What To Do With Expired Brown Rice: Don’t Throw It Out Yet!

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Raw brown rice in a bowl with a text "What to do with expired brown rice?"

I’m not about to recommend you eat expired brown rice, but you can repurpose it in many ways. If you’re wondering what to do with expired brown rice, you’ll find plenty of creative ideas here. I’m sure at least one of them will spark your interest.

If the expiration date is recent, you may still be able to eat it. Just make sure you check it thoroughly for any signs of spoilage. We’ve covered how to tell if brown rice has gone bad here. But if you’re on the fence, staying safe is best.

How can I use expired brown rice?

Just because you can’t eat it doesn’t mean you can’t use it. Try one of these creative non-food applications for zero waste:

Compost it

If you have a compost pile, you can add expired brown rice to it. Expired brown rice provides fantastic nutrients to the soil as it decomposes. Even though you can’t consume the rice, you can still utilize it for your garden.

Feed it to chickens

As long as you don’t see any mold on the rice, chickens can eat it. If you have some chickens on your farm or homestead, don’t be afraid to feed them old or expired rice (cooked or uncooked). Those little dinosaurs can eat pretty much anything.

Make an exfoliating scrub

Don’t have a garden or farm? Don’t worry, there are many other uses for expired brown rice. For starters, you can make a homemade exfoliating scrub.

To make an exfoliating scrub from expired rice, simply grind the brown rice with a coffee grinder or food processor until it’s as fine as possible. Then, add water to make it into a paste. Now you can use it to exfoliate your body and expose super soft skin.

You can also add oils for moisturization, like coconut or almond oil, and add some drops of essential oil for a lovely aroma. Make it as luxurious as you wish.

Decorate your home

You can add a rustic feel to your home décor by filling glass vases with brown rice. Top them with dried flowers or branches for a touch of nature anyone in your home can’t help but appreciate. 

Brown rice also makes a great base for candle holders. Apart from how it looks, I love that the rice elevates the candle—that way, you avoid burning yourself when lighting the wick.

Sew stuffed toys or bean bags

Brown rice makes a comfy filling for large bean bags. It’s also great for small bean bags (the ones you can juggle with).

You can also use it to fill DIY stuffed toys for your kids or animal friends. Use it to stuff dolls or place brown rice in a sturdy fabric pouch and securely seal it. Now your cat or dog can bat it around.

As a bonus, you can also use expired brown rice in sensory play activities for children. Place the rice in a cup and set it next to cups filled with rocks, sand, salt, etc. Have kids close their eyes and guess what’s inside just by touch.

Fun farm holidays for families: Kids play in crops, tossing rice seeds in the air. It's all about farming, food, and fun!


I remember in kindergarten, we’d use rice and other grains to make textured drawings. We’d draw lines and shapes with glue and then “color” with grains and sand. 

You can even color the rice before or after with paints or food dye—let your inner child shine through!

DIY heating pad

Did you know you can make a DIY rice heating pad in 3 minutes? Just fill a long sock with rice and tie it at the top. Then, heat it in the microwave in 1-minute intervals until it’s as warm as you like.

Use the rice heating pad to soothe sore muscles or stomach aches. If you want to make a bigger heating pad, check out this easy tutorial.

Take Precautions

Before using expired rice for any of these endeavors, make sure you wash it and dry it. This way, you’ll eliminate invisible mold, dust, and dirt that could ruin your art project or upset your chickens’ tummies.

Small burlap bag holds brown rice.

What can I do with bad brown rice?

Expired brown race may have traces of mold that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Make sure you wash the rice and it will be perfectly safe for non-food purposes. However, if you can see mold growth, dispose of the grains immediately.

You don’t want your artwork, bean bags, candle holders, or anything lying around the house to have mold. Remember—when in doubt, toss it out.

Saniya Baxi Avatar


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