How to Remove Burned Sugar From a Pan

Updated July 19, 2017

You may use a pan to create delights such as caramel, pralines and toffee. These popular holiday confections require the use of various ingredients, including sugar. Mistakes may happen though, especially in the rush of holiday activities. The mixture can burn, leaving a caked-up, hardened sugar crust that seems one with the pan. Your pan is rendered unusable unless this crust can be released. Thankfully, there is a solution for salvaging your pan, using simple water and detergent.

Fill the burnt pan with a mixture of water and dish-washing detergent. Use a few drops of detergent for each cup of water used.

Place the pan on the stove and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for about 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the pan sit with the water for at least 30 minutes to release the caked sugar. Wipe the pan clean using a towel. Use a scrubbing pad for stubborn spots.


As an alternative to dish-washing detergent, soak your pan overnight in a mixture of salt water using ΒΌ tsp of salt for each cup of water. Boil the mixture the next day until the stain releases from the pan.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish-washing detergent
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About the Author

Willa Dunn has been writing since 1970. She has written website content as well as technical documentation, poetry and fiction. She specializes in gardening and technology-related articles. Dunn attended Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois, studying photography and computer science. She enjoys home gardening.