Detailed instructions and the reasons behind them
While this article is written specifically for our products (the Huggaroo neck and shoulder heating pad with herbal aromatherapy and the Huggaroo headache wrap with herbal aromatherapy), the general principles discussed here apply to all other brands of microwavable wraps/heating pads sold today. So, if you have such a product (even if it is not a Huggaroo), please read on. This detailed article will help you understand how to heat and care for your wrap so that you can enjoy it for a long, long time and avoid accidents. If you follow our directions, your Huggaroo microwavable wrap will look and function like new for years to come.
Here are the most important points to remember:
- Do not allow your wrap’s fabric to come in contact with any oil, grease, or food left behind in your microwave from prior cooking (popcorn, melting of butter, etc).
- Always place your wrap on a clean, dry plate to microwave. Make sure that the wrap does not brush against the walls or ceiling of your microwave, while spinning in your microwave. The carousel must be spinning throughout the heating cycle.
- Do not overheat your wrap. If you do not know the power rating of your microwave, start with the shortest recommended heating time. If the wrap is not warm enough for you, add 30 seconds to the next heating cycle. With some experimentation, you will get to the temperature you desire. Please allow the wrap to cool off to room temperature between heating cycles.
- Do not submerge your wrap in water. If the fabric gets soiled, spot clean it and allow it to dry completely prior to use.
For the remainder of this article, we will elaborate on the above points one at a time so you will understand why they are necessary and important.
Never place your Huggaroo wrap directly on the microwave carousel!
If you allow your wrap to come in contact with any oil or food left behind on your microwave’s carousel, walls, or ceiling, your wrap’s fabric will absorb that oil or food. The soiled spot would heat up to a much, much greater degree than the rest of your wrap and this would result in a fabric burn. In our experience, that is the most common cause of fabric burn. The good news is that this is preventable. Just follow our directions above and your wrap will look and work as new for many years. We have literally heated our prototype and first generation wraps hundreds of times over 2 years and they still look and function like new. Even the aromatherapy is still noticeably present!
Prototype and first generation Huggaroo neck and shoulder wraps still look and function like new after being heated in our microwave hundreds of times over 2 years. We use them and enjoy them daily to this day!
To prevent your wrap from brushing against your microwave’s walls or ceiling during the heating cycle, your microwave must be large enough. This is more of a concern for the Huggaroo neck and shoulder wrap, which is quite large. To be able to safely heat a Huggaroo neck and shoulder wrap, your microwave must be at least 10 inches deep and 6 inches tall on the inside. If it is any smaller, you won’t be able to fit a plate with the Huggaroo wrap in your microwave. The smallest plate that you can use is a 9 inch salad plate. We have measured and it turns out that when folded on top of a 9 inch diameter salad plate, the Huggaroo neck and shoulder wrap overhangs over the rim of the plate just a little bit and the plate plus wrap measure about 5 inches in height. So, if your microwave is any smaller than that, there simply isn’t a safe way to heat your wrap without it being placed directly on the microwave carousel or brushing against the walls or ceiling of your microwave oven. And, let’s be honest: even if your microwave looks pretty clean on the inside, if you have ever made popcorn or melted butter, there is bound to be some residual oil or food on the walls or ceiling of the microwave. The problem is that even tiny amounts of left-behind oil or food matter! Over time, they will be collected by the wrap’s fabric and this may result in the fabric overheating and developing a burn.
There are a few other causes of overheating: not allowing the wrap to cool to room temperature between heating cycles; heating the wrap for too long; heating the wrap while the fabric is very wet (after a spot cleaning); a defective microwave. It turns out that some microwaves, especially older microwaves, heat up unevenly and create “hot spots”. For that reason, we recommend that the carousel should be spinning throughout the heating cycle. If your microwave does not have a spinning carousel and creates such “hot spots”, a small area of your wrap will be overheated and may develop a fabric burn.
If you are wondering why we can’t just tell you for how long to heat your wrap, here is the reason: consumer microwaves vary greatly in their power rating. Most range from 600W to 1,600W. As a result, the heating times vary greatly. For example, if your oven’s power rating is 1,600W (and your oven is brand new), the optimal heating time for your Huggaroo neck and shoulder wrap would be 1 minute and 20 seconds. If you have a brand new 600W oven, the optimal heating time becomes 3 minutes and 40 seconds! Yes, almost 3 times longer! Now, you may be wondering why I mentioned the oven’s ages in the above examples. The reason is, as microwaves age, their power gradually dwindles down. The rate of this power decrease varies quite a bit; it is not simply a function of the oven’s age but depends on the oven’s use. So, if you have a 1,500W oven, which is 10 years old, its power output may be only 1,100W today. All of this makes it impossible to simply put one heating time for all consumers to use. The use of a microwavable wrap requires some experimentation on part of the consumer. Again, the safest and most effective way to determine the optimal heating time for your wrap and your specific microwave oven is to:
- Heat the wrap for the shortest recommended heating time the very first time you use your wrap.
- If not hot enough, allow the wrap to cool to room temperature, then add 30 seconds to the heating cycle.
- If still not hot enough, allow the wrap to cool to room temperature, then add 30 more seconds to the heating cycle.
- Do not exceed the maximum recommended heating time.
When properly heated, the Huggaroo neck and shoulder wrap remains hot for about 15 minutes, and then warm for another 15-20 minutes. Of course, the length of time the wrap will remain hot depends on how much it was heated and the temperature of your dwelling. With a little bit of experimentation, you too can achieve these results. Just remember, it is always safer to start with a shorter heating time and add time to subsequent heating cycles, until you reach the temperature, which feels best to you.
The Huggaroo microwavable headache wrap is worn over the eyes and sinuses. For this reason, please do not use it hot. This wrap is intended to be used warm, not hot.
Both the Huggaroo neck and shoulder wrap and headache wrap can be cooled in the freezer for a cool, refreshing experience. However, this is a limited and secondary functionality. These wraps are designed to retain heat and provide aromatherapy, not to get cold or stay cold for long periods of time. They provide gentle cooling action for a very limited period of time: 5-8 minutes per cooling cycle. If you are looking primarily for a cold wrap, we recommend a gel wrap. The Huggaroo cold gel wrap is ideal for this application because its specially-formulated gel packs get ice cold, remain flexible even when frozen, and stay cold for an extended period of time. The wrap is also very light, comfortable, and plush.
Lastly, let’s address why your wrap should never be submerged in water. If you looked at the list of ingredients, you probably guessed right – the clay beads. Clay beads do a wonderful job of retaining heat and that’s why we have included them as an ingredient in our microwavable heating pads. Unfortunately, clay beads have the quirky property of turning into mud when soaked in water. That would not be good. It is perfectly safe to spot clean your wrap’s fabric, however. Wetting a section of your wrap’s fabric would not significantly wet or damage the clay beads within. You just can’t submerge the entire wrap in water. Incidentally, the subtle humidity generated in the process of microwaving the wrap is also perfectly fine. This results from our wrap’s ingredients releasing trapped moisture from the atmosphere during the heating cycle. Thus, our wraps provide very pleasant, slightly moist heat. The amount of this moisture will vary depending on the humidity of your specific environment (very little in Arizona and a lot in Florida). Again, this minor humidity is perfectly safe and will not harm your wrap.
Hopefully, you found this article informative. More succinct versions of the above instructions are provided for our customers in our online product listings, product boxes, and product labels. If you have any questions about how to get the most out of your Huggaroo microwavable wrap, please let us know! We love our customers and are always available to help. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org