How To Get Hard Candy Out Of A Pan? [TIPS & Guide]

How To Get Hard Candy Out Of A Pan? [TIPS & Guide]

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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. You’ll see no more hard candy stuck on the pan at one point. Drain the water and scrub your pan with a regular sponge and dishwashing liquid.

You’ll find a more detailed process and helpful alternatives in this article. Keep reading to learn them all!

Why is Hard Candy Tough to Remove?

You have many options when you attempt to make candy at 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. It starts to crystallize once you’re done adding it to your dessert.

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 the candy to become sticky, which seems like a nightmare when you try to remove it.

Now if you’re thinking of scrubbing 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 will provide you. So, keep reading!

Getting Hard Candy Out of a Pan? 5 Easy ways

Taking off Hard Candy from your pan might seem impossible if you don’t know the right way. 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 disaster, we’re here with the perfect solutions to this issue.

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

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1. 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 boil. Once the water starts to boil, you’ll notice that the hard candy gradually comes off and gets mixed with the water.

You’ll see no more hard candy stuck on the pan’s inner surface within some time. 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, don’t forget to put those in the boiling water.

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

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

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

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

2. 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 also quite time-consuming.

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

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

You just need to warm up your pan a little bit. Don’t risk doing it on a stove if you’re not confident about doing it on a stove. You can put your pan in the oven, which’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 can 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 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.

3. Use Baking Soda on the Hard Candy

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

This method is not complicated, in case you think it is. 

You only need to sprinkle baking soda on top of the hard candy in your pan. Then add a little water and mix it properly until you get a paste-like consistency.

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

Baking soda is a good cleaning agent. 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 quickly. Once you’re done removing all the hard candy, clean it with a regular dishwashing liquid.

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

4. 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 correct 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.

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 the loose hard candy with a mesh dishcloth.

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

5. 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 scrubbing off the remaining of it won’t be too hard. 

That’s all!

Interesting further reading – Why Does Pudding Get Watery In The Fridge | Reasons My Chili Tastes Like Spaghetti Sauce | How To Make Angel Hair Pasta Not Stick?

Frequently Asked Questions

Does baking soda cause corrosion in stainless steel?

No. Baking soda doesn’t cause corrosion in stainless steel. It is earth-friendly and 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 removing it even more difficult. 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 few hours, hit it using candy hammers, and you’ll find it breaking apart.


After this considerable 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 possible for your easy understanding.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you could eliminate all the stubborn hard candy and achieve a spotlessly clean pan.

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