Turning Your Rice Wash into Fertilizer – EMRW

Filipinos looove to eat rice. We eat rice 3 times a day, 7 times a week. It is the staple food in the Philippines, and right now, you’ll probably have an idea how much rice wash we produce.

Rice wash is basically water that is used to wash rice before cooking. It has a high nutrient content that came from the rice when washed and all this nutrients will go to waste if we simply throw it away. So how do we make use of this rice wash? Its simple, we make it into a fertilizer by ways of fermentation.

The concept of the EMRW or EM-Rice wash is basically fermenting rice wash with EM and molasses. After fermentation, this is a very effective liquid fertilizer with high concentrations of Nitrogen. Its just like making EMAS but with EMRW, its more like an upgraded version of EMAS. Instead of using plain water, with EMRW, we are using rice wash which already contains nutrients essential for plant growth, so with EMRW, we are producing a microbial inoculant and a fertilizer.

Here is how to do it–


1. 1 liter air tight container (preferably soft drink bottles with cap)

2. 30 ml EM-1 concentrate

3. 30 ml molasses

4. 940 ml fresh and uncontaminated Rice wash (1st-3rd rice wash can still be used)


1. Mix the materials in the air tight container

2. Store in a shaded area without direct sunlight. Ferment for 1 week

3. On the third day, gas will start to form inside the bottle so release this gas as it will deform the bottle if left unopened. Seal the cap again after releasing the gas. Continue to do this until the 7th day.

4. EMRW is ready to use when gas formation stops, it gives off a sweet-sour fermented smell and has a light-brown color.

*After the 1 week fermentation, use EMRW within 1 month for best results. After a month, its potency will start to decrease but it can still be used

This can be used to water the plants at the dilution rate of 10 ml of EMRW is to 1 liter of water

So maybe you’ll have to think twice before throwing your rice wash away.


8 Responses to Turning Your Rice Wash into Fertilizer – EMRW

  1. Eduardo Macose Reply

    September 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Very important information of using rice wash

  2. evelyn buitre Reply

    September 16, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Where can we buy EM-1 concentrate? I am from Legazpi City in Bicol. Do you have an outlet here?

  3. Reden Costales Reply

    September 17, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Aside from Costales Nature Farms, Harbest corp. is also a dealer of EM-1 and they have branches nationwide. In Bicol, they have a branch at JL farm station in Naga.

  4. shawie Reply

    December 21, 2012 at 5:30 am

    can we know the if Harbest Corporation have branch in Baguio City or any point of cordillera

  5. Yasith Wickramasinghe Reply

    October 7, 2013 at 6:50 am

    ” I am planning my final research with the topic of “ Alternative Practices for control of pollution associated with rice washing waste water in industries.” Since in Sri Lanka we have lots of Rice product manufacturing industries Like Rice Noodles, String hoppers, Hopers and so on. So the producing quantity of Rice rinse water is very high. Since this matter we have two options Either treat it and release it to the environment or reuse that water for the gardening purpose and the other one is to find a method for manufacturing of some products based on the rinse water.
    While I am searching this matter I fount hat you’re in your organization has done some research based on the fermented rinse rice washed water. I’ll very much thank full to you if you can guide me to find out some details and publications which published on related to same topic. It will definitely make me easy to achieve my goal as well as save our environment by this matter.

  6. David (Happy House Farm) Reply

    July 12, 2014 at 6:29 am

    WOW – this is great info. We use our rice water on our orchids but it’s great to know you can do more with it. Superb!

  7. Kris Rowell F. Gregorio Reply

    August 10, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Can I use rice wash as drinking water of chicken, because I want to use it if posible in my reseach.

    • Reden Costales Reply

      August 16, 2014 at 1:44 am

      we haven’t tried yet but you could experiment and announce your findings here. :)

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