riceCall me nerdy, but I really like rice. There's a vast variety of rice out there, with actual flavors and all kind of colors. True story! But rice is so much more than that starchy accompaniments to beans or stir-fry. Rice has all sorts of uses that may surprise you. Join us on an exciting journey through the wonders of rice. Here's 7 things you can do with the grains before you even start cooking them.

1. Rice Sock: You can make your very own rice sock, a compress that can be chilled or heated and then used to soothe sore muscles or burns. Just fill a sock with uncooked rice and secure it.

2. Clean your coffee grinder: It's a good idea to clean out your coffee grinder every so often just to keep your flavors fresh. And I like to use my grinder for spices, sometimes. So if you really want to soak up those coffee bean oils, wipe out the inside with a clean cloth, grind about three tablespoons of uncooked rice, and then wipe it all out again with a clean cloth.

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3. Un-clump your salt shakers: If you live in a humid climate, you may have seen this trick at restaurant tables. To keep the salt in your shaker from clumping, add a few grains of uncooked rice. The grains are too big to fall out of the shaker holes, but they soak up the moisture that would otherwise cause your salt to clump together.

4. ER for your wet cellphone: This winter I accidentally dropped my cellphone in the snow. Oh no! I quickly ran downstairs with it and buried it into a bag of rice. And to my astonishment, after a few minutes in there, my cellphone was just fine. Phew!

5. Rice face scrub: Rice makes an excellent exfoliant. Here's a recipe for making your own rice face scrub with lemon juice and baking soda. And here's a few more DIY rice scrub ideas.

6. Colored play rice: You can actually dye rice using food coloring for kids to play with -- kind of like a sand box.

7. Rice Rain Sticks: You can use rice to make rain sticks. Exciting! See the video below.

Do you have any other ideas for non-edible uses for rice?