Wheat bags can bring relief and comfort to you when you use them properly, but as with any product involving heat, there is a danger of fire and a risk of injury to you if you do not use it properly.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and to ensure a wheat bag is not heated in a microwave for too long, or at too high a temperature.
Manufactured wheat bags
Wheat bags available in shops usually contain buckwheat, which has a known moisture content. Knowing this moisture content and the volume of the wheat bag means that the manufacturer can recommend proper heating times. If you follow the recommended heating time, the bag should not overheat, cause a fire, or burn you.
Homemade wheat bags
Homemade wheat bags can pose a greater risk of fire and injury because the moisture content and volume of these bags is unknown, and the proper heating time can’t be recommended. Also the use of a type of wheat other than buckwheat may increase the risks of overheating, fires, and burns.
Adding oils to wheat bags
If you add oils to wheat bags, over time you will saturate the cover cloth and can create an added fire risk.
Overheating and fire risks
Continual heating and drying of the wheat bag may overheat it to ignition point, let the bag cool completely before reheating.
When heating it in a microwave, place a cup or bowl of water in with the wheat bag to reduce this risk.
If the wheat bag is kept insulated after initial heating (for example, placed under bedclothes, or on a car seat in the sun), spontaneous heating can then occur and the wheat may catch fire.
- Buy wheat bags with clear heating instructions.
- When heating it in a microwave, place a cup or bowl of water in with the wheat bag
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Buy wheat bags which include a manufacturer’s contact details in case you have a problem.
- Use only as a heat pack for direct application to the body.
- Watch for over-use – an over-cooked odour, a smell of burning, smoking or charring.
- Leave to cool in a safe area and on a non-combustible surface, like a kitchen sink.
- Do not use wheat bags as bed warmers.
- Do not over-heat (recommended maximum is three minutes for manufactured bags).
- Do not reheat the bag until it has completely cooled – which may be two hours after initial heating.
- Do not leave the microwave unattended when heating a bag.
- Do not store the wheat bag until it is cold.
- Do not use the bag if you observe any problems – contact the manufacturer.