How do Hand Warmers Work?

Tuesday January 4, 2022

Hand Warmers are essential in the winter months. They keep your hands (and sometimes feet) from getting too cold and painful in harsh weather. Hand warmers have been around for a while, but do you know how they work? Sure, you just open the packet, and they heat up, but do you know why?

The Science

Disposable Hand Warmers only contain a few ingredients packed into little teabag-like packets. They contain salt, water, charcoal, and vermiculite (hydrated magnesium aluminum silicate). The heat you feel once the plastic is opened is actually from oxidization or “rusting”. The iron and water, aided by the salt, causes a chemical reaction that creates heat when oxygen is added. The vermiculite tempers the release of heat, allowing the packets to stay warm for longer and to keep from getting too hot. Hand warmers won't get warm in the packaging because they use special plastic that prevents oxygen from entering before they are opened. Hand warmers are also non-toxic making them safe for all ages.

Where to buy Hand Warmers

ProPac Hand Warmers

ProPac sells individual hand warmer packets for $1.40 each or you can contact us for bulk orders.

Winter Warmup Kit

Sold in a case of 10, these pouch kits are ideal for stocking shelters, distribution to the homeless or preparing for an emergency.

Mylar Blankets

Only $1.40 per blanket, this item is an essential addition to your emergency vehicle or travel kit.