Firstly it is important that the bottle is emptied in the morning after it is finished, so we are starting now with a hot water bottle which is out of its cover and empty.
So here's what to do:
Heat the water until it is hand‐hot (about 42ºC/108ºF). You do not need it to boil, and in fact if it does you then have to wait a long time for it to cool to an acceptable heat. Bottles can leak from time to time, so it is important that the water will never scald you if the rubber gives way.
Many modern kettles have variable temperatures which allow you to start with a lower shut‐off point. If you have an older‐style kettle, then wait until the water is just starting to sound "noisy" and then immediately turn it off.
Pour the water into a jug that pours well and add cold water until the temperature is right. You should be able to briefly put your hand into it without scalding.
Dry the opening around the stopper and any damp patches on the outside. Feel the bottle to make sure that it is not too hot. It should be comfortably warm, not too hot to hold at this point. If it feels a little too hot for comfort, then pour a little of the hot water out and run in some cold.
By the way, it is fine to gently hug your bottle while you are still awake, but don't press it too firmly or it could burst. However, for a child's bed, it is best to remove the bottle before they get in.
When they are not in use, store the bottles upside down in a dark, airy place. Always buy a good rubber bottle rather than the cheaper imitations and replace them every year or two. It's also a good idea to check the bottle really well before using them for the first time each season. Filling it with cold water and squeezing gently will soon show if any areas are compromised.
These come in all sorts of sizes and designs. You can use the Joules and Joulietta hot water bottle cover pattern for regular size bottles and also for travelling size bottles and microwave packs. I am not so keen on the microwave versions as they can get hot spots, but they do suit some people.
However, don't place hot wheat packs into your bed as they can go on fire!! These are great for sore necks and backs, but are not a substitute for a good old‐fashioned hot water bottle.
I love hot water bottles and have fond memories of watching my mother go through the routine of filling them every night. I hope you enjoy yours too! I’ll be back next time with some ideas for a new stroller blanket pattern in Halloween colours!
Until then, I hope your hot water bottles keep you toasty warm.
Until next time – Happy Knitting!
Last Blogpost: New Pattern – Joules and Joulietta Hot Water Bottle Covers
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