How to Make a Hot Compress at Home

Hot compresses prove helpful for people who have pain that is not accompanied by broken skin.

People plagued with rheumatism, boils, sprains, inflammations or menstrual cramps can find relief by applying a hot compress to the affected area. The externally applied heat can reduce or eliminate the need for oral medication. You can make your own hot compress at home to relieve your aches and pains.

Heat water to a temperature you can tolerate when applied to your skin and pour the heated water into a container.

Fold a smaller towel, piece of material or bandage and submerge it in the heated water. Squeeze gently to remove excess liquid.

Place the compress on the affected area and cover with cling wrap or a plastic bag. Fold a larger towel over the top, and tape it lightly to your skin if it won't stay in place.

Leave the compress on the affected area until it cools to your body's temperature. Remove and discard.

Things You Will Need

  • Container
  • 1 pint hot water
  • Smaller towel, piece of material or bandage
  • Cling wrap or plastic bag
  • Larger towel
  • Tape


  • Add four drops of essential oil to the pint of hot water if desired.


  • Never apply a hot compress to broken skin.

About the Author

Based in Texas, Cynthia Measom has been writing various parenting, business and finance and education articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on websites such as The Bump and Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.