A hand-warming deal

January 20, 2013

Cheap, Journal

On Sunday, Lloyd and I walked around ShopKo after he was done with choir. I told him that we were just going to check the clearance areas, but I forgot what that does to his system. He was pretty gung-ho to go looking. We scanned some kitchen stuff, some electronic stuff, but when we got to the Christmas section, he was commenting on how cheap the candy was.

“How much is this stuff regularly?” he asked.

“It’s all 90% off,” I replied.

His pupils dilated and I could hear his pulse quicken. We managed to leave the aisle with only $12 worth of giant candy canes as treats for his math kids.

Elsewhere in the clearance areas, we found something for me! Have you seen these? They are reusable hand warmers.

The pouch is filled with a liquid and a little disk. You ‘snap’ the disk inside, and that starts a chain reaction.

The camera focused on the couch fabric.

It spreads….

It happens so fast - it's hard to get a photo.

…. and spreads….

Almost there....

…. and spreads!


As it does so, it releases heat. You have a nice little warm thing to hold onto for several minutes. Before you use it again, you just boil it up and it resets the liquid. Crazy, huh?

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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9 Responses to “A hand-warming deal”

  1. Gretchen Said on:

    I could provide the chemical explanation for this (hint: it’s a supersaturated solution with an exothermic state change) but that might make some people’s eyes glaze over.


  2. Peggy Said on:

    90% off?!? Holy cow! I would have wiped that isle (Brad & his influence) aisle out! Btw: How giant are the candy canes?

    And no, I have never seen those reuseable hand warmers. Great idea…why aren’t they sold everywhere? But I don’t understand how it works….when you boil them, the disk goes back to being a disk?


  3. Brad Said on:

    Those things are cool. Physics is phun!


  4. Lauren's mom Said on:

    I am going to try to send a link about freezing water in a bottle. Undoubtedly, I will flub it up. If I do, I will send it to Lauren in an e-mail. It is similar to the hand warmer process.


  5. Lauren's mom Said on:

    OK, that didn’t work. (I emailed it to Lauren and Lloyd. But if you are interested, the YouTube video is:
    Weird Science from St. Joseph Island, Canada.


  6. Jane Sommerer Said on:

    They look like minature hot water bottles from ages ago. Yes, I would have bought up the candy, too. He comes by it honestly.


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