Hot water bottle warning 

A work colleague was recently severely burnt when her hot water bottle popped. We’re talking time in the specialist burns hospital, several weeks off work and the talk of skin grafts which luckily she did not need to have. 

The burns doctors told her they see many serious burns from hot water bottles failing. They apparently want them banned. 

If you are going to use them, the doctors’ advice is:

1. Never use boiling water from the kettle. Use tap water. Yes, it is not as hot. You have to be patient and wait for the rubber to warm and you shouldn’t be putting something that hot against your skin anyway. 

2. Replace them every two years, at least. They say the Chinese made ones seem weaker and more susceptible to failure. 

So on my desire to declutter, I looked at my hot water bottle. 

Can I say how long I’ve had it? No. 

Does it say where it is made? No. 

But the brand and the standards code takes me to a British site. So my water bottle probably is British. 

As the standards have been updated, I can see my hot water bottle is many years old. 

 The British site gives safety advice for using hot water bottles. Worth reading. I like the one which recommends using them only to heat a bed, much like old bed pans. 

Apparently there are extra standards for hot water bottles sold in Australia. 

I think I will just follow the doctors’ advice and toss mine. I didn’t use it this very cold winter anyway. 

Now off you go and check yours. 


10 thoughts on “Hot water bottle warning 

  1. I don’t own a hot water bottle but I’m shocked to hear how dangerous they can be! I have a corn sack, a flannel bag of corn kernels that I heat in the microwave if I need a warm, moist heat. It feels lovely 🙂

  2. I almost bought a water bottle this week and was still thinking about it. I won’t now. KMART have had them on run-out for the end of winter, just a few dollars (which did make me question their durability and zero recyclability.) We used water bottles recently staying at my horsey friend, L’s house and they were so lovely all night. But maybe there are better warm, toasty things, like Amanda’s suggestions. What a horrible accident for your colleague. I hope she won’t be left with permanent scarring.

  3. My daughter’s hot water bottle failed and leaked several nights ago. Luckily just a wet bed at 4am, not a serious burn at 11pm. Now we only have the new ones left. I will pay attention to when we need to get rid of them and make wheat bags instead. Who am I kidding? I will pay my daughter to make me wheat bags instead..

    • Close call. Apparently you can’t see if the rubber is perishing. Doctors say they see serious burns regularly from hot water bottles that have failed. Maybe because we hold them close to our body?

      Just make sure the wheat bags are not overheated bad left in the bed. There’s been house fires from this.

      My advice: get an Aldi heated throw.

  4. I recently bought a wheat or similar pack (ensuring it was the Australian made brand). After some Today Tonight show, I try to sprinkle it with some water to stop it overheating/smoldering, and I always heat minimally.

    The heated throw gives me the heeby jebbies – for one, the fabrics are often furs or similar. But then you have EMF concerns, not that I care as I have an electrical under blanket in the master bed, but y’know.

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