Not just for weddings

Rice is a daily staple in numerous countries around the world. Where some people prefer pasta, bread, or potatoes, many families keep the rice cooker hot all the time. But rice isn't just an economic and nutritious foodstuff, it's also great for absorbing moisture from salt shakers and for tossing over the heads of newlyweds. These are three of the more well-known uses for rice, but they barely scratch the surface for this all-rounder. Here are 12 other ways to use the grain:

Ripen fruit

Unripe fruit will ripen faster if you place it in a bag of uncooked rice. Ripening fruit gives off gases that are trapped by the rice. Use caution with this method or you may well end up with overripe fruit! Don't leave it in for longer than 1 or 2 days.


Store knives

An affordable and stylish alternative to a wooden knife block is placing your knives upright in a glass filled with rice. You may want to put a layer of cardboard or something similar at the bottom of the glass to  prevent the blades from coming into contact with the glass.  


Clean containers with small openings

Dirty coffee pots and vases can be a real hassle to clean, especially if the mouths of the containers are too small to clean out with  a sponge or brush. Try placing a handful of uncooked rice together with soap and water in the container and lightly shake it back and forth. If you're able to close the container, you can shake it a little harder. This will help loosen any dirt or grime before rinsing.


Save your cell phone

It's probably happened to someone you know: Plop, the cell phone falls into the water. You think it's a goner, but a bag of rice may very well save the day. Place your cell phone in a closed bag of uncooked rice after drying the phone as best you can on your own. Remove any batteries or SIM cards and leave the phone in the rice for 24 hours or longer. Perhaps your phone will be alright after all.