12 Things to Do with Rice—Besides Eat It

Plain white rice is an easy, tasty accompaniment for almost any dinner. But uncooked rice has a host of household uses you may never have thought of. Scroll through our favorite ways to put uncooked rice to work at home.

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  1. Save Your Phone!

    Cell phone water damage rice use

    In recent years, most phone manufacturers have drastically improved their devices' ability to survive water exposure. While a single splash of water or sweat might once have been enough to put your phone on the fritz, today's phones can handle a drop or two now and then. Still, heaven forbid your phone get a more substantial dousing in an unfortunate accident involving, say, a toilet or a sink. When the worst happens, the best thing to do is to immediately submerge the waterlogged device in a bag of uncooked rice for at least 24 hours. The dry rice can draw the water out of the machine and potentially save you from having to buy a costly replacement.


    Related: 10 Astonishing Feats You Can Accomplish with Kitty Litter

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  2. Unstick Salt

    Salt shaker rice use

    When summer humidity is at its peak, your salt shaker can suffer. The excess moisture in the air causes salt to clump, and those clumps can clog the holes of the shaker, preventing the salt from shaking out. You can keep this from happening by adding a dozen or so grains of uncooked rice to the shaker, right along with the salt, to absorb moisture.  


    Related: 11 Home Hacks You Can Do with a Bag of Groceries

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  3. Prebake a Pie Crust

    Blind bake with rice

    It’s a common practice of bakers to blind-bake their crusts, which means baking (or partially baking) the crust without the filling. Pie weights are what the pros use, but you can get the same results with uncooked rice. Just line the uncooked pie crust with baking parchment or foil, pour in enough rice to cover the bottom of the shell, and put it in the oven according to the recipe's instructions. When it comes out, you should have a nicely browned, evenly baked crust that won't get soggy when you fill it. 


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  4. Make an Ice Pack or Heating Pad

    Ice pack rice use

    Soothe sore muscles with this instant ice pack: Fill a sock with uncooked rice, tie a knot in the end, and store it in your freezer until you need it. Alternatively, you can transform the filled sock into a heating pad by placing it in the microwave for 30 seconds.


    Related: 11 Different Ways to Use a Single Sock

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  5. Clean Your Coffee Grinder

    Coffee grinder rice use

    All those tiny grounds jammed in tight corners and stuck under sharp blades make a coffee grinder a tricky gadget to clean. Keep your fingers safe and speed up the job by dumping in some uncooked rice and giving it a whir. The rice particles will clean the grinder in a snap. This trick also works for spice grinders and blenders.


    Related: 13 Clever Alternative Ways to Use Coffee Filters

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  6. Scrub Out a Vase

    White vase

    Many vases are too slender or awkwardly shaped for a bottle brush to squeeze through the opening and clean the vessel effectively. That's where rice can come to the rescue! Pour a small amount of uncooked rice into the vase along with soap and water and give it a vigorous swish. The rice will act as a scouring agent, erasing grit and grime.


    Related: 9 Products You'll Love—Even If You Hate Cleaning

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  7. Prevent Rust on Your Tools

    Toolbox rice use

    Why do tools rust? It's quite simple. Tools rust when they’re exposed to moisture—which means that in many garages they're in near-constant danger. To combat rust, place a small amount of uncooked rice in your toolbox, where it will act as a desiccant, absorbing moisture and preventing your tools from rusting.


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  8. Ripen Fruit

    Ripen fruit rice use

    Can't wait to bite into nature's bounty? If you need fruit to ripen in a hurry, bury it in a bowl of uncooked rice. The grains will trap the ethylene gas given off by the fruit, helping it to ripen faster.


    Related: 10 Surprising Things You Can Do With a Plastic Straw

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  9. Make a Sachet

    Satchet rice use

    Make a sweet-smelling sachet as a gift, or for your own dresser drawer, by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a quarter cup of rice. Stir to coat the rice evenly, then pour the scented rice into a small cloth bag, and tie it shut with a piece of ribbon or twine.


    Related: 7 Herbs That Clean House

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  10. Dry Flowers

    Dried flowers rice use

    Want to make those blooms from your garden last longer? Dry hardy blooms like roses, zinnias, dahlias, and marigolds by adding them to a rice-filled container. Start by putting about an inch of uncooked rice in a large plastic tub. Arrange the flowers on top and cover them completely with another layer of rice. Seal the tub and let it sit for about a week. Then, open the container and gently pour off the rice to reveal the dried flowers. Ta-da! You have the makings of a beautiful dried arrangement.


    Related: 10 Foolproof Flowers Anyone Can Grow

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  11. Save Silver from Tarnish

    Silver cutlery

    You can’t completely avoid polishing silver, but you can delay the chore a bit by placing a small container of uncooked rice in the drawer or cabinet where you store your silver pieces. The rice will absorb moisture from the air, and it's that pesky moisture that hastens the tarnishing process.


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  12. Knife Storage

    Knife holder rice use

    Don’t have a knife block? You don’t need one, really. Pour dry rice into a wide-mouth jar until it's about three-fourths full. Then, stick your knives, blade-side down, into the jar, where they'll stand at the ready until you need them.


    Related: 11 Ways You're Accidentally Ruining Your Cookware

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