How Long Does Rice Water Last

Rice water, often referred to as rice cooking water or rice rinse water, is a versatile and resourceful liquid used for various purposes throughout history. Whether you’re using it for cooking, skincare, or haircare, understanding its shelf life and proper storage is essential to maximize its benefits and ensure safety. This comprehensive guide will explore how long rice water lasts, how to store it, and how to use it effectively.

What is Rice Water?

Rice water is the liquid that remains after cooking or rinsing rice. It contains nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that can benefit internal and external use. There are two primary types of rice water:

Cooked Rice Water: This is the water left over from cooking rice. It is often cloudy and starchy due to the starches released from the rice during cooking.

Rinsed Rice Water: This is used to rinse uncooked rice before cooking. It is usually clearer than cooked rice water and contains fewer starches.

How Long Does Cooked Rice Water Last?

The shelf life of cooked rice water depends on several factors, including how it’s stored and whether it’s exposed to contaminants. Here’s a general guideline:

Refrigeration: Cooked rice water can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. After this period, it may develop an off smell or taste, indicating spoilage.

Freezing: To extend the shelf life, you can freeze cooked rice water. Please place it in an airtight container or ice cube tray and store it in the freezer. When properly frozen, it can last for up to 6 months. However, the texture may change upon thawing.

How Long Does Rinsed Rice Water Last?

Rinsed rice water has a shorter shelf life compared to cooked rice water because it contains fewer starches. Here’s what you need to know:

Refrigeration: Rinsed rice water should also be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It is best used within 24 hours to ensure freshness. After that, it may lose nutrients and become less effective.

Freezing: While you can freeze rinsed rice water, it’s less common due to its limited shelf life. If you freeze it, use it within 1-2 months for optimal results.

Signs of Spoilage

Whether it’s cooked rice water or rinsed rice water, it’s essential to check for signs of spoilage before using it. Signs of spoiled rice water include:

Foul Odor: If the rice water smells off, sour, or has a rancid odor, it’s best to discard it.

Unusual Texture: Rice water with an unusual texture, such as clumps or separation, should not be used.

Mold or Discoloration: Do not use the rice water if you notice any mold growth or significant discoloration.

Proper Storage Tips

To maximize the shelf life of rice water, follow these storage tips:

Use Clean Utensils: Always use clean utensils and containers when handling rice water to prevent contamination.

Airtight Containers: Store rice water in airtight containers to minimize exposure to air, which can accelerate spoilage.

Label and Date: Consider labelling the container with the date when you prepared the rice water to help you keep track of its freshness.

Keep it Cool: Store rice water in the refrigerator as soon as possible after preparing it to slow down the growth of bacteria.

Avoid Repeated Temperature Changes: Limit the number of times you take rice water in and out of the refrigerator or freezer to maintain its quality.

Ways to Use Rice Water

Rice water is known for its versatility and potential benefits. Here are some common uses:

Culinary Uses

As a cooking liquid for rice or other grains to enhance flavour and nutrition.

In soups, stews, and sauces, add depth and thickness.

Baking substitutes some or all of the water, providing moisture and tenderness to baked goods.


As a facial toner or cleanser to improve skin’s texture and brightness.

In DIY face masks to soothe and hydrate the skin.

In bathwater, create a nourishing soak for the skin.


As a hair rinse to improve hair texture and shine.

Hair masks to promote hair growth and reduce frizz.

Plant Care

As a natural fertilizer for houseplants or garden plants, it is rich in nutrients that can benefit plant growth.

Medicinal Uses

It is a remedy for various ailments, although its effectiveness in treating specific conditions may vary.

Remember that the application and benefits of rice water can differ depending on whether you’re using cooked or rinsed rice water, so choose the type that suits your intended use.


Cooked rice water can be refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 6 months.

Rinsed rice water should be used within 24 hours if refrigerated or within 1-2 months if frozen.

Always check for signs of spoilage before using rice water.

Proper storage in airtight containers, labelling, and cleanliness are essential for maintaining rice water’s freshness.

Rice water is a versatile liquid with various culinary, skincare, haircare, and plant care applications, each offering unique benefits.

By properly storing and using rice water, you can make the most of this resourceful liquid in your daily life while ensuring safety and freshness.

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