Joy of Made in Britain

We all understand that not everything can be manufactured in the UK and some goods are better made where the raw material is harvested saving on air miles. In today’s socially aware society there can be some hidden benefits from bringing manufacturing back to UK. Not counting the benefit of speed of light production lead times and shorter production runs which offer a huge advantage there is the benefit of support to local community. Our manufacturing partners not only employ local skilled workers but buy materials locally, they support other local trades with maintenance, machinery, office support and of course pay rates and taxes that directly support national and local projects.

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Donated Off Cuts Make Great Quilts for Children Hospitals

One area often not seen is how local charities gain from UK manufacturing, it’s not just about money but raw materials that provide a great deal of pleasure and reward for charity groups. One such group scoops up left over material from hot water bottle covers and turns them into beautifully made quilts. The quilts are donated to children’s hospitals, each quilt is individual so mums can easily identify their baby. The material used are remnants, odds and ends and end of line, all good quality that would otherwise end up in landfill, but here locally we have the support group to make good use of this regular free material. The range of fabric changes each hot water bottle season to bring ranges up to date with latest fashion trends, this means a constant flow of new fabric making these quilts unique each and every year. It brings joy to everyone in the chain, Made in Britain is not just about bringing skills back to UK it’s also about sharing with local community.

Has the world gone mad, my hot water bottle has changed shape?

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Yep, it’s happened, we can longer rely on the good old fashioned hot water bottle shape, they now make all shapes and size, what’s going on?

We all knew where we stood with a good reliable rubber hot water bottle in blue, green or if you dared to dream even red. Then along came pink, turquoise, cream and even mustard. Just get used to those then some smart guys in Germany develop a thermoplastic hot water bottle. OK, so these are nicer colours and even transparent but they then make some in heart shape – cute.

heart-hot-water-bottle
Heart Hot Water Bottle

To add to the confusion somebody decided it would interesting to have a hot water bottle in miniature, yes, mini hot water bottles. Then along came square shape as apparently they are easier to use with soft toys. So, you get a soft toy like a teddy bear and shove a hot water bottle in its belly. What happens when that wears out, and it will as it’s made of rubber (perishable) so you’re left with a your child’s favorite soft toy and no bottle. So we have to have square hot water bottles now or the little darlings will never forgive you.

square 750ml purple hot water bottle
Purple square 750ml hot water bottle

Suddenly out of nowhere everyone has gone long, why do we need another shape? Not only are there long hot water bottles but some are longer than others, that’s confusing. The cut down versions in discount stores are short long (I know it doesn’t make sense) to get discounters to a low price point. The full length ones hold the same amount of water as a standard bottle. The cut down long bottles have less than half. Forget the cut down long bottles as these are only for the discount guys and don’t really add anything except a budget price tag on a long bottle that is not long and kinda misses the point. The real reason for a long bottle is to wrap it around your waist or spread it out inside the bed, diagonally. That gives the full benefit, anything else is just a cheat and really a waste of money as it falls short of what you can do with a proper long hot water bottle.

Ecru long hot water bottle
Ecru  Long Hot Water Bottle

So has it now settled down, well no? Eco warriors want eco bottles. The same guys that brought us all thermoplastic bottles have now developed eco hot water bottles made from cane sugar crop. Sort of the same shape as a traditional bottle but rigid and slightly smaller, has a different feel to it. No plasticisers or PVC used and made with the Finneck Foundation providing a safe work place for people with disabilities.

Green Eco bio based hot water bottle
Green Eco Bio Based Hot Water Bottle

With all the changes what hasn’t change is people, the best selling bottles are still the good old traditional shape and the question is why? The classic hot water bottle shape is universally known around the world, it packs a mighty 2 litre of hot water which is enough to last inside a bed all night without going stone cold. Easy to carry, fill and cuddle up to when you need instant heat, what’s not to like, young and old alike.

We’re running out room with all the different sizes, types and colours, everyone wants choice these days and who are we to argue, if you want it we’ll just have to find room for more hot water bottles.

Why is it now so difficult to buy a hot water bottle stopper?

There is a problem identifying the right stopper as all stoppers look the same so it’s easy to assume they all fit the same. Best to think of it like car tyres, they all look the same but you couldn’t put a Focus tyre on a motorbike.  Each manufacturer makes to a specific and exact size, the replacement must match to create a lasting water tight seal. It’s the lasting seal that is important as you can buy a stopper that is a near fit and it will plug the hole. But after time and use that near fit will wear and force uneven thread causing either a crack to the neck or broken seal which will inevitably lead to a leaking bottle.

different types of hot water bottle stoppers
Different types of hot water bottle stoppers

Years ago when only a few manufactures produced locally it was easier to buy the rubber seal and replace just that part. With improved production techniques and new patents these simple rubber seals have become more sophisticated. Most are now an integral part of the stopper, it’s not just a plug to stop water but a solid and sturdy custom stopper. These improvements have evolved over the years to offer the best and most secure hot water bottles ever made. Each manufacture will have their own moulds, designs and often patents that are protected. Getting a replacement part is not so easy, it must be like for like.

Fashy hot water bottle stopper
Fashy Hot Water Bottle Stopper

Things have moved on since the old stoppers, Fashy manufacture a much wider stopper and it is rubber free, no latex seal for it’s latex allergy free hot water bottles. They are amazing and work beautifully well, last for years and it’s specific to Fashy brand of hot water bottles. Other manufactures have tried to copy and there are some now without a rubber seal, these are new and time will tell if these are as good as Fashy. The traditional stopper with a rubber seal is still available on good traditional rubber hot water bottles and will continue for those that prefer them.

Hot Water Bottle Stopper

To replace first look for a makers mark, these are embossed into the rubber usually around the middle. However, there are a lot of generic products in the shops and supermarkets that only put shop name on the packaging. Once out of the bag it can be difficult to tell where it was purchased from, some might say this is deliberate as should it leak there is no trace to the shop or supermarket. Also some traders import hot water bottles without any certification, they really don’t want anyone to know where it came from and avoid branding at all cost. If you have a generic product there is no easy way to get a replacement stopper, these types are the most dangerous and most difficult to resolve.

When replacing a stopper it’s worth having a good look at the bottle and its age. Stoppers will last the life of the hot water bottle. If the stopper is worn or the rubber has perished there is very good chance the same has happened to the bottle. Take a few minutes to inspect, first look at the general condition, look for wear patterns, creases, cracks and feel if the bottle is thin in areas especially around the belly. Hot water bottles wear out from the inside out, rubber is a natural ingredient and will over time perish. Average age is 3 years, if you have owned it for 3 years and over and the stopper has failed the bottle will not be long after. It’s not worth taking a risk on something that has to carry hot water and may be used in a bed, next to delicate skin and could fail at any time. Invest in a decent well-made product that has a British Standard mark, latest is BS1970:2012 and read the safety information.

If you have just lost a stopper there is help, reputable suppliers will hold stocks of spare stoppers and be able to supply.

So where to buy good quality genuine replacement hot water bottle stoppers:

Best advice is to first buy a good quality branded hot water bottle and look after it, chances are you will never need to replace the stopper.

10 Green bottles standing on the wall

How green are those hot water bottles standing on the wall?

Well let’s look firstly at rubber. Surprisingly latex is a sustainable natural renewable product, one of the first on the market is still getting it right by being not only a sustainable product but also a recyclable product. Old bottles can be taken to the recycling depot and once the brass seal and stopper are discarded the rest can be put in for recycling. Old rubber is first crushed, chopped, washed and made into granules at a specialist recycling facility. All impurities and foreign bodies are removed so only latex compound remains. These granules can be used in the manufacture of tyres, floor mats, electrical and bathroom fittings. So the traditional and original rubber hot water bottle is kind to the planet.

How about thermoplastic, how green are these. PVC is also surprising as it is recyclable and can be broken down to make fleece, mats and same as rubber to make electrical and plumbing fittings. The other benefit is the factory in Germany was an early adopter of solar energy and fully kitted out with solar roof panels to reap green power to run the plant.

So what’s new to the market?

Science has developed bio based plastic made from renewable sugar cane. These are moulded to shape and although they are more rigid than a standard bottle they work in the same way. Production is in cooperation with the Finneck Foundation providing a safe work for people with disabilities and meeting the demands for greener products. To recycle they cannot be put in the plastic waste they should be classed as green waste. Not all local authorities have grasped this yet, putting a hard hot water bottle in with the green waste is a big leap but they will catch up. These new biodegradable bottles will break down naturally. These are quite new to market, there are plans to develop these further to increase uses and widen the appeal.

Those 10 green bottles standing on the wall are going in the right direction, just using a hot water bottle is good for the environment cutting down expensive heating costs in keeping the young and the old warm in our beds.

Do Hot Water Bottles Ease Period Pain

Granny really did know best as scientist have proved a hot water bottle on the tummy can ease period pain. University College London scientists discovered heat treatment works by blocking pain messages to the brain.

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                      Hot Water Bottle Used as Heat Treatment

Presenting his findings to the Physiological Society’s annual conference, Dr Brian King said: The pain of colic, cystitis and menstrual period pain is caused by a temporary reduction in blood flow to organs, causing local tissue damage and activating pain receptors. The heat doesn’t just provide comfort and have a placebo effect it actually deactivates the pain at a molecular level in much the same way as pharmaceutical painkillers work. We have discovered how this molecular process works.

natural-painkillers-daily-mail-clipping

                                 Natural Painkillers Daily Mail Clipping

Menstrual pain is one of the most common gynaecological complaints in women of reproductive age. More than 80 per cent of British women are thought to suffer from period pains. Research found that 20 per cent of young women said their monthly pains cause trouble in their relationships, while one in three is left feeling depressed.

A hot water bottle has many uses, don’t put it off and road test your own bottle. There are so many to choose from, traditional rubber to the latest technology latex allergy free.There’s even a mini sizes to take with you on the move and at the other end of the scale take a look at the giant hot water bottles.

The 2005 survey from UCL, one of the world’s top universities with an international reputation for quality of its research and teaching.

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Hot water bottles adds up

Why we all need Giants

Giant Hot Water Bottle

OK, so what’s so special about a giant, is big really better?

Well that depends, if you’re on the move in the car or at work perhaps you don’t want a giant sitting on your lap (we have mini ones for that) but on the sofa or tucked up in bed that’s another thing altogether. With a third more surface area you can heat up a third more of the bed or sofa or wherever you want to use it.  We love these as they offer something that a normal size just can’t do and that is to up the heat output.  To get the larger heating area meant increasing the liquid capacity up from 1.8 litre, this is the size of a standard 2.0 litre bottle up to 2.5 litre.  Now I know it sounds confusing, it says on the tin it is 2.7 litre so how do get to 2.5 litre.  Well never fill to the top, always leave a space, expel the air carefully before adding the stopper.  The same with a standard 2.0 litre only it’s not really 2.0 litre but nearer 1.8 litre.  So with a massive 2.5 litre of hot water the bottle will stay warmer for longer and since good quality ones have higher rubber content that the budget ones in discount supermarkets they will stay hotter for longer. As a sustainable natural renewable product rubber is highly elastic and lends itself to mould with you, ideal to snuggle up to.

Here’s when a giant hot water bottle comes into it’s own.  Forget cold chilly nights or days, this have an impressive heating area, heavy weight and ribbed both sides to gently defuse heat.

giant-hot-water-bottle

Giant hot water bottle

Want to carry it around, no problem, it’s got a very useful carrying handle on the side.
Want a choice of colour, again, no problem, red, blue or cream.
Want a cover on it, you guessed, no problem, they come with or without a cover, you choose just how you want to use it.  Covers are super soft velour like fleece, we call it cuddlesoft.  These are from our made in Britain of high quality covers at very affordable prices.  Many of the budget fleece covers are imported from China and made to a budget for the high street.  By using British manufacturing we can improve the quality, not just a little better but at least double the quality of the cheap imports which means these wash and wear and last and last.  Also the colour of fabric and style is more in keeping with UK trends.  It’s a win win for everyone and our regular customers know what to expect on quality.

jade-large-hot-water-bottle

Jade Large Hot Water Bottle

Finally a decent sized hot water bottle for when you really need one, it’s more than capable for any occasion. Extremely safe and reliable backed with a 2 year warranty, manufactured to latest British Standard BS1970: 2012.

Stay warm as toast this winter and join the land of the giants.

Hot Water Bottles Have Changed

So you may think the headline is crazy having looked in the local supermarket only to see the same old hot water bottles. But, and there is always a but, with online shopping things have changed a great deal.  Take a look at Love Hot Water Bottles and you’ll see exactly what has happened, the old types ranges have evolved! Gone are the dull green or pale lilac found in the high street chemist shops or hardware stores.  Over the last 15 years new production techniques and materials have expanded the capabilities, we now have neoprene or how about a velour with printed horses or even intricate heart shaped with tiny embossed hearts in the fabric, the options are endless.  Today colours are matched to bedroom decor and latest trends in fashions are used in the fabric design. Of course we still have something for granny and who would not want to take care of granny with a good old fashioned traditional rubber hot water bottle.  These will always be around in good traditional colours and some nice Royal tartans, who can resist a proper Scottish plaid.

Coral Latex Free Hot Water Bottle

Coral Latex Free Hot Water Bottle

Choice has never been better with more and more colours, styles, types and sizes coming into the market each season.

The newer colours on rubber have arrived with soft pastels and rich deep purple making bold statements. Big changes have happened by using thermoplastic which have the advantage of being either transparent or just about any shade or texture desired. With transparent you can see exactly how much water is inside and some even have very clever fish (not real ones!) that change colour when the temperature is right. These are very clever, ideally suited for children or the vulnerable as once the fish change colour you can see the water is the right temperature.  When it cools down the fish change colour again and everyone can see when it is cold.  The shapes that PVC moulds to is ideal to make all sorts of colours and textures, even heart or football shapes.  They can be any colour you like, the factory will select the latest colour trend and generally offer 10 different shades each year in 10 different styles and another 10 different finishes, as you can see this offers real choice for customers.

Microwavable Hotties

Microwavable Hotties

Then there are the hotties, microwaveable hot wheat bottles. Now very popular and the choice is even bigger with animal ones proving to be the favourite with kids.

Of course these don’t replace traditional types but it does offer more options, it’s not always handy to carry a bottle around so microwavable ones are ideal. Another reason for using heat wraps is the ease of use, not everyone is good using water especially hot.  An unsteady hand might benefit from using wheat microwave wraps.  Some are scented with lavender or vanilla, harder to find are unscented wraps as not everyone appreciated the aroma of lavender.

Want something for the kids, the choice has never been better. So many fun cuddly toy warmers that just keep changing every season. For this year see our kids hot water bottles.

Most are padded and made to snuggle up to and stay as warm as toast. Generous in size to accommodate a 1.0 litre bottle they warm up quickly and keep going long into the night.  Many double up as a pajamas case when not used in the summer and can also be a soft toy for kids to play with.  Favourites have always been the teddy bear in every size and colour, over the years we’ve seen many fads and different soft animal character merchandise but the teddy bear remains the one thing kids just want to cuddle up to on a cold winter night.

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