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How to Get Hard Candy Out of a Pan? Easy Tips

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You made some caramel candy for the pudding you were craving. Now the sticky mess in your pan is ruining your appetite? Trust me, we’ve all been there.

How to get hard candy out of a pan? 

Fill your pan with water and start boiling it. You’ll eventually find all the hard candy melting and getting dissolved in the water. At one point you’ll see that there is no more hard candy stuck on the pan. Then throw away the water and scrub your pan with a regular sponge and dishwashing liquid.

That’s not it, we’ve got more for you. Below you’ll find more details and a few more helpful alternatives. Keep reading to learn them all!

Why is Hard Candy Tough to Remove?

You have tons of options when you attempt to make candy at your home. Caramel, Butterscotch, Cinnamon, Coffee- you just have to pick the one you prefer.

Whatever the flavor of your candy or sauce, the main ingredient of it is sugar. You prepare the candy by melting the sugar. Once you’re done adding it to your dessert, it starts to crystallize.

Within a few minutes, the candy fully hardens and the leftover in the pan turns into a hard, glue-like layer. Moisture and humidity cause candy to become sticky, which seems like a nightmare when you try to remove it.

Now if you’re thinking of scrubbing away the hard candy using a ball of steel wool, let me stop you right there. Whatever your pan type, saute or wok, don’t attempt to scrub it if you don’t want your pan all scratched and ruined.

So instead of wasting your time and ruining your pan, follow the life-saving methods we’re about to provide you. So, keep reading!

How to get Hard Candy Out of a Pan? Magical Methods

Taking off Hard Candy from your pan might seem like an impossible mission if you don’t know the right ways of doing it. Also, there is the risk of your pan losing its functionality if you apply the wrong methods. 

After melting candy in your favorite Crock-Pot Little Dipper, if you start to clean Crock Pot Little Dipper aggressively with a rough scrubber, I’m sure you won’t be happy with the results.

So, to prevent any kind of disasters from happening, we’re here with the perfect solutions to this issue.

Let’s waste no more time and jump right in!

Melt the Hard Candy By Boiling Water in the Pan

Among the different methods of removing hard candy from a pan, this is the quickest and most effective one.

Fill your pan with water, turn on the stove at full volume and wait for it to start boiling. Once the water starts to boil, you’ll notice that the hard candy is gradually coming off and getting mixed with the water.

Within some time, you’ll see that there is no more hard candy stuck on the pan’s inner surface. At that point, pour away the water into the sink and clean the pan using a sponge and dishwashing liquid.

Just a reminder: If you have other utensils like a spoon or spatula with hard candy on them, don’t forget to put those in the boiling water as well.

And that’s it! Your pan and all your utensils are free of the stubborn hard candy!

However, be very careful about your own safety throughout the process. Don’t put in too much water, as it can spill out when it’ll start to boil. Also, pans tend to slide a lot on the stove, so handle the pan with utmost caution.

This is undoubtedly the best method of removing hard candy from any kind of cooking pan.

But this isn’t the only method. We have a few more for you that you may find useful as well. Keep reading!

Use a Spoon or a Knife to Scrape the Candy off

You can use a spoon or the blunt side of a knife to scrape off the hard candy from your pan. But that might make things messier and it’s quite time-consuming as well.

So what you need to do is prep your pan first with a little bit of heat.

Put the pan back on the stove and keep it on a very low flame. You must be careful about regulating the heat properly. Because high heat can cause the candy to burn, which will make your pan’s sticky situation even worse.

You just need to warm up your pan a little bit. If you’re not confident about doing it on a stove then don’t risk it. You can put your pan in the oven and that’ll do the job.

Heat your pan until your hard candy slightly softens up. But don’t cause it to liquefy. Then you’ll see that you’re able to effortlessly scrape the candy off using a spoon or the blunt side of a knife.

You won’t get a spotlessly clean pan using this method. But I can assure you whatever bits of candy you’ll have left on the pan, that’s something you can handle using a mesh dishcloth.

Be careful about the knife though! Don’t pick on the candy using the knife’s sharp side, as it will form scratches on your pan. If it’s a non-stick pan then you must be extra careful.

Use Baking Soda on the Hard Candy

Using baking soda to remove stubborn grease from utensils has been a popular method for a very long time. It’s quite effective at removing all kinds of difficult mess, including hardened sugar candy.

This method is not at all complicated in case you’re thinking it is. 

All you need to do is sprinkle baking soda on top of the hard candy on your pan. Then add a little bit of water and mix it properly till you get a paste-like consistency.

Usually, people leave baking soda paste on grimy surfaces for about 15 mins. But since hard candy is very difficult to remove, we’d suggest that you leave it on for about an hour.

Baking soda is a very good cleaning agent. So it disintegrates tough grease or stains. So in a matter of time, your hard candy will lose its stubbornness. 

Using a mesh dishcloth, scrub on the hard candy to find it coming off easily. Once you’re done taking off all the hard candy, clean it finally with a regular dishwashing liquid.

Here are some of the best dishcloths currently available in the market.

Product 1
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These are the finest in terms of quality that’ll help you effortlessly clean your utensils.

Using Vinegar Solution

Vinegar is widely used for cleaning tough stains and grease from utensils. Its acidic composition is very effective at dissolving thick layers of grime from pots, pans, and utensils. 

But there’s a downside to using vinegar solutions for cleaning metal pots and pans. 

Using acidic solutions like vinegar can cause corrosion in metal pans, especially stainless steel if used for cleaning. The same goes for lime juice or any other acidic formula. 

However, using vinegar once in a while in the right method won’t cause any harm. So if you want to use vinegar to remove hard candy from your pan, let me tell you the appropriate way of doing it.

Pour about half a cup of vinegar into the pan and dilute it using water. Let the vinegar solution rest for 10 minutes, not more than that. Then wash away the vinegar and scrub off the loose hard candy with a mesh dishcloth.

To get the best results, boil water in that pan before applying vinegar solution. 

Fill up the Pan with Water and Leave it Overnight

This is an age-old method of removing dirt and grease from kitchen utensils.

If you’re too lazy to work on your pan immediately after using it for making candy, fill it up with water and leave it overnight.

This may not be as effective as the other methods. But you surely won’t be disappointed when you see your pan in the morning.

A good amount of the hard candy will loosen up. So it won’t be too hard for you to scrub off the remaining of it. 

That’s all!


Does baking soda cause corrosion in stainless steel?

No. Baking soda doesn’t cause corrosion in stainless steel. It is earth-friendly and absolutely safe to use on all types of metals.

What makes removing hardened sugar candy even more difficult?

The sugar in the hardened sugar candy makes it even more difficult to be removed. The longer you leave your hard candy in dry condition, the harder it’ll be to remove.

Does freezing help remove hard candy from pans easily?

Yes! After freezing your hard candy for a good few hours, hit it using candy hammers and you’ll find it breaking apart.

Final Words

After this huge discussion on how to get hard candy out of a pan, it’s time to part ways.

We’ve provided you with the most effective ways of solving this issue and explained it as simply as we could for your easy understanding.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you were able to get rid of all the stubborn hard candy and achieve a spotlessly clean pan.