Knowing how to make hand warmers last longer will save your freezing fingers this winter. Plus, you won’t feel so guilty about shaking a packet only to realize you won’t need it because you’ll be indoors for a few hours.
If your family goes through chemical hand warmers quick as a flash during the colder months, you’ve probably googled, “Can you reuse hand warmers?” Unfortunately, you can’t. Hand warmers heat up when the materials inside it are exposed to oxygen in the air, thus triggering a chemical reaction. Once the heat-releasing process is finished, that’s it.
Lucky for you, you can make hand warmers last longer. The secret is simply cutting off the supply of oxygen to the hand warmer. Then, the chemical reaction can’t happen. All you need to stifle the oxygen supply is an air-tight ziplock bag. (Make sure you roll the bag to remove as much air as possible before sealing.) Opt for a thicker bag, as it will be more durable and less likely to snag on something in your purse and rip.
Without oxygen, the hand warmer will essentially go into “pause” mode. Then, when you’re ready to venture back into the snowy outdoors, simply remove your hand warmer from the ziplock bag. This is like hitting the start button, and the packet will heat up again because it’s been exposed to the air.
Hand warmers can only produce a finite amount of heat, so this trick won’t make your hand warmers any hotter than normal. However, it will extend the life of your hand warmer because you can use it multiple times and only when you need it rather than 10 hours straight.
If you want to save even more, we recommend making your own DIY hand warmers. You’ll not only spare your bank account, but you will reduce waste, too. Cut any old flannels you have around the house into small squares and sew them together, leaving one side open. Then, fill the pouch with uncooked rice and sew it shut. Microwave your homemade hand warmers whenever you’re chilly fingers need some something toasty to hold.