Rice isn’t just for dinner! This staple is a multi-purpose wonder: it keeps your feet warm, it rescues your fancy electronics, it does difficult cleaning jobs, and even keeps your pet entertained. Click through to read these and more clever ways to use rice.
Earlier: 15 Surprising Uses for Apples
Home & Pets.
1. Clean Dirty Vases and Other Unusually-Shaped Bottles. What’s that, you don’t have the world’s smallest hands? Cleaning vases and bottles with slender and unusually shaped necks is a total pain — until now. Drop in a couple tablespoons of rice, pour in some warm water, and let it soak for about 10 minutes. Then shake, shake, shake, pour it out, rinse, and marvel at your newly-cleaned vase.
2. Rescue Wet Electronics. As the ultimate klutz, I’ve had to use this trick more than once. When you drop your electronics in water, remove the battery if you can, and bury the phone in rice. Trust me, it works!
3. Make a Pet Toy. Make a small satchel, fill it with a combination of rice and catnip, sew it up, and watch your cat go nuts!
4. Clean Coffee and Spice Grinders. As much as we love them, keeping coffee and spice grinders clean can be a pain. Remedy that with rice: remove as much debris as you can, cover the area with rice, and run it through the grinder. The rice will magically absorb a lot of the buildup. Some of the country’s most prestigious roasters use this trick. It works especially well with instant rice!
Related: 11 Surprising Uses for Old Candles
5. Check if Oil is Hot Enough. Want to check the temperature of the oil you’re using to deep fry? All you need to do is drop a grain of rice into it. If the rice pops up to the surface of the oil and begins cooking, the oil is ready for frying. In my experience, it’s much more reliable than a deep fry thermometer.
6. Bake a Perfect Pie. Fancy stores sell $15 jars of pie weights, the little beads placed on unfilled crusts when you blind bake them. What a racket — rice works just as well. You wouldn’t want to cook with the rice afterward, but you can use them again as pie weights.
7. Keep Salt Separated. A classic restaurant trick: store a few grains of rice in your salt shaker to prevent that annoying clumping.
8. Ripen Fruit Faster. Just can’t wait for that fruit to ripe? Store fruit in a container of rice to speed up the ripening time. Just make sure to check on it twice a day so it doesn’t get too ripe. And yes, you can cook with the rice!
9. Make Rice Milk. DIY project alert! All it takes to make rice milk from scratch (other than rice, of course!) is water and salt. Click here for directions.
See Also: 15 Ways to Use Artichokes
Health & Beauty.
10. Make a Heating Pad. Sew a little pouch with a natural fabric like cotton or wool. Fill the pouch up with some rice, sew it shut, and you’ve got yourself a heating pad. If you’re not feeling that ambitious, you can just fill an old sock with rice and tie the end close. When you’re ready to use the heating pad, heat it up in the microwave. It’ll stay warm for up to an hour.
11. Get Glowing Skin. If you’re like me, you just never get the amount of water right when you’re cooking rice. It always seems like there’s not enough water, and then you overcompensate and the rice is drowning. Don’t stress — save that leftover rice water and put it to use! Let it cool, refrigerate, and use to it wash your skin. For best results use brown rice water and use within 3 days. Apply it with a washcloth and rinse. Brown rice is high in vitamin E, and will give your skin that radiant glow it deserves.
12. Make Toasty Slippers for Cold Winter Nights. I once lived in a home with tile floors throughout. Nice in the summer, miserably cold in the winter. If only I knew about this great craft project then! Check out detailed instructions here.
13. Mittens, Too. Ooh! Best idea ever!