV – it’s so soothing! When I’m getting ready for bed, I’ll put in under the sheets at the foot of my bed to warm it up a bit. My feet are usually cold, so this really helps warm them up. I then move it around depending on what parts of the body are cold. It heats everything up really quite amazingly. A lot of the times I have to put it on the far side of the bed because it’s so warm. By morning it has still kept a lot of its warmth – it certainly does its job very well.
My wintertime advice is to snuggle up with a hottie. You won’t regret it!
Dear Marilyn, Not many people seem to know how to fill hot water bottles safely these days. I was taught how to do this properly decades ago when water bottle use was commonplace. It is very dangerous to use boiling water, or to overfill a bottle (hint – it should not be bulging when lying flat). This brochure from the Australian government consumer protection site https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Hot%20water%20bottles%20safety%20alert.pdf (see page 2) fully explains how to do it safely, there is a little more to it than you may think, although it is still quite easy.
There is an associated video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og3RgssdfKM – an actual demo of filling a bottle and removing air safely can be seen from about 3;40, the preceding part goes into some details about how burns occur and the types of burns seen in burn units with pix, so interesting, but some people may not like to look at the injury pix.
Yes I probably was a bit hasty in my post, as I finally read the fine print on my hot water bottle that says NOT to use boiling water! I got a bad burn on my hand from pouring it in too. I will continue to use it as it is wonderful, but with a few modifications. Thanks for the tips!
Funny to read somebody else using a hot water bottle. I am the same way. In winter when I get the chills it’s so hard to get that out of your body. I do much better in the heat. So I do that many evenings where I fill my hot water bottle and put it under my shirt or like you said put it on your back or put your feet on top of it wherever the cold may be. It’s so helps to get the chill out of your body.