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14 Alternative Uses for Rice

Rice is a staple, readily available food eaten the world over. Indeed, there aren't many kitchen cupboards that don't house a couple of bags of this extremely useful basic food. Rice isn't just useful for cooking however, it has a number of fantastic properties that make it a fantastic problem solver around your home. Here are 14 ways you can use rice to solve common issues efficiently, and cheaply.
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1. Soothe Your Muscles

If you have some aches and pains from a hard day on your feet, or even a more serious muscle strain, then harness the power of rice to ease your discomfort. Simply fill a clean sock with rice, while being careful to leave enough room for the rice to move around and contort to your body shape. Tie the end of the sock with string, microwave it for one minute (you can pop it back in for longer if you need more heat) and voila, your hot compress is ready! This works so well because rice is great at maintaining temperature.


2. Clean Glass Bottles and Vases

VasesThis is a really simple trick that a lot of people don't think about, despite it solving a problem that effects most of us. Bottles and vases with narrow openings can be such a pain to clean. How do you get a cloth, scrubber or you hand inside to scrub away grime? Well, rice might well be the solution you have been looking for! Pour a handful of dry rice in to the vase or bottle, and swill it around in slightly soapy water for a few minutes. That will remove the muck and grime so you simply can pour it out.


3. Save Wet Electronics

Not only does rice retain heat really well, it is also great at absorbing moisture. So if your phone, tablet or other small electronic device gets a bit wet - don't panic yet. Remove the battery if possible, and then place all wet pieces of the device in a bowl of rice and leave it over night. As long as the accident wasn't catastrophic, you should save your precious electronic piece!


4. Keep Kids Entertained

The kids or grandkids at a loose end or driving you crazy? Not to worry, keep them entertained while also encouraging their creativity, with the use of rice. Take an empty container, ask the children to decorate it and then get them to fill it up with rice to make instant, DIY maracas! That will keep them entertained for a while.


5. Check if Oil Is Hot Enough

OilIf you want to check whether your oil is hot enough before you use it for frying then just drop a few grains of rice into it. If the rice pops up to the surface and starts to cook, then you can be sure that your oil is good to go. This is actually a much more reliable gauge than a deep fry thermometer. 


6. Ripen Fruit Quickly

Have you brought some fruit that's taking its time to ripen, but you want to eat it today? Speed up ripening time by popping the fruit in a container with a few handfuls of rice. This trick can work wonders really quickly, so be sure to check the container regularly to ensure the fruit doesn't over-ripen.


7. Stop Salt from Clumping

If you live in a humid country, sticky salt can be a particularly annoying problem and may create a battle between you and the shaker to season your food (the battle usually ends with you having to take the lid off and sprinkle it with your fingers). There is a good reason why restaurants put grains of rice in with salt - because it works great on the problem, while costing next to nothing!


8. Clean Your Coffee and Spice Grinders

Image: Flickr user Darin House

Coffee grinderSpice and particularly coffee grinders have a horrible habit of picking up plenty of dirt, grease and dust over time. Rice, however, rides to the rescue once more, because if you run half a cup through the grinder, it will remove any grimy build ups. You will need to grind the rice until it is pulverized - and as an added bonus it will help sharpen the edges of the blades too.


9. Make a Pet Toy

If your cat is taking too much of a liking to your precious ornaments, then keep him or her distracted with a rice toy. Make a small satchel from spare fabric, fill it up with a mixture of rice and catnip and sew it back up. Throw it to the cat and watch it get batted around your home or garden with contentment! 


10. Stop Tools from Rusting

Rust happens due to metals being exposed to the moisture in oxygen over a long period of time. As we know, however, rice is great at soaking up spare water, so adding a few handfuls to your toolbox can keep your spanners and hammers dry and rust-free for longer.


11. Make Your Skin Glow                               Source

SkinMost us over-estimate the amount of water we need when cooking rice (too much is better than too little right?) Well, that leftover water doesn't need to be sent straight down the drain, because it can be put to very good use. Let it cool naturally, then place it in the fridge. Use the chilly water to wash your skin and leave it looking radiant. Brown rice gives best results because it's rich in vitamin E, and you should use the rice-water within 3 days,

12. Make Rice Milk

Rice milk is a fantastic dairy alternative and it's really easy to make. All you need is a cup of rice, 4 cups of filtered water and a couple of pinches of salt. Blend the ingredients together for about 1 minute (or until smooth). Store in the fridge and enjoy your delicious milk, cold.


13. Give Tarnished Silver a Shine

Keeping tarnish on your silver pieces to a minimum is a must if you want to avoid a hefty polishing job further down the line. You can help protect your cutlery and trinkets by keeping a small container of rice in the place where you store them. It will help draw the moisture away from the silver and keep it sparkling!


14. Keep Your Hands and Feet Warm in Winter

Warm and Cold HandsCold hands and feet are one of the most maddening consequences of winter. If your home has non-carpeted sections of flooring, it can be really horrible to put your feet down during the coldest months, even if you are wearing socks. Never mind though, because you can harness the warming power of rice to help you! Making warming rice slippers and mittens is a great, fun craft project that could really help you this winter. Click here to find out how to do it.

Sources: www.care2.com & the reader's digest

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