How rice can rescue your phone, clean silver, ripen fruit and more

Rice isn't just great in the kitchen.

It might be great with a curry or noodles, but there are some amazing uses for rice away from the oven too.

From rescuing wet electronics to cleaning out vases and coffee grinders, those little grains can come in handy at the most desperate of times. And while there are a few tips to help you out in the kitchen, rice also has its uses around the rest of the house, and even with your beauty regime.

Here are some of the top tips for those bags of rice in your cupboard.

Rescue wet electronics

There’s nothing worse than dropping your phone or camera in a bowl of water or down the toilet.

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After rushing to fetch it out and dry it with a towel, it may appear to be beyond saving, but putting the damp phone and battery in a bowl of uncooked rice grains and leaving it for a day or so could rescue it.

That’s because the rice slowly soaks up water, drawing it out of your electronics and drying them out. While it doesn’t always work, it’s worth a try before giving up hope and buying a new one.

Clean out odd-shaped glass vases

Buying odd-shaped vases may seem like a good plan at the time, looking great on your windowsill or table.

But what happens when you have to clean them? Getting a sponge into a tiny neck for example is impossible. But pouring some uncooked rice in with some soap and water, before swirling it round, will slowly break away any stubborn dirt. 

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Just give the vase a rinse afterward to remove any milky-coloured water left inside by the rice starch and your vase should look great.

Keep salt separated

If you’ve ever been to someone’s home for dinner and seen odd bits of rice in their salt shaker, don’t panic, it’s meant to be there.

By adding a little rice in, it helps keep salt separated, making it easier to shake out on to your food.

Make a hot beanbag

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It might be the height of summer, but we all know how difficult those colder nights can be in winter.

But rather than buying a hot water bottle or heated beanbag – just make your own.

Get a clean sock and fill it with uncooked rice, leaving just enough room for it to move around and mould to your body shape. Either sew the end up, or tie it tightly with string, before heating it in the microwave for one minute.

Test the heat, and if you want it hotter keep going for another 30 seconds or so.

It’s perfect for aches and pains, but just be careful not to allow children to use it unsupervised, and ensure you don’t leave it on your bare skin while you’re asleep.

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Clean coffee grinders

Getting a coffee or spice-grinder clean can be a nightmare – but it’s essential to do so to keep those steaming cups tasting great and your food true to the spice’s taste.

Run some uncooked rice through the grinder until its broken up, however, and it will slowly absorb the leftover oils and moisture from inside, leaving it clean and debris-free.

Reduce tarnish on silver

While silver cleaners come in handy with jewellery, stopping the build-up of tarnish and rust can feel like an uphill battle.

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With things like tools, a great trick is to pour some uncooked rice into the box with them, allowing it to slowly soak up the moisture in the air.

As rust and tarnish builds from oxygen and moisture, the addition of rice to the environment can slow down or even prevent the process.

Ripen fruit faster

Buying harder fruits can be great if you want them to last longer, but if you need it on the go, waiting can prove to be infuriating.

By adding fruit to a tub of rice, it can help speed the ripening process along. Just ensure you check it regularly so it doesn’t get too ripe and start to rot.

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Get glowing and smooth skin

Working out the right amount of water to boil your rice in can be a work of art, but if you put in too much, don’t just drain it away

Instead, allowing the rice water to cool in the fridge, then wipe it across your skin – rice water effectively doubles as a moisturiser. 

Have you tried any of these tricks with your rice? What else have you used it for?