unusual uses for rice

You know that rice is delicious to eat, but did you know that it’s also useful around the house? From cleaning and crafting to natural skincare, check out these unusual ways to use rice.

I love a good rice dish, don’t you? Whether it’s a decadent bowl of mango sticky rice or a tasty risotto, rice is total comfort food. It turns out, though, that this humble grain also has some super handy uses beyond your dinner plate. Some of these techniques use uncooked rice and some require cooking and even over-cooking, but what they all have in common is that they’re useful, natural alternatives to solve some household problems.

1. Make a DIY Compress

Got a headache or a sore lower back? Rice compress to the rescue! You can heat your compress up in the microwave for soothing warmth or chill it in the freezer for a cold compress (great on strained or sprained muscles!). Make It & Love It has a great tutorial showing you how to create your own rice compress.

2. Save Wet Electronics

I wish that I’d known about this trick when I accidentally knocked my cordless phone into the toilet in college. Let’s not talk about how that happened. It was college. To save that soaked phone or other small electronic device, stick it in a bowl of rice to soak up the water and possibly save the iPhone you dropped in a toilet. How that happened can be your little secret, too.

3. Clean a Dirty Vase

Aren’t those vases with unusual shapes gorgeous? I love them, until they start to get dirty. All of those elegant curves are impossible to clean! Let rice do the work for you. Just put a little rice in the bottom of your dirty vase, add a bit of water, soak for a few minutes, and then stir vigorously. The grains of rice will scrub and absorb that dirt and grime. Dump out the vase, give it a good rinse, and you’re ready to fill it with organic flowers from the farmers market!

4. Dog Triage

If your dog ate something she shouldn’t have, feed her a cup of cooked rice to soothe her stomach. Of course, you’ll still need to keep an eye on her. Rice can help, but if she ate something poisonous, you’re going to have to go to the vet.

5. Rice Water for Radiant Skin

Reserve any leftover water from cooking rice and gently massage it onto your face with a wash cloth. You can store extra rice water in the fridge between uses, and it should keep for at least 3 days.

6. Make Rice Glue!

Got some paper crafts in the works? You can use glue made from rice to bind your projects together. Check out this easy-to-follow tutorial from Esprit Cabane to make your own batch of rice glue.

7. Clean a Burr Grinder

Burr grinders are super hip right now in the coffee world, but cleaning them is a hassle. Check out this video for how to use rice to clean your burr grinder easily:

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He is using his to make espresso, but we have one with lots of grind settings that we use for making Chemex or drip coffee. One other note about this video: he takes the top burr off, but he also puts it back, so you don’t have to take yours apart to use this method!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by cookbookman17