How to Use Rice to Control Moisture

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Rice has practical, as well as food, applications.

In addition to being an inexpensive staple food, rice has practical applications. Before it is cooked, dried rice has the capacity to absorb a good deal of moisture, making it useful as a food-safe desiccant. By making breathable pouches for your dried rice, you can enjoy the drying benefits of rice without the mess of loose rice strands. Use these drying pouches in containers of dried goods or in any boxes, cabinets or other spaces that need a little reduction in moisture.


Step 1

Determine how big you want the moisture reducer to be for the space you're looking to dry. For most projects, use the largest size you can comfortably fit in the space (within the limits of the size of a large round coffee filter). For small containers (like salt shakers) trace the bottom of the container to make a paper pattern. Cut inside the line when you cut it out; if the container has thick sides, adjust for this when you cut out the paper pattern.


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Step 2

Cut two sheets of coffee filter in the size and shape you want using the paper pattern.

Step 3

Make the coffee filter sheets into a pocket. Line up the two sheets and coat their edges with white glue. Make sure the entire outer edge of one sheet it covered with a line of glue. Leave a single, finger-width gap unglued for stuffing the rice, but otherwise leave no space around the edge unglued. Press the second sheet over the first, lining up the edges and press the outside edge with your finger to join the pieces.


Step 4

Fill the filter pocket with dry rice. Use just enough rice to fill the inside of the pocket without making it bulge too much; overall, the rice stuffing should be about 1/4 inch thick when it's spread out over the filter sheet.

Step 5

Glue the gap in the filter pocket closed.


Step 6

Place the packet in the space you want dehumidified. Insert it in the bottom of an empty container before filling the container with dry goods. In larger spaces (like pantries or boxes), tape the packet to a inside wall or surface using a rolled piece of masking tape.

Step 7

Replace the rice packet as soon as you notice it starting to lose its effectiveness; you'll know the rice has absorbed all the moisture it can once the items in the container start to clump or feel moist again.

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