Make your own reusable cold compress.

It’s always handy to have a cold compress to hand for when the bag of peas has done all it can, and you need something else to keep on the swelling, or to reduce a fever or take the heat out of a headache.  So make a reusable cold compress, and be prepared!

Reusable cold compress

You need:

  • A small piece of fabric of your choice.  A firm cotton or linen would work well.
  • Thread and a sewing machine (though you could hand stitch it if you’re so inclined.)
  • Water retaining crystals – the kind sold for use in your compost.

Take a rectangle of fabric, fold it in half right sides together, and sew leaving an opening to turn it the right way out.  Turn it inside out and sew lines from the edge to make a continuous channel (see pictures) so the crystals can move around the whole compress.

Put a small amount of the crystals inside (half a teaspoon will easily swell up enough to fill a 4×2 inch pocket – don’t underestimate this stuff, it really does swell up a LOT!), and top stitch around the edge, sewing the opening closed first.

Then all you need to do is soak it in a bowl of cold water for half an hour, and gently squeeze out the excess water, and use as required.  You will not believe how long this stays cold – and if it gets a little warm, turn it over, when that doesn’t work, run it under the cold tap a little to revitalise it.  If you need it extra cold, and I mean, extra cold, use water from the fridge, or put a couple of ice cubes in the tap water.

When you’re done with it, give it a rinse under the tap and rub gently to get rid of any skin cells or dirt, and leave it in a warm place to fully dry before storing it in a dry place.  This may take a while, you might want to put it in an airing cupboard, or the cupboard your hot water tank lives in to speed up the process a little, or place it near to a radiator.

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