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Cleaning Burnt Sugar from a Stainless Steel Pot

Category Dishes
This guide is about cleaning burnt sugar from a stainless steel pot. When sugar is burned onto a pan, it can be a challenge to remove.


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 2 found this helpful
October 18, 2010

How do I clean burnt sugar from an All Clad pan? It is badly burnt.

By Barbara from Naples, FL


October 20, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try filling the pan with hot water and 1 cup of powdered dishwasher detergent. Bring to a boil on your stove, and simmer for 1/2 hour, watching that it does not boil dry. Add water if needed. Scrape the burned sugar with a spoon or other tool with an edge with the water still in the pan. A lot should come loose.


Dump the water, and scrub with cleanser and a scrubby. If what is left does not come off with scrubbing. repeat entire process. This has worked for me, and may work for you. The pan is unusable as is. The cheap detergent from the dollar store works fine for this if you don't have a dishwasher. Good luck with your pan.

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May 11, 20100 found this helpful

After leaving a pot unattended, the sugar I was trying to boil burned to a cinder. The entire pot is coated with black "tar." It is a standard stainless steel pot (sauce pan) with a lid, it has a double clad bottom. I hate to throw it away. The pot alone would be $40 to $50 to replace. Any suggestions?


By BobbyC from Marlboro, NJ


Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

According to what I googled, boiling hydrogen peroxide in the pan seems to work wonders. (07/30/2009)

By Noella

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Put it back on the stove containing baking soda and vinegar. It will loosen a good part of it. Then, scrub with a scrubber. (07/30/2009)

By mom-from-missouri

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Also, soak with automatic dishwasher detergent and hot water overnight. A lot of it will come right up in the morning. That stuff dissolves everything. (07/30/2009)

By Beth

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Thank you one and all for your advice. I can tell you honestly that the hydrogen peroxide worked, with very little effort. When I said that the pot was covered with a "tar" like coating, that was really an underestimation. It was more as if you took a spray machine and coated the pot with a thick coating of black, hard epoxy. Impossible as it seemed, I tried the peroxide, only because so many others said that it would work, and it did. Once again, many thanks. (08/02/2009)


By BobbyC

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

I'd just like to say to everyone who tried the hydrogen peroxide method that you are very lucky to be alive today. Boiling HP is extremely dangerous. It is highly unstable at high temperatures and can explode if the boiling becomes too vigorous. In addition, no matter how many windows you have open, just looking into the pot to scrub the stuff from your pot has exposed your lungs to acid fumes. (04/15/2010)

By bubo10

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

June 2, 20090 found this helpful

How to clean burnt sugar water residue from stainless steel pot?

Gladys from Coronation, AB


Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Only one product: Barkeeper's Friend! It is sold with Bon Ami, Comet, etc. and it works great! Will even take off rust! (08/10/2006)


By camo_angels

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Put water in the pan so it does not go dry, then add 1/2 cup of baking soda. Bring to a boil and then turn heat back to simmer and let on for about an hour. It should come out. (08/11/2006)

By NellieMary

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Boil water in it and wipe clean before the pot has a chance to cool off. (08/11/2006)

By cookwie

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

There are also stainless steel scrubbers that work wonders. It looks like a scrubber made out of metal and I bought it at WalMart. (08/12/2006)

By mef1957

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Scrub out as much mess as possible with a wooden spoon, rinse and dry with paper towel. Then spray well with oven cleaner and let it sit overnight with the lid on. Repeat until clean. This works! I know - I started out on this housekeeping business 30 years ago and I have saved many pots and pans this way. DO NOT USE ON ALUMINUM. (08/13/2006)


By Willem

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

A little bit of automatic dishwasher detergent will dissolve anything burnt on. Just let it sit a while. It has to be able to do this - in the dishwasher nothing is physically in contact with your dishes except the water. (08/15/2006)

By Lynn

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

The method with baking soda and water/boiling and such works! I had a very expensive pot that I tried to make fudge in. When I was done it looked like I had to throw it away. I soaked it for over a week and it didn't work! I found this website and tried the baking soda and boiling water method. The result was amazing. The pot looked like new in 30mins. Thank you NellieMary, you are great! (10/07/2006)

By Brad Wood

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

I tried all of the above with mixed results. This one works like magic:

Remove the loose burnt sugar, then cover the burnt sugar layer with hydrogen peroxide solution sold at all drugstores. Soak for a day or two with the lid on and the burnt on layer will lift right off. Amazing! (08/15/2007)

By Tom

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

I had the same problem. I used vegetable oil and heated it. The layer of burnt sugar just bubbled up and flaked off. (01/27/2008)

By Janet

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Thank you for the hydrogen peroxide idea. Worked like a charm. I put sugar in a hot stainless steel pan it went black immediately. I was sure I ruined the pan. I found the peroxide suggestion online and covered the stain with the peroxide and heated it on the stove until boiling then turned off the heat and let it sit. I checked it periodically and it lifted off by itself as I swirled the pan. I was so tickled. No scrubbing needed. (04/12/2008)

By Laurie S

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Just to add to this, I tried everything and nothing worked until I put a thin layer of hydrogen peroxide into the pot and boiled it. The sugar just lifted off - it was incredible! Thanks, folks (06/25/2008)

By Nutmeg

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Boiled hydrogen peroxide in the pot, the burnt-on sugar flaked off. For the pieces that didn't, once the liquid cooled I wiped it out with a sponge. Spotless!


By Jeff

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

I can't believe how well the hydrogen peroxide worked. I had made a nasty mess making plum preserves (got caught up in something else and didn't stir). I thought I had ruined one of my wife's favorite pots. I tried scrubbing, chipping, vinegar. Then i read this and tried the peroxide. It really was like magic. The nasty burned mass just flaked off! Thank you! Joe (08/03/2008)

By Joe

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Thank you. I was making food for the hummingbirds - 1 cup sugar to 4 parts water. I failed to watch it. When I discovered it - big disaster. I bought 4 quarts of hydrogen peroxide 3% usp. I put it in the pan overnite, but nothing happened even though I covered all of the burned area with it. The next day I started boiling it. As it became hotter and to the boiling point all of the burned sugar/water just melted. Amazing!
Thank you for your posting.
S. Smith (09/04/2008)

By S. Smith

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Just to add a tip for the hydrogen peroxide fans: the 3% solution used for oral rinses, etc., is not as effective a household cleaner as the 20% solution sold at beauty supply houses as a developer for hair coloring. Works great for cleaning granite, etc. (09/19/2008)

By Roberta Morris

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Thank you so very much. With our orchard apples, I was cooking apple filling for pie and cake in my large stainless steel pot. I turned, sneezed, and came back to the pot, a favorite pot, which now had sugar burned thickly on the entire bottom. My apple pie filling was fine, but the pot was a mess. I tried vinegar - no luck. I tried Googling, found this site, and the suggestion of using hydrogen peroxide.

Well I used hydrogen peroxide, boiled it in the pot, and most of the black crud lifted right off without any elbow grease. I used hydrogen peroxide a second time, the crud just lifted right off. The bottom of the pot is shinier than before the sugar mishap. Many thanks, Ellen (11/04/2008)

By Ellen

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Worked great! Burnt English toffee in a stainless pan. Looked like the metal was actualy black. Used 3% and when it started boiling I used a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom. It offered very little resistance. (12/17/2008)


Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

I thought I would have to throw my stainless steel pot out after attempting and failing to make fairy food candy. Read the tip on hydrogen peroxide, tried it and couldn't believe the results! Amazing! What did we do before Google? (12/21/2008)

By Mary

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Yep, the hydrogen peroxide works! I literally tried everything (Barkeepers, vinegar, Easy Off, etc). This worked in 5 minutes and saved me from reordering my favorite pot! I boiled it and swirled it from time to time and finally the burnt pieces just swirled off the bottom edge of the pot! (12/24/2008)

By Gretchen

Burnt Sugar in a Stainless Steel Pot

Awesome! Just don't be dumb like me and stand over the pot. It burns the eyes and nose. (02/25/2009)

By kate

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October 18, 20100 found this helpful

How do you clean burnt sugar from a stainless steel pot?

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