How to Make a Rice Sock for Ear Pain

Rice socks are a fantastic homemade heating pad. It only takes a little bit of time and a few simple tools to make one to treat earaches and muscle pain.

How to Make a Rice Sock for Ear Pain | Real Food RN

When it comes to pain, it’s always nice to have a few home remedies that are easy to call upon or create when you need them. Rice socks may not be what you think of right away, but I’m here to say that they should be! Rice socks are a fantastic homemade rice-in-sock heating pad! It only takes a little bit of time and a few simple tools for an effective one—or pair or three! —to be made effective in treating ear aches and muscle pain. Luckily, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve for some DIY projects when it comes to encouraging the healing process.

Crunchy mamas know all about cold sock therapy. You may be familiar with the potent power of onions in cooking, but did you know that you can use onions to make a poultice for healing chest congestion? It’s true crunchy mamas. There are many useful ingredients that you may even have in your own home right now. Heck, if you’re inspired, you may feel like doing this to get ahead of flu season in case your preventative healthful eating didn’t beat back this season’s winter cold bugs.

This rice sock remedy is so helpful and a breeze to make—you can even get this ready in a pinch if you tie off the sock end like a water balloon! When my little one got an earache, it was the first thing I reached for to pop into the microwave and get her feeling better fast. It works great when using garlic ear oil, very soothing and pain-relieving! You’ll be happy to know that it’s also easy peasy to make!

Choosing the Right Size

Rice socks come in different sizes, one of my favorite sizes for ease of use and sometimes with more fun patterns (on clearance at Target is a great place to find fun patterns for your little ones or organic cotton materials in beautiful tones). These are great for earaches and neck aches and can easily wrap around your shoulders to drain those lymphatics and the sinuses.

Always pick a long, full cotton sock for durability – Tube socks work well, and if you want an extra-long version, you can always pick up a pair of knee-high cotton socks. Those feel amazing, heated along the base of your hips or the ridge of your spine for lasting, cozy relief.

To Sew or Not to Sew?

The easiest way to make a no-sew rice sock remedy is to fill that sock with rice and tie it off like a water balloon or a single knot. This may not be a great idea if you have little ones who might be curious to open the sock, but it’s an excellent option for a sudden onset of pain after work or with your kiddo coming home from school, or a migraine making your ears ache and your head spin.

Of course, if you want something more stable, you can always break out a needle and thread to hand stitch or quickly stitch closed on a sewing machine a few times.

If you are more interested in sewing, you can use one sock to create the inside case and the second sock to act as a case. This will ensure that the main sock stays protected inside and the case can be washed and untied as necessary. That will make your rice sock live a long, meaningful life among the rest of your care kit.

Thought about the ways you’ll like? Let’s get to the instructions for your DIY rice sock heating pad!

How to Make a Rice Sock for Ear Pain | Real Food RN

How to Make a Rice Sock for Ear Pain

It doesn't take much time to put this rice sock together to help eliminate any ear pain.


  • One clean, long, cotton sock
  • 2-4 cups uncooked brown rice (brown rice is better because it is a heavier grain and will last longer in the cotton and wick moisture when reheated in the microwave. Any rice will do!)
  • Sewing needle and thread - Optional (If you want to secure the rice sock more than a tie-off)
  • Essential Oil - Optional (I recommend lavender for its relaxation properties, but you could also do an uplifting citrus or an invigorating peppermint to help the sinuses open!)
  • Dried lavender or rose buds – Optional (The soothing aromas might comfort your little or yourself. Just add something to the rice in the sock heating pad!)


    1. Fill your sock with rice – use as much or as little as you need but leave room to tie it off or sew the ends shut.
    2. Knot off the end of the sock as you would with a balloon. You can also sew the end of the sock shut here if you prefer.
    3. When you have an earache or muscle pain, simply heat the sock in the microwave for 45 seconds. Touch to test the temperature. If it is too cool, heat again for another 30 seconds. If it’s too hot, wait a few minutes to let it cool down a bit before using it. Rice should smell fragrant, like essential oils or flower buds, if you use them.
    4. Apply to the achy area for an easy DIY heating pad after it’s sufficiently cooled down.

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How to Make a Rice Sock for Ear Pain | Real Food RN
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