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Some people have told me that it's better to clean a dirty pot (used to cook rice) with cold water, rather than the hot water I use for all the other dishes. What would be the purpose of this?

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Note this is also true with wheat flour mixtures as well, but the reason is different. Cold water will cause the gluten to contract and release its grip from the bowl, making it easier to clean. –  Michael at Herbivoracious Mar 1 '11 at 23:56
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And for the same reason, wash your hands with cold water if you've got (wheat based) dough stuck to them. (Or do what we do; grab some more flour and rub your hands together. Voila ! Clean.) –  daniel Mar 3 '11 at 2:16
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1 Answer

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Residual starches swell up and get sticky in hot water. This doesn't happen with cold water -- In the time it takes to wash a pot.

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Not entirely true. It just happens a lot slower with cold water. (Leave some old pasta or rice soaking overnight in cold water for a practical demonstration.) –  daniel Mar 1 '11 at 23:06
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(Also, I'm not being a douche here, it's just that accuracy is important around these parts) –  daniel Mar 2 '11 at 2:06
    
Granted. Edited to reflect. –  Chris Cudmore Mar 2 '11 at 14:41
    
Nice answer! ;) –  Trufa Mar 2 '11 at 15:28
    
+1 for the edited version. –  daniel Mar 3 '11 at 2:15
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