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How to Use Hand Warmers in Gloves? Tips on Staying Cozy Safely

Fact checked by Andrew Carnegie

how to use hand warmers in gloves

Freezing temperatures can harm us but it’s our extremities that suffer first. This is why hand warmers are essential. In a nutshell, hand warmers are portable heating pads that you can hold on to when gloves are not sufficient.

Aside from the disposable ones, manufacturers have developed warming devices powered either by fuel or batteries. Generally, you only need to hold a hand warmer to keep your hands well-heated but each format comes with specific instructions. In this article, I will teach you how to use hand warmers in gloves properly.

What You Need

Since manufacturers are constantly coming up with new kinds of hand warmers, I will only tackle the ones that are commonly used.

1. Zippo Hand Warmer

You need to prepare the following items for the tutorial:

  • Zippo Hand Warmer set:
  • Handwarmer
  • Warming pouch
  • Lighter fluid or Genuine Zippo Hand Warmer Fuel
  • Canister

2. Rechargeable Hand Warmer

For this tutorial, you need a fully-charged hand warmer and your gloves.

3. Disposable heating pads

Many people use Hot Hands hand warmers but there are other brands as well. For this tutorial, you will need the following items:

  • A disposable hand warmer heating pad (any brand)
  • Your gloves
  • Scissors

A Guide to Using Hand Warmers


1. Using Zippo Hand Warmers

The maker of the iconic lighters, Zippo has designed a fuel-powered hand-warming device. Considered one of the top choices, it can provide heat for up to 12 hours. This is longer than any battery-operated or electric hand warmer.

Step 1: Pour the lighter fluid or Genuine Zippo Hand Warmer Fuel into the canister.

Tip: There is no way to switch off Zippo’s hand-warming device once you turn it on. A “full tank” can last about 12 hours. If you do not need to use the hand warmer for this long, fill it with just enough fuel to last a few hours.

Step 2: Remove the burner on the Zippo hand warmer and pour the fuel into the opening. Be sure to hold the hand warmer upright while doing this. Once you’re done, put the burner back in place.

Step 3: To activate a hand warmer, use a lighter to produce a flame and light the burner for about 10 seconds. Place the cover onto the hand warmer. Then, slip it into the pouch and make sure that the air holes are facing upward.

Step 4: Whether you have gloves or not, you can hold the pouch to warm your hands.

2. Using rechargeable hand warmers

Depending on the model, this type of hand-heating device can be charged electronically if it comes with a USB-C charging cable. Typically, the batteries inside range from 5200mA to 10,000mAh. In any case, you can adjust the heat settings of these rechargeable hand warmers.

Step 1: Before we start, I highly recommend that you read the user manual that comes with the hand-warming device. Furthermore, make sure that it is fully charged. If you have done these, you can proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: If your rechargeable hand warmer only has one button, all you have to do is press it to switch it on. Then press it again if you want to adjust the heat level.

Note: This type of device offers three levels of heat: Low, Medium, and High. It has small lights that indicate the setting you choose.

Step 3: Once you get the right setting, you can simply hold the device.

3. Using disposable hand warmers

Disposable hand warmers are extremely convenient. Made of activated charcoal, salt, wood fiber, water, and iron powder, they can provide consistent warmth for up to 10 hours.

Not only are they widely available in retail stores but these hand-heating pads are also very affordable. It does not take a genius to figure out how to use them. Still, several folks search “hand warmer how to use” on Google. Well, I got your back!

Step 1: Open the packaging of the heat pads with your scissors. To do this, you can hold the bottom side of the packet so that the top part is facing downward. Make sure that your scissors do not cut the hand warmer inside.

Step 2: Since it is made of chemicals, all you need to do is shake it to activate the heat. This can take a few minutes but you should feel the pad getting warmer as you agitate it.

Step 3: Place the hand warmers inside gloves. You can also put it on your plan first then slip your hand into the mitten or glove. You can check out this video on Youtube to see how it is done properly.

Safety Concerns and How to Address Them

Heating pads and gadgets are generally safe but, of course, we cannot rule out the possibility of burning. In the Youtube videos I shared above, the people demonstrating the use of hand warmers hold them with bare hands. For children and folks with sensitive skin, it might be a different case.

Here are different ways to safely use hand warmers:

1. Use a glove liner to prevent your skin from touching the hand warmer.

With your glove liner on, Construction Informer suggests placing the heating pad or gadget on your palm then slipping your hand into the glove or mitten.

2. Do not put your phone and hand warmers in the same pocket

Understandably, we place everything we need to access quickly in our pockets. However, it is not safe to store your phone and hand warmer in the same pocket.

Instead, this article on EMS suggests placing your heating device or pad and your phone in different pouches. If you don’t have small pouches, you can use your socks.

3. Read the manual or instructions in the packaging

Manufacturers have developed heating pads and devices using different materials and chemicals.

Even if you had a rechargeable hand warmer before, the new model you got from another brand is made differently. Hence, I encourage reading the user manual. It may take time but knowing how to use the product safely can prevent accidents.


There is such a thing as hand warmer gloves. Indeed, they are practical since you don’t need inserts. That said, many people opt for heating pads and devices as they can wear their favorite gloves or mittens.

Did you enjoy this tutorial on how to use hand warmers in gloves safely? If you learned this article or would like to share your techniques, let us know in the comments. Alternatively, you can send this to your friends and relatives who may benefit from this.

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