Rice is one of the most versatile foods out there, and can be used as a vehicle for all kinds of flavors, both savory and sweet.
Its usefulness doesn’t stop at the dinner table, though – there are many more brilliant things you can do with rice. Here’s 19 reasons to stock up on your rice supplies:
1. Homemade Handwarmers
These little pocket-sized handwarmers will warm cold fingers up a treat in the winter. All you need to make them is scissors, fabric, dry rice, needle, pins, and thread. You could also make them as Christmas gifts, too.
2. Sharpen Blunt Blender Blades
If you use your blender a lot, the blades can become blunt over time. To sharpen them up again, pour around half a cup of dry rice into your blender and pulse for around 2 minutes.
3. Colored Rice
This colored rice will keep children occupied for hours, and all you need to make each color is 1 cup of rice, ½ tsp vinegar, and colored icing gel or food coloring. Mix them up in a Ziplock bag, then spread each batch of rice out on a plate or a baking sheet in the sun or somewhere warm to dry out.
4. Discovery Bottle for Kids
Long car journeys with kids can be exhausting, but next time you go on a trip, make a discovery bottle before you go.
Fill a clear bottle with small objects from around the home, and some dry rice. Leave a gap at the top, so when you shake the bottle the items will be able to move around, and your children can guess at what they are. You could use dice, charms, buttons, paper clips or pebbles – anything you have that will fit easily in the bottle.
5. Rescue a Wet Phone
If you drop your phone in water, try not to panic! Fill up a bowl or bag with dry rice, and put your phone in it. Leave for a couple of days, then take it out. The rice should have absorbed all the water, and hopefully your phone will be working.
6. Clean Vases or Bottles
Some glassware, like vases, have little hard-to-reach spots that you can’t quite clean. To make your glass clean again, put 2 spoonfuls of rice and some warm water into the vase, and leave to soak for 15 minutes.
Cover, shake well, empty and rinse out with water for spotless glassware.
7. Keep Tools Rust-Free
Add some uncooked rice to your toolbox to absorb any moisture in the air. This should help to keep your tools safe from rust.
8. Facial Cleanser
Women in Asia know the secret of using rice water to cleanse their skin. Let 1 cup of rice sit covered in a bowl with water for around 15 minutes. When the time is up, drain the now-milky water into a jar and discard the rice. Keep the rice water in your fridge for up to 5 days, and massage it into your skin for a minute each day.
9. Clean Your Coffee Grinder
Coffee and spice grinders get dusty and greasy over time, so clean them by running some dry rice through. It helps to get rid of trapped spices and coffee odors.
10. Homemade Knife Block
Don’t spend a lot on a new knife block – rice and a utensil holder will do the trick instead. Fill a large utensil holder with rice, and insert your knives. It’s a lot cheaper than a fiber cluster universal knife block.
11. Help Hair to Grow
Rice water can also be used to wash hair as well as skin. It helps hair to grow, and Asian women have used if for hundreds of years.
12. Make a Rain Stick
Create a rain stick for your kids with dry rice and everyday materials. Make a hollow stick, and put some dry rice inside. When shaken it will sound just like rain – great for kids to dance around with.
13. Use Rice as Baking Beans
If you don’t have any baking beans and you need to blind-bake some pastry, use rice instead. Line your pastry with baking parchments and pour in enough dry rice to stop the pastry rising.
14. Stop Salt Clumping
Clumped up bits of salt in your salt shaker are a sign of trapped moisture. Add some uncooked rice to the salt to absorb the moisture and get the salt running freely again.
15. Ripen Fruit
You can ripen fruit quicker by submerging it in a bowl of dry rice. It traps the ethylene the fruit makes, which will help it to ripen faster.
16. Heated Slippers
You can make your own microwaveable slippers using rice. You need some soft, warm fabric, pen and paper, scissors, at least 24 oz dry rice, tape, sewing machine or needle and thread. Find out how to make the slippers at Instructables.
17. Do a Science Experiment
Make rice dance with baking soda and vinegar! Find out how at Buggy and Buddy.
18. Test Oil Temperature
It can be hard to tell whether cooking oil is hot enough to cook with, but rice can help. Put one grain of rice in the heated oil, and if it comes back up to the top and starts to cook, the oil is hot enough for your food.
19. Homemade Glue
Making your own rice glue for crafts is a cheaper and more environmentally-friendly alternative to buying glue. Find out how to do it on YouTube.