Why Is My Rice Bubbling Like Soap? Know the Causes!

You may have seen while cooking rice large soapy bubbles forming and flowing out of the cooker, creating a mess, and wondering what is going on.

So, the question you have is why is my rice bubbling like soap.

Your rice is likely bubbling like soap due to the starch content in it. Other possible reasons could be a lighter lid, excessive water, or putting in too much rice before cooking. To prevent this, you could opt for rice varieties with lower starch content or try rinsing the rice before cooking.

But that is not all, in this article we have all the reasons that can create this problem and every possible solution for it. Read through to find out. 

Explaining The Reason Behind Rice Bubbling

why is my rice bubbling

Let’s find out the reasons of rice bubbling like soap as we explained what’s flash rice on a rice cooker previously. When the rice is boiled during cooking, starch molecules inside its grains absorb water and expand until they burst. Water becomes gel-like due to the starch molecules.

When bubbles form due to water heating, this starch coating the bubbles will make them look “soapy”. With the increase in temperature and pressure inside the cooker, the bubbles expand and “bubble out” of the cooker by pushing off the lid. 

Take a look at the common causes that can result in excessive soapy bubbling in rice. The solution to each issue is also listed. 

Causes of Rice BubblingPossible Solutions
Too much starch in riceUse different rice with less starchWash the rice properly before cooking.
Too much waterFill the rice cooker as per its capacity. Cook at low heat. 
Too much riceUse the correct water to rice ratio.
Lid of the rice cooker is too light Get a replacement lid  Try alternative hacks.

Possible causes and their solutions

Here we examine the issues causing bubbling in detail and their possible remedies. 

Too Much Water:

Since the bubbles in rice cooking are formed mainly due to the water, excess water will cause excess bubbles. When the water level exceeds the capacity of the cooker, more steam and pressure is created than normal. This steam and pressure help the bubbles to move the lid and flow out. During high water levels, the bubble easily reaches the lid.


You should use certain amount of water to avoid rice bubbling like soap. Find the user manual for your rice cooker. If you don’t have the original one that came with the purchase, you can find it online. 

The manual contains the recommended capacity of water for the cooker, which you should adhere to strictly to avoid any bubbling problems.

Also, If you are in the middle of cooking and think that you have already used too much water, cook the rice on low heat. This will give the rice time to cook and fewer bubbles will be formed. As a result, the soapy bubble issue will not occur due to a reduction in steam and pressure.

Too Much Rice:

As commonly known, rice expands upon cooking. Hence, if too much rice is put in,  it will take up more room in the cooker. This leaves the steam that is created nowhere to go. As a result, pressure builds up. This pressure gives the bubbles in the cooker the push needed to move the lid and get out. 


To prevent bubbling over from happening for too much rice, the correct water to rice ratio has to be used. For every 2 parts of water, 1 part of rice has to be used. To cook rice that is firmer, use ⅔ parts rice for every part water. 

Highly Starchy Rice:

Starch is the component of rice that enables the bubbles to become large and soapy. Therefore, the more the starch content in rice, the soapier the bubbles, and the greater the chances of boiling over.

The two types of starch found in rice are amylose and amylopectin. Out of these two types, amylose is more difficult to break down. Hence, amylose-containing rice releases less starch while cooking, therefore the bubbles do not get the starch coating needed for becoming soapy. 


If you choose to cook a variety of rice rich in starch, you must wash it thoroughly to avoid soapy bubbles forming. Washing rinses off the coating of starch on rice grains. So, it is advised to wash the rice two to three times before cooking.

If you have the freedom to choose alternative rice varieties, you should choose the rice type that is high in amylose starch content. 

Low Grain Vs Medium Or Short Grain Rice:

Rice that has long grains contains amylose of 20 to 24%. Medium or short grain rice on the other hand has 16 to 18 % amylose. As explained before, rice with more amylose is desirable for preventing soapy bubbles, so long grain rice should be chosen hence. 

Here is a list of long grain rice types for you to choose from:

Rice TypeUses
Basmati -Indian or Pakistani rice dishes. -Simple plain rice. 
AromaticFragrant rice dishes.
JasmineThai or Vietnamese rice dishes.
Toro Cajun rice dishes.

Lid Not Working:

If you have a lid on your rice cooker that is too light, the boiling over issue is a big problem then. When the water is heated and steam and pressure begin to accumulate, more bubbles are created. When enough pressure has built up inside the cooker, it makes the bubbles push off the lid and flow out. 


To solve an incompetent lid issue, you may call your rice cooker manufacturer and ask for a replacement lid. If that does not work, you can try placing a weight on top of the lid while cooking to prevent it from toppling over. 

Alternatively, you can choose to buy a rice cooker with a lid locking system. These rice cookers have a fixed lid, meaning that the lid won’t fall off while cooking. Also, if you want to make some fried rice, pick one of the best woks on the market.

Tips to Prevent Your Rice From Bubbling Over in a Pot

why is my rice cooker bubbling over

When you do not have a rice cooker, the soapy bubble issue may still be a problem for you. So, here are a few tips to cook your rice without the hassle of a boil over. 

  • Enusre the pot you use is big enough to hold the rice and water without filling it to the brim. As a general rule, the pot should be about twice the volume of the rice you are cooking. Also, do not use short pots like pans to cook rice.
  • Before cooking, rinse the rice thoroughly in a strainer under cold running water to remove excess starch. This will help prevent the rice from boiling over.
  • Cook the rice on low heat. Once the water has come to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. This will create a gentle simmer and prevent the rice from boiling over. Alternatively, you can use smart rice cooker that automatically knows when to reduce the heat and stop
  • Put in one to two tablespoons of oil or butter for 2 cups of rice while cooking the rice. The oil or butter creates a layer on top of the water that helps to keep the bubbles from forming and rising to the surface.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What Happens If You Overcook Rice? 

If you overcook rice it becomes soggy with water. Cooking for a long time allows a lot of water to be taken up by the rice. As a result, the grains of rice expand until they break. Since the rice grains are broken, the rice has a mushy, sticky texture. 

How Long Does It Take For Rice To Cook?

Given that you are cooking white rice, it will take 15 to 25 minutes to complete cooking. You will know it is completely cooked if you see all the water has evaporated and the rice looks soft and white. 

Why Is My Basmati Rice Sticky?

Your Basmati rice may be too sticky because it was cooked with too much water. To fix this, take it in a larger pot and add some water, and cook on low heat. Or, it could be because it was overcooked or stirred too much while cooking. Then, you should wash it with cold water to fix it.


To sum up, that should answer all your doubts related to the query “Why is my rice bubbling like soap?”. Follow the solutions and tips in the article to get perfectly cooked rice without soap bubble problems. Good luck!

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