How to Make Rice Water in Emergencies

While preparing for the time when crisis comes, there are two important points to keep top of mind.

First, choose food products and emergency gear that can serve more than one purpose. Versatility in your preparedness stockpile saves space, making room for more resources. Plus, evaluating all the ways you can use and reuse your supplies will help you make the most of what you have.

Second, consider simple solutions. Back in times of old, there weren’t the same supplements, medicines, cleaners, and other conveniences available as there are today. Our ancestors made do with what they had and discovered alternative treatments and solutions for common ailments and problems.

Rice is a food product that checks both items off the list. A food lifeline with a long shelf life that can be mixed into all sorts of meals, rice makes an excellent addition to your emergency food supply.

But the water left behind after preparing rice is just as versatile and valuable as rice itself! Keep reading to discover what rice water is, rice water benefits, and how to make rice water in emergencies.

Wood bowl filled with milky rice water, a wood spoon sitting in the middle.

What Is Rice Water?

Rice water is precisely what it sounds like: water that is left behind after boiling rice.

But let’s get a little more specific.

Rice is a starch. In fact, rice contains about 80 to 90 percent starch. Being a complex carbohydrate, starch plays a crucial role in the diets of people all around the world. Starch-filled foods—like rice, wheat, and potatoes—are a staple for a reason. They’re a reliable source of energy, especially in an emergency.

However, providing energy is not the only purpose a starch like rice serves when disaster strikes. After preparing rice, set aside and store the remaining water to use for various ailments, home maintenance, and wellness boosts.

Rice Water Benefits

Wondering what rice water can do for your family in an emergency? Here are some of the best rice water benefits:

A person in a brown shirt and denim jeans holding their stomach in pain.

Soothe the Stomach

Because rice is such a bland starch, rice water can settle an upset stomach. Whether someone in your circle is suffering from a stomach bug or simply ate something they shouldn’t have, drinking rice water can calm the stomach’s storm.

Rice water can treat other tummy troubles, too. Take a sip to alleviate nausea, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.

Receive Much-Needed Nutrition

Not feeling up to eating? Rice water can provide much-needed nutrition without stirring up the stomach.

For those who struggle to eat in general, rice water can take on a gruel-like consistency. This makes it easier to sustain those who have a hard time swallowing or feeding themselves.

Fight Dehydration

Suffering from sickness or not keeping up on your water intake, dehydration can lead to debilitating side effects.

Some studies have shown that rice water can effectively prevent and treat dehydration. In fact, it may work just as well as an electrolyte solution would! During times when pharmacies and drug stores are limited or closed altogether, having rice water on hand can be an essential substitute.

Rinse Fish

Camping out after an emergency evacuation? You might be turning to the nearest lake or stream, fishing for food.

To tackle the fish with a funky smell, place the fish in a pot of rice water. Let it soak for half an hour or so. Doing this will draw out the scaley stench as well as the excess salt. After the rice water treatment, cook up your catch and savor a better flavor!

Thicken Soups

Don’t dump that water down the drain! When most chefs cook up pasta, the remaining water is stirred into the sauce. This thickens the sauce, makes it more robust, and adds a rich flavor.

You can do the same with rice water. Mix it into soups, stews, and sauces to maximize thickness and taste.

A person washing a white dish in a white sink, water coming from a silver faucet.

Clean the House

Rice water can act as a cleaning aid when cleaning agents are hard to access.

To clean glass and mirrors, pour rice water into a spray bottle. Spray the surface you intend to clean, then wipe it all away with a dry cloth.

To wash dishes, use rice water in place of standard dish soap. While this solution should work well in most cases, heavy grease and greasy residue might require a stronger soap for full removal.

Water Plants

Growing a garden is an essential step toward self-sufficiency and food security.

Rice water is rich with nutrients, making it a natural fertilizer. Help your garden grow and flourish with this enriched alternative to plain ol’ water!

A bare-faced woman putting her hand on her face and smiling.

Heal the Face and Hair

One of the most popular modern uses for rice water is on the face and hair.

Since rice water is a cleansing agent, it can clean the skin and help clear it of any acne. Just cleanse with rice water, then rinse with warm water.

Rice water is well-known for promoting hair health, too. Rinse hair with rice water to detangle it, make it stronger and longer, add shine, and keep the color. Rice water can be a helpful hair treatment when hairdressers are far and few between!

How to Make Rice Water

There are a few different methods for making rice water. All are effective, just choose the one that makes the most sense according to your circumstances.

Here are some simple instructions on how to make rice water:

Method 1: Boiling

  1. Pour 2 tablespoons of rice and 1 cup of water into a pot. Do not add salt, butter, or anything else.
  2. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Boil the rice until it is tender.
  4. Strain the rice and add it to soup, casserole, or another meal as intended.
  5. The remaining milky liquid is rice water.

For thicker rice water, boil the rice longer than usual. To thin it, add more water. Be sure to let cool before using, especially for medicinal purposes. It can be consumed warm or cold.

Click here for more details on this method.

Method 2: Soaking

  1. Thoroughly rinse 1/2 cup of uncooked rice.
  2. Pour the rice into a bowl along with 2 to 3 cups of water.
  3. Leave the rice to soak for 30 minutes.
  4. Strain the remaining rice water into a clean bowl.

Method 3: Fermenting

  1. Thoroughly rinse 1/2 cup of uncooked rice.
  2. Pour the rice into a bowl along with 2 to 3 cups of water.
  3. Leave the rice to soak and stand at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  4. Strain the remaining rice water into a clean bowl.

Click here for more details on the soaking and fermenting methods.

White rice soaking in a black pot, a silver spoon pulling rice out of it.

Rice: Your Crisis Companion

As you build your preparedness pantry, add rice to the top of the list.

Our White Rice is packaged for long-term storage, lasting up to 30 years in the appropriate conditions. One can contains over five times the amount of food you’d find inside a standard soup can. That’s more than enough to feed the whole family, and then some!

To learn more about rice and how it can come to your aid in an emergency situation, be sure to take a look at this article.

1 comment

Gloria Medina

Gloria Medina

Great article! Thanks first I’ve heard the benefit and uses .God Bless us all.

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