Does rice need to be rinsed?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Does rice need to be rinsed?” and tell you why you should rinse your rinse. We will also tell you when you should not rinse your rice. We will also share some methods of rinsing rice and tell you how to properly store rice.

Does rice need to be rinsed?

Yes, rice needs to be rinsed before cooking it. Some people do not rinse the rice and cook it as it is and it works for them.

It depends on your personal choice. We will discuss why you should rinse the rice and when it is ok to not rinse the rice in the next section.

Why should I rinse rice before cooking it?

You should rinse the rice to get rid of the excessive starch on its surface. This is particularly true for long grain white rice. Rinsing off the excess starch prevents them from sticking together during the cooking process and you end up with rice that is separate and fluffy.

Rinsing may also wash off any harmful chemicals such as arsenic. It also removes dirt and can kill and remove any insects present in the rice.

So, these are the reasons why it is advisable to rinse your rice before cooking it.

When should I not rinse the rice?

You can skip rinsing the rice when you have to make a dish where you need the rice to come together and stick together such as risotto. The surface starch helps them come together. A lot of other dishes where stickiness in rice is preferred, rice does not need to be rinsed.

Some rice has been processed with some powder that has nutrients in it so some people say that you should not rinse the rice as this nutritional powder will get washed off.

How do I rinse rice?

We will share 3 methods that you can use to rinse rice according to your own convenience. 

Method #1

  • Take a mesh seiver and put your rice in it.
  • Place it under running cold water and rinse the rice until the water becomes clear.
  • You can also use a bowl to catch the strainer water to check if it is clear or cloudy.

Method #2

  • Take a bowl and place your rice in it.
  • Fill it with water until all the rice is soaked and then add a little more water above that level.
  • Stir it briskly with your finger and drain the water.
  • Repeat it until the water is clear.

Method #3

  • Fill a pot with water and bring the water to a boil.
  • When it starts boiling, add rice in it.
  • Let it boil for a few minutes and then drain all the water.
  • Put the rice back into the pot.
  • Add water to it and let it boil until all the rice is thoroughly cooked.

How to properly store rice?

  1. When unopened, rice can be kept in the pantry in a cool, dry place.
  1. Once opened, rice should be placed inside an airtight jar (preferably glass jar) and kept in a cool, dry, dark place and away from moisture.
  1. If you wish to store rice for longer periods of time, place it in a heavy duty freezer bag and put it in the freezer.
  1. Once cooked, do not leave the rice out for more than two hours.
  1. Place the rice in an airtight container and put it in the fridge. 
  1. Freeze the cooked rice if you wish to store it for a long period of time.

Learn about shelf lives of different types of rice here.

How long can you eat rice after cooking?

You can eat rice after cooking for up to 3-4 days only if they were stored properly in the refrigerator. It should not be left out after cooking for more than 2 hours because bacteria starts to grow at temperatures between 40 degrees F to 140 degrees F, according to USDA.

Other FAQs about Rice that you may be interested in.

What is Arborio rice substitute?

Can you cook rice without a lid?

What rice should I use for cooking sushi?


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Does rice need to be rinsed?” and told you why you should rinse your rinse. We also told you when you should not rinse your rice. We also shared some methods of rinsing rice and told you how to properly store rice.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.