Guest Author - Michelle Lee
Consumed as part of a stable diet, rice is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, iron, and potassium. However, the benefits of rice are not limited to our dietary intake. Rice water, which is really the by-product of the process of preparing rice, is also a valuable substance that can be used in many ways in our daily life. In this article, you will discover several common uses of rice water.
When we cook rice, we rinse the rice with clean cold water to remove any dirt and sediments. It is common to see the water used to rinse the rice is then poured away.
One of the fundamental ethics of the Chinese people is to minimise wastage, for everything has its use. Rice water is no different. So the next time you cook rice, save the water that you used to rinse the rice, and try using them in the following ways:
Rice water as fertiliser
Considering the amount of vitamins and minerals that are present in rice, it will come as no surprise that when clean we rinse the rice, some of traces of the vitamins and minerals will be transferred into the water. So rather than pouring it into the sink, next time use them to water your plants. This will help to make the colour of the plants more vibrant.
Rice water as detergent and surfactant
Rice contains starch. When we rinse the rice with water, some starch remains in the water used to rinse the rice, hence the water turns cloudy and white.
Starch contains properties that help to remove grease and they water-soluble, which means that these properties can be further enhanced through heat. So by heating and warming the rice water, you can turn them into helpful natural detergent and surfactant. Below are several ways you can use them:
To clean grease
Have you ever had a hard time trying to clean greasy glass bottles? The next time, pour some warm rice water into the bottle, secure the cap and shake it vigorously for 10 seconds and pour the water out. This will help to remove the grease. You can then rinse the bottle with mild detergent to remove any traces of sediments.
Food with strong aromas such as seafood, mutton and certain spices and herbs can leave a stench on the chopping board and utensils used to prepare them. One of the simpler way to deodorise the utensils before your next use is to soak them in warm rice water for about 10 minutes prior to washing with mild detergent.
Similarly, wiping newly painted furniture and walls with a coat of rice water can help to lessen its smell.
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