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Life Hacks

15 Brilliant Uses for Uncooked Rice That Save You Time + Money

Learn how it can soften skin, clean a narrow vase and more!

Rice is a common pantry staple in many households thanks to its versatility in dishes and affordability. But not only is it a fantastic ingredient to have on hand for cooking, it can also help solve a lot of everyday problems too. From ending a dog’s barking habit to wind-proofing a tablecloth, the grains can really come to the rescue. Below you’ll find 15 uses for uncooked rice to save you time, hassle and money.

1. Use uncooked rice to dry up wet sneakers overnight

An unexpected rainstorm hit while you were out running errands and now you’re left with soggy shoes. To dry them by morning so you can wear them again, try this: Cut the feet off a pair of panty hose and fill with rice. Tie closed and place one in each shoe. The absorbent grains will soak up the water to dry your kicks overnight.

2. To ward off bathroom odors

Uses for rice: ward off bathroom odors

The easy way to keep a bathroom smelling fresh for both guests and household members: Fill a small container with 1⁄2 cup of uncooked rice, then mix in 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oils and place on top of the medicine cabinet or somewhere else out of reach of kids and pets. The absorbent rice will soak up the oil and release the scent over time, so your powder room always smells great. (Click through for more DIY air freshener ideas).

3. Use uncooked rice to revive dull blender blades

Nothing beats your daily smoothie, but lately your blender isn’t chopping up ingredients as well as it should be. The solution: Throw 1 cup of uncooked rice into the blender and run it for 2 minutes. The hard grains will sharpen the blades as they’re ground up. Your appliance will be blending with ease again in no time.

4. To stop a dog from barking

Rover gets so worked up whenever the doorbell rings that it leads to incessant barking that drives you crazy. To nix the habit, fill a glass jar one-third of the way with uncooked rice and screw on the lid. Whenever your dog starts barking, shake the jar. He will quickly learn to associate his barking with the unpleasant noise and quiet down whenever he hears it.

5. Use uncooked rice to get silky smooth hands for pennies

Uses for rice: soften hands
Liudmila Chernetska/Getty

The secret to softening your hands? Rice! All you need to do is create rice water. “It’s gentle, it’s inexpensive, it’s quick to make and multiple components function as antioxidants, UV protection, to decrease inflammation and irritation to help the skin barrier and can even decrease dark spots,” says dermatologist Luke Maxfield, DO, FAAD (Tiktok user @dr.ljmaxfield) in the video below. Simply pour ½ cup of uncooked rice and 2 cups of water into a bowl, let sit 30 minutes then soak your hands for 10 minutes. Vitamins in the rice will moisturize your skin.

Related: Top Hair Loss Doctor Explains How Rice Water Can Help Reverse Thinning + Add Shine


One of the better DIY smincare hacks, Rice water has some similarity to oats. Simple, gentle, inexpensive, and some daya behind it. But there is some nuance, variability, and preference. But hopefully, this can get you started. #ricewater #koreanskincare #ricewaterskincare #skincarehacks #diyskincare #diy #skincare #dermatologist

♬ Good (feat. Larry June) – P-Lo

6. To fry food perfectly every time

Heating oil for deep-frying without a thermometer can be a challenge: Too hot and the food burns before it’s cooked through; too cool and the food winds up greasy and heavy. To test the oil, drop a grain of uncooked rice into the pot. If it pops right up to the surface of the oil and starts to cook, the oil is about 360°F and perfect for frying.

7. Use uncooked rice to quickly relieve neck and back pain

Your new blooms look great around your home! The only problem? Your neck and upper back now hurt from all of that yard work. If you don’t have a heating pad on hand, fill an old clean tube sock with uncooked rice, tie a knot at the top to secure, then microwave on medium power for 1 minute before placing on sore areas. The homemade heating pad stays warm for about 30 minutes so you can get the relief you need. (Click through for more ways to alleviate upper back pain).

Watch the video below for an easy how-to:

8. To ripen avocados in half the time

Uses for uncooked rice: ripen avocados

Your family’s backyard bash is coming up and you want to make homemade guacamole for the occasion. (Click through for an easy recipe). The only problem? The avocados you bought are still hard. To speed up the ripening process, bury the whole avocado in a container of uncooked rice. The dense grains will concentrate the naturally occurring ethylene gas in avocados that promotes ripening, cutting your waiting time in half.

“Two days ago this was rock hard and it is now soft and ripe,” shares My Nguyen (TikTok user @myhealthydish), holding up her avocado in the video below. This also works for mangos, persimmons, bananas, papayas and other slow-ripening fruit.


How mang days does it take to ripen avocados in rice? #avocados

♬ original sound – My Nguyen

9. Use uncooked rice to help a tablecloth stay put

Few things can ruin the fun of a picnic or outdoor party more than a tablecloth that won’t stop blowing in the wind. Rather than buying tablecloth weights, make your own! To do: Add a handful of uncooked rice to a coffee filter and tie closed with a length of colored ribbon. Place one on each corner of the table. The weight of the grains will guarantee the tablecloth stays in place no matter how breezy it is! Plus it makes a pretty decoration!

10. To add volume to lifeless hair

Ugh! Lately your locks have been looking a bit flat. To boost volume for pennies, pour ¼ cup of rice and 1 cup of water into a spray bottle; let sit overnight. In the morning, spritz the mixture on damp hair and style as usual. Rice’s starch clings to hair strands and increase their diameter. The result? Fuller and bouncier locks that look fantastic!  

Related: How to Style Thinning Hair So It Looks Twice as Thick

11. Use uncooked rice to effortlessly clean a narrow vase

You can’t wait to re-use the glass vase that came with your bouquet, but it’s a bit dirty and the narrow neck and curved shape make it tough to clean the inside. What can help: “We’re going to take a little bit of dish soap, add some more water, a little bit of vinegar and the secret weapon: plain old dry rice,” shares TikTok user @LORAfied about the hack in the video below. “Then you just start shaking! The rice is doing the cleaning for you.” The abrasive rice grains helps scour away stuck-on grime, leaving the glass sparkling.


🫧🧽 CLEANING HACKS: Part 1 🧺 EASY + TIME SAVING 🥰 Do you like to clean, do you dread it or are you somewhere in the middle? I’m one of those people who likes the feeling you get when you make lines in the carpet the vacuum (or as my 93 year old mom, Norma Jean calls it “the sweeper” 😉) With that said, I’m not a fan of wasting life minutes on chores, if there’s a faster way to do it, I’m in! Here are some of my favorite CLEANING HACKS THAT WORK! All are SO satisfying! Just wait until you try the rice in the vase 🥳 What’s your biggest cleaning challenge? Comment and LMK! Mine is the kids cubby area: half eaten snacks, shoes, backpacks, sports equipment 🚧⚠️😂 XO, Lora 🩷 CHECKOUT my website: for more! ➡️ @lorafied wherever you are! ⏱ TikTok 📺 YouTube 📌 Pinterest 👍 Facebook #cleantok #tiktokclean #tiktokcleaning @Amazon @Amazon Home @The Libman Company @chihaircare @TomsOfMaine #LORAfied #homemaker #homecleaninghacks #cleaningsupplies #cleanhousecleanmind #cleankitchen #cleaninghacks #instaclean #cleanhouse #springcleaning #cleaninghouse #kitchenhacks #adultinghacks #cleaningtipsandtricks #stayorganized #momchronicles #workingmomslife #simplechanges #lowtoxlife #nontoxiccleaning #geterdone #ineededthis #cleaningcommunity #lifehacks101 #organizinghacks #productivityhacks #momhacks #ballingonabudget #hereforyou #sundaychores

♬ Disney-style fanfare-style BGM – harryfaoki

12. To create a knife block for pennies

Uses for uncooked rice: create a knife block

Your new set of knives didn’t come with a knife block to store them in? Make your own! Simply fill a large vase or other container with rice, then slide the knives in, blade down. The grains help to keep the cutlery upright and accessible.

13. To entertain a kitty for pennies

Your kitty is feeling particularly feisty lately and getting in to all sort of trouble. A simple way to keep her busy when you can’t play with her: Fill an empty childproof pill bottle with a handful of uncooked rice and close. The “toy’s” rattling sound and rolling motion will keep Mittens preoccupied as she hits it around the house.

14. Use uncooked rice to rust-proof gardening tools

Even when properly stored away in a closed toolbox, humidity and damp weather can cause metal shears, trowels and other tools to fall victim to rust. To ensure they stay in great condition, sprinkle a handful of rice in the bottom of the toolbox before placing the items inside. The rice absorbs moisture in the air, ensuring your tools are safe from damage. (Click through for easy ways to clean rusty garden tools!)

15. To squeeze away tension

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, whip up a stressball that you can keep on hand. To make: Use a funnel to fill a balloon with 1 cup of uncooked rice. Pinch out excess air and tie closed. Then slide another balloon over the other (to make it stronger and prevent ripping) and tie closed. Whenever you need to release some tension, simply squeeze the rice- filled balloon.

For more brilliant life hacks click through these stories!

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