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Once considered a household essential, the hot water bottle was replaced during the early 20th century by more modern solutions for many of its functions. Still, they continue to be useful devices, and in fact appear to be enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Here are a few of the uses that are provided by hot water bottles today.
As in times past, hot water bottles often function as bed warmers. Older models were often composed of a metal that could be filled with hot water, and then wrapped in a cloth shell. Today, newer models are often made of plastic and other materials that are microwave safe. When used as a bed warmer, the bottle can be filled with water and placed into a microwave oven for a short period of time. The result is a simple but effective means of warming the temperature of the bed covering so that climbing into a warm bed at night is accomplished without the need to use an electric blanket. People who wish to make use of an energy efficient bed warmer are finding that hot water bottles are excellent options.
Hot water bottles can also be used as a means of offering soothing heat on a strained muscle. Many come in a variety of sizes and shapes. This makes it possible to use a smaller bottle to place directly on a thigh or knee, or use a larger model to provide soothing heat to an aching back. The water can either be heated on a range top, or the filled bottle warmed in a microwave oven. A good quality bottle will maintain a comforting temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, which is often ample time to provide relief.
These bottles remain a useful device in the administration of an enema. Generally, specific instructions are provided to convert a hot water bottle, which make it easy to conduct the enema quickly and efficiently. Fountain syringes are usually available specifically designed for this type of application.
Hot water bottles today come in a number of different colors and shapes. Hotties are one example of the modern designs. A Hottie may be purchased in a range of colors, and designs that are reminiscent of tufted pillows and hearts. Traditionally shaped bottles may also come in bright colors and with a wide variety of patterns on the body.