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Softening Granulated Sugar

Category Food Fixes
When sugar gets hard, there are ways to make it useful. This guide is about softening granulated sugar.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
December 3, 2016

How do I soften a 5 pound bag of hard sugar?

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December 3, 20161 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try putting it in the microwave at 15 second intervals.

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March 6, 20151 found this helpful

I have two 5 pound bags of white granulated sugar that is very hard. How can I soften it for use?

By Aldona S.

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March 6, 20151 found this helpful
Best Answer

Microwave it for 1 minute. That should work. If not, place a piece of bread in the packaging & it'll take a day or so, but it'll loosen it right up.

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By 1 found this helpful
March 12, 2011

How do I soften hard sugar?

By Mike from Kensington, CT

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March 12, 20110 found this helpful

Sometimes you can soften it up if you put it in the microwave for a few seconds. I would try it in 10 second intervals to see if it works. I know it works on brown sugar.

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March 13, 20110 found this helpful

Try putting a couple of wet paper towels on top of the sugar in an open bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds, check by gently stabbing with a fork and see if it is looser, then do another 30 seconds or so if needed. Don't want to get it too hot because it will melt.

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March 15, 20110 found this helpful

Put a couple of saltine crackers in the container with the sugar. Also move it into a airtight plastic container.

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January 5, 20120 found this helpful

Put one or two slices of fresh bread in with the sugar and seal. Works every time!

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Anonymous
December 21, 20150 found this helpful

Put the hard white sugar in the top of a double boiler. I guess the solutions are the same: Heat it, either microwave or in double boiler.

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January 5, 20120 found this helpful

How do I soften a 10 lb. bag of hard sugar?

By MJM

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January 5, 20120 found this helpful

Personally... I would put it in a plastic bag and beat it back to granules with a hammer. Other than that the only easy thing I know to do with it is melt it in water but you need something to do with a whole lot of sugar water. If you did it in the right proportions you could freeze it till spring and use it thawed to feed humming birds.

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January 6, 20120 found this helpful

If you can break it up, maybe you can run it through a flour sifter. I have done that to lumpy sugar.

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January 6, 20120 found this helpful

If it's brown sugar, put it in a container with a tight lid, and stick a piece of bread on top of it. The next day the sugar will be nice and soft and the bread will be hard as a rock.

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I never had a problem with white sugar that way. But if it is so solid, put it in a zip lock bag and use a wooden meat tenderizer or a large handled spoon and just beat it...just my 2 cents.

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January 6, 20120 found this helpful

I would run it through a food processor or try the blender. Good luck.

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January 8, 20120 found this helpful

Brown sugar can be softened by reintroducing moisture in several ways:
The 1st 2 solutions I list are my fastest solutions. The last solution... #6 I use to SLOW the hardening process in the first place.

1-Heat brown sugar in a 250 degree oven in an oven safe pan. Watch carefully and as soon as it is soft measure the amount you need. It will harden as it cools.

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2-Place brown sugar in a microwave-safe container and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 30 seconds. Repeat process until it is soft. Again, Watch carefully and as soon as it is soft measure the amount you need since It will harden as it cools.

3-Place brown sugar in a plastic container with a small piece of plastic wrap or foil over the sugar. Put a damp paper towel or napkin on top of the plastic/foil. Cover tightly. Remove damp paper towel in a couple of days. Keep container tightly sealed.

4-Place a few apple slices or a slice of bread in an air-tight container with the brown sugar. Remove after the sugar has softened in a day or two.

5-Grind hardened chunks in a food processor. Be careful not to ruin your food processor.

6-Soak a piece of clay in water for 30 minutes. Dry the piece so it isn't dripping wet. Place the clay in the container with the sugar and seal. In a few days you should have softened sugar again. Leave the clay in as long as you like. You can actually purchase cute clay bears created for just this purpose.

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Anonymous
November 7, 20150 found this helpful

You can whack it, right in the bag, with the flat side of a meat mallet and transfer it to an airtight container to keep it from hardening again.

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Anonymous
March 1, 20160 found this helpful

Cut up a piece of Apple and let it sit in the bag or container

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August 16, 20160 found this helpful

Run your hand mixer though it gradually though the opened top.

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January 12, 20170 found this helpful

That makes powdered sugar out of it.

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February 1, 20170 found this helpful

The question was sugar, not brown sugar.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 10, 2017

How can I make a rock hard 5lb bag of white sugar usable again?

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By 0 found this helpful
March 29, 2009

I bought bulk powdered sugar and stored it in plastic containers. Now it is hard and difficult to use. Can I use a piece of bread to soften it like I do with brown sugar? Any ideas are welcome.

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Thanks in advance!

By Lori Morelli from Ohio

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March 29, 20090 found this helpful

How should I store my C&H Granulated Sugar and C&H Powdered Sugar? Moisture makes granulated sugar hard and lumpy. Once this happens, there is no way to adequately restore it. Always store granulated sugar in a covered container in a cool, dry area. Good luck.

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March 31, 20090 found this helpful

I don't know any tricks to soften it. Have you tried one of those clay disks that you can use with brown sugar? One idea might be to try using a hand grater to get it back down to a powdery texture.... You might try a blender or spice/coffee ginder etc., but I am not sure what that would do to it (at the higher speed than manual). You could always try with a small sample and see what happens!

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December 4, 20120 found this helpful

It's been in a glass container on my counter for several months and I rarely use it. Now it's hardened in the glass container and I can't get it out. What can I do without destroying the container?

By Billie

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December 10, 20121 found this helpful

While you may not be able to use it as pourable sugar, you can still use it. Pour water into the container over the sugar and shake it every now and then. The water will melt the sugar and make a syrup that can be used in drinks (tea, lemonade, kool-aid, etc), to sweeten cooked foods, to use in fruit syrups for pancakes or desserts. You'll have to experiment using it since you won't have any actual sugar:water ratio. If you use all the water and still have sugar in the jar, just add more water, shake, and wait until some more is melted.

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March 12, 20110 found this helpful

How do I soften granulated sugar once it's become hard?

By jackie from Totowa, NJ

Answers:

Softening Hard Sugar

I've heard of this working for brown sugar. Place the brown sugar in an airtight container with a slice of fresh bread placed on top. Seal and leave overnight. It should be soft and fresh again in the morning, if not just let it sit another day or two. (12/07/2010)

By Theresabentley

Softening Hard Sugar

Microwave it, just like new again. (12/07/2010)

By Frank

Softening Hard Sugar

I just came across a 5 lb bag I bought before Christmas (it's Feb. now) and it hardened like a complete rock. I dumped it into a large bowl and using a hand grater grated the large pieces. Then I sifted into it's container. The large chunks that didn't sift, I placed back in the bowl and continued grating and sifting again. When a few small pieces (too small to grate) were left, I softly hit them with a meat mallet until they broke up, then throwing them into the sifter. Total loss from a 5 lb. bag was probably a tablespoon. Total time spent was about 15 min. Overall, it worked fine. I would do it again. Very easy. (02/10/2011)

By Jeff R.

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December 6, 20100 found this helpful

How can I soften granulated sugar which has hardened in the bag in which it was sold?

By Betty from Shoreview, MN

Answers:

Softening Hard Sugar

I've had to do this trick several times myself to break up hardened sugar. Place the entire unopened bag of sugar in a plastic bag and close the top. Now take the bag and carefully drop the bag on the floor, first on one side then the other. This will definitely break up the sugar granules. (07/11/2010)

By Marjorie

Softening Hard Sugar

Not sure if this will work for granulated sugar, but it does the trick in brown sugar, put a piece of bread in the bag, just like 1/4 of a slice. It will keep it fresh and the bread gets hard, not the sugar. Replace bread piece about every 10 days. (07/11/2010)

By Amy3e

Softening Hard Sugar

Once you get it broken up, run it through a flour sifter. I've done that many times. (07/11/2010)

By naturelover

Softening Hard Sugar

You can run it through your food processor if it's too hard to break up. (07/13/2010)

By Judy = Oklahoma

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July 10, 20100 found this helpful

I have a 4 lb. bag of sugar I took camping with us. I only used a small amount from it and it became hard from being out in the moisture. Does anyone know what to do to bring it back to its natural granulated state?

Gina from Kingston, TN

Answers:

Softening Hard Sugar

If you can't get it softened again just use a grater and grate it up, if you aren't using it in a liquid recipe.
If you are using it in something liquid just take a part of the liquid and soak some chunks. You could probably guess pretty close how much is equal to a cup or the amount you need. (07/24/2006)

By Carla

Softening Hard Sugar

Run it through a sifter and then seal it in air tight containers. If it's hard it is like you said due to humidity, and then it dries clumpy. I never heard of putting something moist in regular sugar to reduce clumps, although this does work with brown sugar when it gets hard after drying out too much. But brown sugar is supposed to be moist so adding a slice of bread or apple makes sense, but with hard white sugar you need to break it up and send it through a sifter. (07/24/2006)

By Barbie

Softening Hard Sugar

I use half an apple, (just seal it in the bag with the sugar) and then try to use the sugar before it gets hard again. (07/24/2006)

By Coreen

Softening Hard Sugar

Put a slice of bread in the container and leave it there for a few days. It will absorb the moisture and soften the sugar. (07/24/2006)

By Allison

Softening Hard Sugar

Break it into smaller pieces and run it through the blender or food processor, or use a hand grater and run the sugar over that so it falls into a bowl. (07/24/2006)

By kidsNclutter

Softening Hard Sugar

If nothing else works, I'd just put it in a pan, add some water, and slowly cook it into a syrup to use in drinks (like lemonade) and sweet tea or to make hummingbird nectar. At least it wouldn't be wasted. (07/25/2006)

By susan

Softening Hard Sugar

I keep my brown sugar in the freezer. When it's needed, just take it out perhaps 15 minutes before, and by the time you need it, it's soft and pliable! (07/25/2006)

By Lee

Softening Hard Sugar

Cinchy, put your bag of sugar (white) in a gallon baggie, top or opened end first, then using your rolling pin, just hit the sugar, like you're crushing graham crackers. Worked in minutes! (12/19/2009)

By Paula

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July 23, 20060 found this helpful

I am sure this has been answered before, but cant find the answer. My regular sugar has hardened due to the humidity, and I need to know how to "soften" it again. Thank you for any and all suggestions.

jmz2005 from Illinois

Answers:

Bread

I use a piece of bread. Just rip off a chunk and put it in a sealed container with the sugar. It will be moist again in no time. (07/22/2006)

By Cyndi

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