Did you know how many great ways there are to use uncooked rice other than cook it? Well don’t ask me why but I have a surplus of uncooked rice taking up real estate in the refrigerator (I do this a lot with food type stuff to keep bugs at bay whether I plan on eating it or not, and keeping dry goods cold seems to do it) – but I digress a little. I need to find a way to put that stuff to good use.
So I’ve been doing some research lately trying to find out what all you can do with uncooked rice And no, cooking it isn’t something I wanted to do, hehehe I’m not trying to be the nutrition Nazi here but I think of white rice as a “filler” product like white flour. But in dry form it’s got some really good uses!
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What Makes Rice So Nice?
You know those little tiny packets you find inside every over the counter medicine bottle that say “Desiccant-Do Not Eat”? It’s a packet of silica used to absorb moisture – but the truth is that rice grains perform the same duty-which is why people sometimes drop them into salt shakers, or if an “oopsie” with a cell phone getting wet occurs, they dry out more easily in a bag of rice.
If you live in a high humidity environment (myself included) you will find dry rice to be a real boon in your household!
So if you’re in the same boat here are the best ideas I have found! All of these are practical household uses, but they could also lead to some good craft ideas too. And since rice is so cheap, you can go nuts!
1. Fragrance Diffuser
If you’re a big fan of essential oils this is a great one – get a small dish and fill with some rice and add about 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil fragrance and mix the two around a bit.
A great idea if you love the idea of making your own spa and bath related crafts. You can set it in a bathroom or other contained small room and the fragrance will have a nice subtle effect.
You could also do this with sachet bags as well and put them in various drawers.
I tried this not too long ago and am pleased so far 🙂 I put those twinkle stars in there just for kicks.
2. Base Substrate for Candle Votives
If you ever participate in Christmas lighting with multiple candlelights going up and down the walkways, uncooked rice could easily take the place of sand in a pinch if you run out. With small jars you can fill up with rice and drop in a tealight candle for great ambiance at parties.
If you want to get really festive, you could also add some food color to the rice too so it really stands out! If you have battery-operated lights, this could be workable as well.
3. Use Rice as a Homemade Dessicant
Have you ever gotten something wet accidentally and were at a loss on how to dry it safely? Yikes – that could happen to any of us…and not just mobile phones are at risk. I remember one day it rained and my toolbox happened to be in the path and darn if some of my tools didn’t get messed up.
After drying out the box, I removed all my tools and laid them in a container of uncooked rice. Two days later – good as new! I’ve done this with cutting tools, even staples and screws and not only did it keep them from getting rusted they were just as good at their original purpose as they were before.
Just be sure to spread your objects out if you have more than one that encountered an “oopsie” (getting wet)
4. Tool and Knife Storage Place
If you have a large wide-mouth glass container fill it with uncooked rice and use it to store your kitchen cutlery. Obviously fill the container up all the way so the blades are well immersed and make sure there is some room between each knife and there should be at least an inch of rice on the bottom so the blade doesn’t go all the way through.
Depending on how many knives you have, you’ll probably need a pretty good sized glass jar or container. Looking at mine,; this is the biggest and widest jar I have (save for a gallon size pickle jar I kept, but the opening is too narrow).
I know nothing beats a real wooden storage block, but this was still a fun idea. My knives have had no signs of dulling either since I started keeping them like this. Give it a shot! You just need a whole lot of rice (like 4-5 cups) and a large glass container with a wide enough opening to accommodate however many knives you have. These below would be good:
5. Use Rice as Filler For Floral Arrangements
Instead of that green craft foam commonly used in artificial flower arrangements, a vase filled with uncooked rice would make a great way to hold and display them.
Ever seen those little water-filled beads that are also colorful and release water slowly into live cut flowers?
This is similar except it would be a unique twist on floral foam since we’re talking about artificial flowers here which don’t need water.
You could also put the dry rice into a vase as part of a centerpiece for a big occasion, such as birthdays, Christmas or Mardi Gras celebrations.
In this image that is incense sticks I’ve got in that red vase filled with rice for safekeeping 🙂
Do you know of any other creative ways to use uncooked rice? I’d love to hear them as the above list is just to get you started.