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05 June, 2008

How To-32: "How to Make a Warm Compress"

How to Make a Warm Compress

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

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Turn on the heat. When you have pain related to muscle fatigue, a painful carbuncle, (what's a carbuncle you ask? It's a very deep zit.) or you've just got a "shiver in your bones" on "a cold and rainy day" Below is a tried and true, neat and tidy, safer than electric method for making a warm compress.


  1. Saturate a washcloth with water.
  2. Have a dry towel or pillow case at the ready near by.
  3. Fold neatly and place in a plastic bag with a zip closure.
  4. Leave the zip closure open.
  5. Place in the center of a Microwave oven.
  6. Heat on High for 30-60 seconds.
  7. Remove the hot washcloth carefully, and place on the dry towel or in the pillow case. (you may want to use tongs)
  8. Close the bag.
  9. Close the dry towel around the hot washcloth in the baggie in such a way that the hot baggie won't slide out and there is a single layer of dry toweling on one side and all the folds are on the other. Since a pillow case is much thinner, you can just wind it around till you have a nice little package to fit over your sore spot.
  10. Place the warm compress over your achy painy place.
  11. Say Aaahhh...
  12. Remove the compress in 10 minutes and allow the area to cool before reapplying. This is so the skin will not accidentally be burned. Usually the compress will have cooled by then anyhow, which is why this is a safer method than an electric heating pad.


  • Use on tired shoulders, legs or lower back.
  • Will help a carbunkle come to a head so that it can be drained, thereby speeding healing.
  • Use as a neck wrap to chase the chills away. (You may also want to add a nice cuppa PG)


  • Take care when removing the hot baggie from the Microwave as it will be HOT and steamy.
  • Please do not heat the compress for more than a minute or so as it will become scorching hot and will melt the baggie.
  • Do not allow a warm compress to lie in the same area too long as it can burn. Shift it around slightly every couple minutes while you are relaxing.
  • DO remove the compress if it becomes uncomfortable. It is supposed to feel good.

Things You'll Need

  • A washcloth
  • Water from the tap
  • A plastic baggie with a zip closure (preferably)
  • A dry towel or pillowcase to wrap the compress in.

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