Why Do You Wash Rice? (Reasons, Benefits + Other Related FAQs)

Washing rice has become part of most people’s daily cooking routine. If you consume rice daily, the is a high chance that you wash your rice by reflex.

If you’re exploring different rice varieties, you might be wondering whether every rice should be washed, and why you wash the rice in the first place. Here’s what I found!

Why Do You Wash Rice?

Rice is washed mainly because the surface starch from the grains needs to be removed. When the surface starch is not removed, the rice becomes too sticky when cooked. Additionally, rinsing rice over and over removes additional dirt and debris that may have been mixed with the rice, and this ensures that the rice’s taste won’t be compromised.

In case you’re curious to learn more about the reason rice must be washed and whether it’s necessary to wash every kind of rice, keep on reading!

What Happens If You Don’t Wash Rice?

When rice isn’t washed before cooking, the surface starch will gelatinize in the rice cooker or the saucepan. Consequently, the rice grains will become too gummy.

Moreover, neglecting to wash rice can result in chemicals, bugs, dirt, and debris being cooked alongside the grains.

Apart from possibly influencing the taste of your rice, the unwanted items mixed with your rice can also pose health risks.

Does Soaking Rice Remove Arsenic?

Rice has a high arsenic content, and soaking the rice overnight can reduce the arsenic in the grains before you begin cooking.

Additionally, rinsing the rice thoroughly after pre-soaking the rice ensures that the arsenic is flushed out and this method works in nearly all rice variants.

Does Washing Rice Remove Bacteria?

Washing the rice before you cook the rice can effectively remove most bacteria from the grains and make the rice safer to consume.

Additionally, while cooking the rice can kill the remaining bacteria, studies show that some types of bacteria may survive.

As such, it is important to note that rinsing rice doesn’t guarantee that such bacteria will be completely eradicated. Practicing other food safety measures is still advisable.

Does Washing Rice Remove Nutrients?

Contrary to popular belief, washing rice doesn’t remove the nutrients that the grains contain. However, that doesn’t mean excessive washing is okay.

When you overdo the rinsing of your rice, you risk removing their water-soluble B vitamins.

This is especially true with polished enriched white rice because some of the vitamins they contain are sprayed on the grains’ surface and are at risk of being washed away

Do You Have To Wash Jasmine Rice?

If the Jasmine rice is visibly contaminated with dirt and debris, washing the Jasmine rice is necessary. Otherwise, you can cook Jasmine rice without rinsing it.

Rinsing Jasmine rice is not recommended because rinsing doesn’t make the Jasmine rice fluffier.

Additionally, when you rinse Jasmine rice, you have to reduce the amount of water you use to cook the Jasmine rice by around two tablespoons.

Otherwise, the Jasmine rice will become waterlogged and therefore too gummy.

How Long To Rinse Rice?

How Long To Rinse Rice?

There’s no ideal amount of time for rinsing rice because rice comes in different forms and packaging, and some may be cleaner or more refined than others.

While it is a long-held belief that you should rinse the rice until the water is clear, this is not always true. Often, you should only rinse the rice until the water is partially clear.

When the rice is naturally soft and has no visible contaminants, the rice is often cooked without washing.

Do You Rinse Rice With Hot Or Cold Water After Cooking?

Generally, you shouldn’t rinse rice at all after cooking. When you rinse the rice with warm or cool water, it should be done before you expose the grains to any heat.

Rinsing rice once the rice has been cooked only makes the rice soggy and unappetizing.

Do You Have To Wash Minute Rice?

Since minute rice is precooked, there’s no need to rinse it. If you rinse minute rice, the cooking time will be compromised and the rice can end up mushy.

Do You Have To Wash Parboiled Rice?

Parboiled rice should not be washed because it is precooked. When you rinse pre-cooked rice, the rice can end up stickier than it should be.

Do You Have To Rinse Basmati Rice?

While Basmati rice needs to be rinsed before cooking, you don’t have to keep rinsing the Basmati rice until the water is clear.

It is enough to rinse the Basmati rice a couple of times until you’re sure the grains have no lingering contaminants and the excess starch have been flushed out.

Do You Have To Wash Rice For Risotto?

Arborio rice, which is the rice used to make Risotto, doesn’t need to be rinsed before cooking.

When you rinse Arborio rice, you risk losing the starchiness that Risotto is known for. To make sure that the Arborio rice is contaminant-free, store it in a safe place before cooking.

Do You Have To Wash Rice In The UK?

Whether rice bought in the UK should be rinsed depends on the type of rice you’re cooking. Generally, converted or precooked rice should not be washed.

However, raw grains like the typical long-grain white rice that most people eat should always be rinsed properly to make the rice safer to eat and less sticky.

Why Do You Wash Sushi Rice?

Sushi rice is washed to remove the excess starch in Japanese rice. Japanese rice has such a high starch content that it can easily become too sticky if not rinsed properly.

Additionally, removing the excess starch ensures that the rice won’t become glue-like when the rice is mixed with sushi vinegar.

Take a look at our other articles to learn why your rice is bubbling, why your rice is pink, and what bamboo rice is.


Washing rice is a good practice that ensures the rice is safe to consume and gets the right degree of starchiness once cooked.

However, not all types of rice need to be washed. Pre-cooked rice can be cooked without rinsing, and oftentimes, the case is the same with Jasmine rice.

If you’re not sure whether to rinse a specific type of rice, it is best to consult the packaging or a reliable recipe to get the ideal taste and consistency from the rice.

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