How To Soften And Restore Your White Sugar

There is nothing more frustrating than getting up in the morning ready for your cup of coffee or tea, only to realize you can’t make it because your white sugar is as hard as a rock.

It is very annoying when you can’t use it simply because it did not stay in the form you expected. It may even be 10 pound sugar and no one would ever want to waste that much!

So let’s get to it and I will teach you how you can soften your white sugar and get you back on track in no time.

Why White Sugar Gets Hard


White sugar, like any other form of sugar hardens when it gets exposed to moisture. Since dry heat can cause moisture to form into your white sugar, always keep your white sugar in an airtight container to prevent moisture from forming.

Not only can you get it from high humidity, but also from storing them in the refrigerator if you don’t store them properly.

I personally prefer storing my sugar in the refrigerator to prevent ants from getting to them but have been surprised to see my sugar hardening even there, since I simply kept it in an opened bag with a rubber band to keep it from spilling. I have always kept them in a dry container ever since.

9 Methods to soften white sugar

1. Using Paper Towel

How to soften white sugar

This method will allow moisture to slowly, but gradually seep into your white sugar crystals. This is only advisable for small amounts of sugar, just to about a container of 200 grams or so.

  1. Moisten a paper towel until it is damp, not dripping wet, and place it inside the container of your sugar.
  2. Leave it overnight in a cool, dry place.
  3. Remove the paper towel and use a spoon or fork to crush the sugar to its original state.

2. Using a Slice Apple


Just like the damp paper towel method, the apple slice method works by slowly allowing moisture back into your white sugar granules.

You may be wondering why you need moisture when it is moisture that caused your sugar to harden in the first place. However, the moisture from high humidity is taken from the sugar themselves, so the best way to recover its original form is to give it a small amount of moisture to recover.

  1. Cut apple into four and remove the core.
  2. You will only need one of the four slices of apple in a small container of sugar. If you have a lot of sugar and want to use all of your slices, simply place all of the slices on top of the sugar inside the container.
  3. Seal and keep it in a cool dry place overnight.
  4. Remove apple slices from the sugar container.
  5. Use a fork or a spoon to loosen the granules of your white sugar.

3. Using a Meat Tenderizer or a Pestle


This is a very simple method, but it can be a bit messy so the following steps will also make sure that you keep it as clutter free as possible.

  1. Place your hardened sugar in a deep bowl.
  2. Lightly spray your sugar with a very little bit water. It is very important that you do not over-spray it, otherwise you will be in worse form than you started off.
  3. Place a dish towel on top of your sugar inside the bowl. This will prevent sugar from flying all over your table top.
  4. Using the top of your meat tenderizer or pestle, continuously hit the cloth and to crush the sugar underneath.
  5. Just repeat until you have achieved your desired results.

4. Using the Oven

This is an easy method with very little work required from you.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place your sugar in a deep oven-safe casserole dish.
  3. Lightly spray your sugar with water.
  4. Bake sugar for around 15-20 minutes.
  5. Take out the casserole and tap a sugar chunk to see if it is breaking off easily.
  6. If the sugar is not breaking off easily, put it back in the oven and repeat after the 30 minutes.
  7. Do not repeat the process until after your oven and sugar has had a chance to cool, otherwise you might end of melting the sugar.
  8. Once your hardened sugar is breaking off easily, gently tap all chunks until you restore original texture.

5. Using the Microwave


This is a similar method as to using an oven but because of the heat settings and how microwave heat differs from the cooking in the open, follow these steps when using a microwave:

  1. Place your sugar in a microwavable container.
  2. Lightly spray your sugar with water.
  3. Set to high heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Take out the container and tap a sugar chunk to see if it is breaking off easily.
  5. If the sugar is not breaking off easily, put it back in the microwave and repeat the process.
  6. Do not repeat the process until sugar has cooled or you might end up melting and burning it.
  7. Once your hardened sugar is breaking off easily, gently tap all chunks until you restore original texture.

6. Using a Coffee Grinder


You can also use a food processor for this method as long as the chunks of your hardened sugar are not too hard.

  1. For this process, simply pour in enough sugar into your grinder or food processor.
  2. Check your manual to see what your grinder’s or food processor’s capacity is.
  3. Only fill up to half of your food processor’s capacity or you will risk breaking it, but you can follow your coffee grinder’s capacity without much concern.
  4. This method is the fastest method. Make sure you store properly afterwards.

7. By Steaming


Another quick and easy way to soften your hardened sugar is by steaming.

  1. Fill a deep pot with about two cups of water.
  2. Place your hardened white sugar in a microwave safe bowl or high-heat tolerant bowl. You don’t want your plastic bowl to melt during this process, and you don’t want your glass bowl to break under the heat either.
  3. Place your sugar of bowl inside the pot
  4. Make sure the water in the pot is reaching less than half of the height of the bowl. Reduce the amount of water if needed.
  5. Make sure your pot is covered to make sure heat will be circulating inside.
  6. Bring water to boil with your bowl of sugar being steamed inside for around 5-7 minutes.
  7. Closely monitor water level to make sure it hasn’t dried up. Replenish water as needed.
  8. Tap a sugar chunk with a spoon to see if they are breaking up easily.
  9. Let sugar cool and repeat the process if sugar chunks are not breaking off easily yet.
  10. Remove bowl from water and press chunks with the back of a spoon to break off all chunks.

8. Drop it on The Floor

You might have thought about it. Plus, it is a pretty self-explanatory process. However, a few tips on this topic can make it easy and safe for you to try this method. So, we will try to share a few tips as well as describe the process.

You might have already dropped ice on the floor to break it up into chunks quickly. And, in this way, you can also drop the sugar cubes on the floor or a hard surface to break it up. However, you have to make sure the container or the packaging is sealed tight.

Also, you have to use a package or container that will not burst open if you drop it on the floor. Or else, you know that everything will get messy within a matter of seconds.

Honestly, we would not include this method at all. However, if you are doing it right and taking all the precautionary measures, then this is one of the easiest methods of all. Due to the simplicity of the method, as you will not need any additional set of tools, this method has got a place on our list.

9. The Casserole Dish Trick

We must admit that this method is an unconventional one. But, the great thing about this one is that it works. However, to be able to use this method to soften your white sugar, you will have to be a bit lucky. Because you will need a casserole dish at the same time you are in need of softening your white sugar. So, if you luckily have a casserole dish at your disposal, follow the steps below.

  1. Preheat your oven to 150 to 200 degrees
  2. Then place the casserole dish and the hardened white sugar inside the oven at the same time
  3. Now, let it cook for about 15 minutes
  4. Next, you can tap it with a spoon or something and the white sugar will loosen out

Tips to keep your Sugar from Getting Hard

Restoring your white sugar’s texture is an inconvenient and unnecessary process and can be prevented with proper storage. Here are some tips to keep your sugar from getting hard:

1. Always Keep your Sugar in an Airtight Container.

I found that dark containers keep my white sugar in perfect form as compared to using my old clear containers. Dark containers can keep both heat and light from your white sugar leaving it in better form compared to clear containers.

2. Place your White Sugar inside the Fridge.

If your house gets too hot, you may choose to place your white sugar inside the fridge. It is important to remember though that once you have put it in the fridge, it is better to keep it there. Otherwise, the change in temperature may also cause moisture to form.

3. Using a slice of Bread

Whether you store your sugar in room or in the fridge, a slice of bread can help absorb moisture from the inside of your sugar container. This is a very effective trick especially if you are in a really humid area, note though that your bread has a shelf life and you will have to replace the bread several times in a week.

Unlike most things you see in the grocery, sugar does not have a definite shelf life. It can last up to several years, depending on how well you keep them. If your sugar has gone beyond restoration, you can always mix it with water and boil to make a liquid sugar sweetener, or caramelize it to use with other recipes.

Interesting Things You Should Know About Sugar

  • There comes a time when your white sugar might get really hard. And, it could be stuck inside the canister that you can’t restore it by following the methods above. But, as a last resort, you can melt the sugar. And, for that, you can add hot water to the sugar, and the hardened white sugar will melt right away.
  • For your information, sugar acts as a preservative by preventing the growth of bacteria. So, if you want to keep it fresh, there is no need to put it in the refrigerator. Keeping it in the cupboard in a container would be enough.
  • Most brands add two years of expiry date in the packaging of sugar. However, sugar usually has a longer shelf life than that. So, you can store sugar for many years and restore them to use. And, if the stored sugar of yours hardens up, no need to be worried about the quality. Chances are, it will be perfect. You will only have to soften and restore it to its original form.

Let me know what you think and if you have tried other methods that has worked reallywell for you. Just leave me a message in the comments below. Share with your friends if you have foundthis article useful.

7 thoughts on “How To Soften And Restore Your White Sugar”

  1. Best way to soften granulated sugar I’ve found: line a small baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set oven to 200°. Remove sugar “block” from bag, place on lined pan and put in preheated oven. Check at 10 minutes to see if soft enough to flake off with fork. If not, return to oven for another 5 minutes and check again. All ovens heat differently; mine took
    just 15 minutes. Turn oven off, leaving sugar in for 1 hour. Sugar should flake apart easily at that point. Store in airtight container. Sugar will not clump up again. Got this info directly from the product customer service. Works every time!

  2. Use blender.. Ice crush mode for “2 sec”. Shuffle for the blade to be unobstructed… Repeat until all get powdered…

  3. I tried the microwave method, and it worked fine. Because my sugar was already hard inside my clear glass container. I pooked it with a long fork and released it into a large plastic bag. Going to keep my sugsr in a dark container from now on ! Thanks.

  4. I dont know if you meant to write this

    “This is only advisable for small amounts of sugar, just to about a container of 200 pounds or so”

    I havent used 200 pounds of sugar in my entire lifetime. And I am 63

  5. I came here because I have a brick solid enough for an elephant to stand on without crushing it. It easily can be used as a weapon.

    (good csi plot, someone gets their head cracked open from a brick of sugar, yet the ‘alleged brick’ does not exist because all evidence shows a nice bowl of refined sugar)

    But I dont have an apple available.

    The apple is the only way I have used. It is the easiest most efficient way.

    Ever since I was a little girl my grandma told me about it. I have always been surprised it works. But other fruit doesnt, So it makes me think it has something to do with the gasses in the apple.

  6. My sugar is in a pottery-type canister and apparently it was nor air-tight. I will try the bread first as I have that in the house (rye bread – don’t know if that makes a difference). If that doesn’t work I’ll buy an apple and try that. As it is now I can’t even ice pick it to get it out of the canister! Hope something works! Thanks


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