How to Remove Burnt Sugar from a Pan

Cleaning Pans

Burnt Sugar is usually an essential ingredient in some desserts like burnt sugar cake, pound cake, syrup topped cheesecake, and sometimes in poultry and beef recipes. This cuisine is very popular in Tobago and Trinidad and is often known as “caramelized sugar.” According to Hunker, burnt Sugar is relatively simple to make but requires plenty of focus and patience. When making caramelized Sugar, the Sugar changes from its normal solid state to a molten state on high heat. However, the main problem arises when the pan is left to cool down, and Sugar solidifies again, almost gluing itself to the pan. Once this burnt Sugar gets stuck on the pan, it can be a nightmare to clean it off the pan. The most common mistake people make is to soak the pain water, which usually does not work. Other people opt to use steel wool and start scrubbing the stuck burnt Sugar from the pan. Removing burnt Sugar from the pan using steel wool can end up scouring the pan and be rough on your hands as well. Nevertheless, you can easily remove burnt Sugar from your pan by using the correct methods. Here, we will tell you how to remove burnt Sugar from a pan.

1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is an all-purpose cleaning agent and a gentle abrasive cleaner that every pantry should have. Baking Soda can quickly get rid of stubborn burnt sugar marks without leaving scratch marks on the pan. It is also very effective for general cleaning purposes and is often preferred for most home-based cleaning processes. When using baking soda to remove burnt Sugar from a pan, you will need to have:

  • 2 cups of baking soda
  • Ample water to cover the bottom of the pan


1. Carefully mix the baking soda with a bit of water to make a paste.

2. Add it to the pan and cover it with water.

3. Heat the paste for 15 to 20 minutes at low heat.

4. Gently spread the paste over the burnt area on the pan.

5. Leave the pan to cool for some minutes.

6. You can decide to use a smooth sponge to scrub the burnt Sugar off.

7. Thoroughly rinse the pan with clean water, and the burnt sugar scrapes will fall from the pan.

Note: If you do not have baking soda in your pantry, you can substitute it with the common table salt.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide

Almost every household uses hydrogen peroxide for its general cleaning purposes, as it deals effectively with dense and stubborn stains. You can also use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of tough burnt sugar stains from the pan. When using hydrogen peroxide, you will need:

  • A Cleaning sponge
  • Hydrogen peroxide


1. Pour enough hydrogen peroxide into the pan that there is a half-inch layer on the burnt surface.

2. Prepare your stove and place the pan on it.

3. Leave the solution to boil on medium heat.

4. Let it simmer in the pan for ten minutes, and turn off the stove.

5. Once the solution cools, use the cleaning sponge to scrub the pan thoroughly.

6. The burnt sugar stains will now come off with minimal effort applied.

Note: While the hydrogen peroxide method is very effective, hydrogen peroxide often creates an unpleasant smell when heated. Thus, you should make sure the room is well-ventilated, and other ventilation systems are opened.

3. Vinegar

According to Worldofpans, vinegar is a very trustworthy agent in cleaning stainless steel pans and ceramic pans. Moreover, most of the methods involved in using vinegar to clean and remove stubborn stains are usually straightforward. For the vinegar method, you will need:

  • A Cleaning Sponge
  • One cup of vinegar or more, depending on the affected area


1. Apply an ample amount of vinegar to cover the bottom of the pan.

2. Prepare your stove and place the pan on medium heat.

3. Heat the solution for fifteen to twenty minutes.

4. Allow the pan to cool down for some minutes.

5. With the cleaning sponge, gently scrub off the stubborn burnt sugar stains.

4. Bar Keeper’s Friend

Fourth on our list is the Bar Keeper’s friend method, also famously known as the BKF method. This method involves using a powder cleaner, mainly used as a surface cleanser and polisher for countertops made of fiberglass, stainless steel, ceramic, porcelain, tile, and many other materials. Moreover, this stronger cleaning powder can be used to get rid of tough burnt sugar stains from a pan. For the Bar Keeper’s friend method, you will need:

  • A Cleaning Sponge
  • BKF in powder form


1. Get the pan and sprinkle the powder onto the surface of the pan.

2. Leave it for 2 to 3 minutes.

3. With the cleaning sponge, gently wipe the areas with burnt sugar stains in circular motions.

4. This will help loosen the tough burnt sugar stains.

5. If you are dealing with a large affected area, you can add a bit of water to the BKF powder and create a smooth running paste.

6. Leave the paste on the pan for 2-3 minutes and scrub with the sponge.

Note: The BKF method is not compatible with all kitchen pans; thus, you should first check on the material of your pan to determine if the BKF powder will damage your pan.

5. Cream of Tartar

Last but not least is the Cream of Tartar method, which works effectively in removing dense and stubborn stains from pans. According to Food52, the Cream of Tartar is usually a vital ingredient for wine brewing and baking. Similar to the baking soda method, this method is relatively abrasive, making it perfect for removing tough burnt sugar stains without damaging the pan. When using this method, you will need:

  • A cleaning sponge
  • Cream of Tartar


1. Mix 2 tablespoons of Cream of Tartar with one cup of water to form a paste.

2. Gently apply the paste to the pan.

3. Gently heat the paste until it starts boiling.

4. Leave the pan to cool.

5. Clean the pan with a sponge, warm water, and soap.

Final Thoughts

Getting tough and stubborn burnt sugar stains from a pan can be very challenging. However, using the above cleaning agents and following the above-listed steps, getting rid of these stubborn stains becomes very easy.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply