FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
POP UP STORE
Pop-up store at Glenelg Town Hall, Mosley Square, Glenelg.
Opening hours: sunny days 10-3PM
To make sure we are there please phone/text 0407 626 755.
Q: What is a wheatbag and how does it work?
A: A wheatbag is a natural, safe, inexpensive, chemical and drug free treatment for pains and discomforts for people of all ages and walks of life. A wheatbag is essentially a sealed fabric bag filled with dried and cleaned wheat grains. It is used by placing a heated or chilled wheatbag onto your body in order to either relieve pain such as arthritis, headaches and period pain OR reduce swelling and bruising by using it as an icepack. The wheat grains are very good at holding on to heat and cold and releasing it very slowly giving comfort and warmth or a great cooling effect for a long time. The heating takes place in the microwave and the cold is achieved in the freezer. Please see Heating/Care Instructions prior to use.
Wheat Heatpacks are registered as a Class 1 Medical Device on the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration register No.107133.
Global Medical Device Nomenclature (GMDN) identifies heatpacks as "37240 Compress, hot/cold pack, reusable". It is also identified as a "microwavable heat pack" (MHP)
Q: How long should I heat my wheatbag for?
A: Always start with one minute on high in your microwave. Then increase by 30 second increments until you have found the ideal setting for you, that particular microwave and that particular wheatbag. All microwaves have different power settings and rather than giving you a set time we prefer you to find a time that works best for you. People’s heat tolerances vary a great deal. And then simply remember it for next time.
Please take care when heating a wheatbag for somebody else and remember that the young and elderly have thinner skin and therefore cannot tolerate direct heat as well.
For full instructions - please see Heating/Care Instructions.
Q: Are your wheatbags safe to use?
A: Following our instructions (enclosed with the heatpack) or online copy will ensure the risk of adverse events is alleviated as far as possible. Our wheatbags largely comply (ask us for details if you are interested) with the VOLUNTARY "Microwavable Heat Pack..." Standard AS/NZS 5116:2016. Please note that the standard advises not to exceed 50 degrees Centigrade on the surface to reduce the risk of burns.
Here is a short Channel 10 news item from May, 2013 featuring our staff talking about risk minimisation when using heatpacks.
Q: Is it true you should place a cup of water in with your wheatbag when you microwave it?
A: Short answer. No.
A: Longer answer. The reason to 'place a cup of water' is to hydrate the wheat.
Placing a cup of water, will NOT effectively re-hydrate the wheat bag.
This is because the time the wheat bag is heated, is shorter than needed to boil the water (turn it into steam). We have conducted scientific experiments - and discovered that the wheat does not become hydrated through this process.
You should strive to keep the wheat grains hydrated. Especially if you use the wheat pack frequently.
If they are kept nice and moist, that will stop them from drying out. The moisture content in the grains prevents any burning from happening. Burning the grains will create a burnt smell that will not go away and that is impossible to mask and will also impair your wheatbags heat retention, see Q below.
So how to keep the wheat bag hydrated?
There are two ways to do this. Wheat is hygroscopic - it absorbs moisture from the air by itself. It is in fact a huge issue in agriculture.
If you do not use the wheat bag frequently, it just might absorb enough moisture from the air.
For frequent wheat bag fans, we recommend applying moisure directly to the surface of the wheatbag. Either by sprinkiling it on, or better, with a water spray bottle.
Q: My wheatbag smells horrible, like burnt pop corn, and the heat doesn’t last any longer. Can I fix it?
A: The reason it smells burnt, is that the little grains have become burnt due to dehydration. Unfortunately there is no way of successfully masking that odour in the long term it's too strong! Even if the smell doesn’t bother you the heat retention properties of the grains have declined and the wheatbag will cool down faster than before. The only way to fix it is to unpick the seam of the wheatbag and tip out the old wheat and refill with fresh grains. Too hard? Get a new one from us at The Australian Wheatbag Store.
Q: How do I make my wheatbag last longer when hot?
A: To insulate your wheatbag and increase the duration of the heat, cover the wheatbag with
a piece of clothing or a towel. This works equally well for a frozen wheatbag! Looking after your wheatbag by keeping the grains hydrated will also keep the heat hotter for longer, so to speak.
Q: Can I heat my wheatbag in the oven or on top of a wood heater?
A: No, unfortunately not. Do not use any other heat sources than the microwave oven!
The reason we like the microwave for heating the wheatbag is SAFETY FIRST. You can set the duration of heating time and walk away and forget about it. The microwave will heat your wheatbag under controlled circumstances and then turn itself off. Please refer to Heating/Care Instructions for more information.
Q: How are The Australian Wheatbag Store’s wheatbags different from the regular wheatbags
you can buy at a chemists?
A: The designs of The Australian Wheatbag Store’s Wheatbags are unique to us. We design them
with maximum versatility and ergonomic flexibility in mind. A wheatbag can last, if looked after properly, up to 10 years of regular use. In that time you are likely to have wanted to use the wheatbag in a variety of location on your body. Our philosophy is that you should be able to do that comfortably, using the same wheatbag!
Our wheatbags are not completely stuffed and hard from a larger amount of wheat. The new, Scandinavian functional design inspired wheatbags, can be moulded to fit anyone anywhere pretty much! And in our experience a wheatbag is traditionally used by more than one family member. And they are quite likely to want it targeting pain elsewhere than you.
Q: I didn’t know you could use the wheatbag COLD! How do you do that?
A: Stick your wheatbag in a plastic bag and place it in the freezer. Allow 2-10
hours to become cold, depending on the size of your wheatbag. Pull out and use to cool yourself on a hot day, making for a reduced need for turning on the a/c, or use as you would an ice pack for injuries, reduce bruising and swelling etc. For more ideas on cold usage - see Heating/Care Instructions.
Q: Should I apply a hot wheatbag to sooth any injury?
A: No, not indiscriminately. Please use your wheatbag responsibly and consult your health care professional for ideas on how to treat serious injuries or persistent, undiagnosed pain. A hot wheatbag is fine for general soreness, feeling cold, headaches, period pain and aches and pains. And of course if your Physiotherapist has recommended you one to use. Other injuries like inflammation or bruising for example should be treated with a cold pack.
Q: Can I wash my wheatbag in the washing machine?
A: No, you can’t. The little wheat grains will soak up the moisture from the water and your wheatbag will be ruined. If you spill something on your wheatbag, just wipe it off with a damp cloth and place in the microwave for a couple of minutes to dry out. The microwaves in your microwave oven actually sterilises any bacteria lingering in your wheatbag. And the fabric will not be affected as it’s a natural hemp/organic cotton material.
If you are concerned about staining - just fold your wheatbag up in a tea towel and remove it after use to wash it.
Q: What are the different scents you use in your wheatbags good for?
A: We provide a variety of scents for your wheatbag to smell as nice as it looks! Lavender is traditionally thought to be calming and soothing and Vanilla romantic and grounding. The Peppermint, Eucalyptus (Lemon Scented Gum) and Lemon Myrtle are more invigorating and uplifting, cleansing and stimulating. Many people who like to use a shoulder shaped wheatbag at work (mainly people who work in an office) use any of the above scents as to not become too sleepy from the Lavender! We at The Australian Wheatbag Store think you should go with what you LIKE and if you suffer from migraines etc, it may even be best to stay away from a scent altogether. All The Australian Wheatbag Store’s wheatbags are available unscented, perfect for those who are allergic or just sensitive to scents. A scent can always be added later - see Heating/Care Instructions.
Q: How long do the scents last and can I re-scent my wheatbag?
A: The pure essential oils infused in the wheat in the wheatbags have different properties and will stay strong for a variety of times. On average though, they will stay quite strong for about 4 weeks. Then they will half in strength and after 12 months you may only have a faint scent lingering. This also depends on how often you have used your wheatbag. Of course, your wheatbag will still keep heating you up or cooling you down just as well!
It is VERY EASY to re-scent your wheatbag! Please see instructions how to do that in the Heating/Care Instructions. You can purchase refill bottles from us in the scent of your preferred wheatbag. Please only use pure, essential oils as scented oils can cause headaches etc. For more information on our oils - please see Essential Oils and Waters.
Q: How long should a wheatbag last until it should be thrown out?
A: If you look after your wheatbag you should be able to use it for up to 10 years. However, you need to follow all instructions and essentially keep the grains hydrated, hence the rule of placing a glass of water in right next to your wheatbag in the microwave when heating it up.
Q: How do I best store my wheatbag?
A: The absolute best place for a wheatbag in between uses is in the freezer, in a plastic bag. If you keep it there you always a frozen ice pack on hand to treat injuries as well as make sure you don’t get any unwelcomed insects visiting! The wheatbag can be used straight from the freezer to the microwave.
Q: If I buy more than one wheatbag, do I have to pay more postage?
A: No, the postage is a flat fee of $13.50 anywhere in Australia.
We use Express Post, so for many metro areas you will receive package within 2 days.
For international orders - please email us and we'll give you a quote based on quantity and weight.
Q: What do you mean when you say you are 'eco-friendly'?
A: All our wheatbags are made in by us Australia, utilising a supported employment facility as well as working from our own studios in Adelaide. We try very hard to reduce our carbon footprint by keeping production local as well as encourage disadvantage members of the community to support themselves. We also utilise fibres for our fabrics that use up a lot less water and pesticides.
Read more in how we design and make our wheatbags
Q: Why does it matter that the wheat is organic and the fabrics you use are alternative?
A: It makes no difference to the function of the wheatbag that the wheat is organic or the fabric made out of hemp! However we at The Australian Wheatbag Store believe growing wheat organically is better for Australia long term. The hemp fibre used for the fabric we use, requires a lot less water and pesticides than cotton when grown. The fabric is also really strong and durable. That’s why we like it. Read more in “About us”
Q: Do you have a shop I can visit?
A: If you are located in Adelaide you can visit our Showroom based in conjunction with our studios. It is open by appointment only. But we also visit local markets in South Australia and Victoria as well as Shows and events around Australia. For more information see a list of markets and shows we attend
Q: Do you really screen print your own fabrics?
A: We most certainly do! Find out how and why we do it in how we design and print our fabrics
Q: Can we use filling other than wheat?
A: Yes. The Australian Wheatbag Store offers other fillings. Presently it is Lentils, for people with Celiacs Disease who want to play it ultra-safe.
However we will be offering other fillings to when we complete our research.
Please remember that wheat, of all agricultural materials is actually the best to use in a wheatbag. You may have heard of rice, barley, corn or even cherry pips being used in a heat bag, but they all are not as good as wheat according to Science.
The 'Specific Heat Capacity' of wheat is the highest and that is what determines how good it is.
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