April 24

How to Soften White Sugar in the Microwave? | Easy Methods Explained!


Author: Gisele Perez
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White sugar has so many uses. Like salt, it is one of the most important ingredients in your kitchen. Except when you’re totally staying off sugar, you’re likely to use sugar in your meal preparation at least once a day.

So what happens when you reach for your sugar container only to realize that it’s all hardened up?

Rather than throwing it out, all you need to do is learn how to soften white sugar in the microwave, well, it’s not as complicated as you might be led to believe.

Basically, you only need to pop the sugar in the microwave oven with a few droplets of water and heat for 30 seconds at a time, your sugar will be all softened and as good as new when you take it out.

Softening sugar requires the right kind of temperature else, you might end up burning it.

This article will shed more light on how you can soften your sugar in a microwave effectively without ruining it.

How to Soften White Sugar in the Microwave

White Sugar
White sugar can easily be melted using a microwave following these steps. Source: NayaDaur

Method 1

What You Need

  • A microwave-safe container with a tight lid
  • A cling film if your microwave-safe container does not have a tight lid
  • A microwave oven
  • A fork


  1. Pour in the clumped up sugar or the sugar you will like to soften into your microwave-safe container and cover tightly.
  2. You can either decide to cover using the cling film or the lid.
  3. Place the container in your microwave oven and set the timer to 1 minute at the heat option.
  4. Stir the sugar with the fork to check for clumps, if it is not totally softened.
  5. Repeat the process as many times as it takes.
  6. Take the microwave-safe bowl out of the oven and pour the sugar into a dry and tight lidded container till you’re ready to reuse.

Method 2

What You Need

  • Microwave safe bowl with a tight lid
  • A small cup of water
  • Microwave oven


  1. Pour in the sugar into the microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle a few drops of water in
  2. Cover with the lid and put in the microwave
  3. Heat for a minute
  4. And stir,
  5. Repeat this process until the sugar is thoroughly softened.
  6. If the sugar begins to turn brown, reduce the temperature of the microwave oven and cooking time
  7. Store in a tightly lidded container until its next use.

Read more: How To Melt Peppermint Candy In Microwave

How to Soften White Confectioners Sugar in Microwave

Confectioner's Sugar
Don’t confuse Confectioners’ sugar with the table sugar although both are white. Source: BiggerBoulder

Confectioners’ sugar is quite different from table sugar, though both are white in color.

Confectioners’ sugar is usually used for baking and designing cakes and pastries. While table sugar is more common, confectioner sugar is much more delicate, this is because it comes in the powdered form a few drops of water could ruin a large quantity of confectioners sugar by melting it. It is also more expensive.

Occasionally, you might realize that your confectioners’ sugar has hardened, and unlike the other type of white sugar, this can soak up water fast and get ruined. The good news is that it can be salvaged using your microwave.

What You need

  • The confectioners’ sugar
  • A microwave-safe bowl with a lid
  • A fork
  • A microwave


  1. Try to break up the sugar using a fork. The larger chunks should be easier to break up than the smaller ones.
  2. Once you’ve done this, pour in the microwave-safe bowl, level it, and cover tightly.
  3. Set the microwave oven to 2 minutes.
  4. Once the time is up, use the fork to break up smaller chunks and stir.
  5. If it is not properly powdered,
  6. Wait till is perfectly cooled and sieve with a small holed sieve

Read more: How to Heat Milk in the Microwave

Does using a Microwave Damage my Sugar?

How to soften white sugar in the microwave
If used with the right temperature and intervals microwave will not damage sugar

Using a microwave for your sugar does not damage the sugar in any way. The quality of the sugar is not affected and it can be stored for up to 6 months after this but make sure to check it often to ensure that it is still good.

In the state of being hardened, most people prefer to throw the sugar out rather than find another use for it.

Using Your Sugar Without Softening

Depending on what you want to prepare, you can decide to use the sugar immediately, if you are adding it to a liquid mixture but if you will be storing the sugar, using a microwave to de-clump the sugar might be your best bet.

Just ensure that the heat is regulated and check it at regular intervals to ensure that it is not melting rather than softening, except when you are making a sugar syrup.

What Makes White Sugar Hard?

If your granulated sugar hardens quite often, it might begin to get annoying after a while.

But except you learn why, it might be very difficult to avoid the same thing happening to the next batch you get from the store.

White Sugar goes through the process of refining and has components similar to salt.


Ensure that you do not put your sugar beside any form of heat, either directly or indirectly as it may begin to form moisture which might cause it to harden. Try to store in an airtight glass or plastic container to avoid it getting close to the heat.


When white sugar is exposed to direct air, it hardens. Sugar is a very essential ingredient in most people’s kitchen but it can also get ruined just as fast.


Moisture is the most dangerous of the three once the sugar is exposed to moisture, it causes it to melt. Thereby making the white sugar useless for future use.

Although the white sugar can get ruined from hardening, the above methods are methods by which you can soften the sugar.

A Microwave Will Do a Great Job of Softening Your Sugar

In this article, we learned how to soften white sugar in the microwave. Although there are other methods you might want to consider exploring, a microwave will do a great job of softening your sugar.

Finally, ensure that you keep your sugar far away from any form of liquid and avoid leaving it open so that the air doesn’t harden it and so that it doesn’t get contaminated. If your sugar is exposed to liquid, ensure you dry it immediately using your microwave oven and it will never harden.


1. How do you soften up white sugar?

Microwave Method:

Place your white sugar in a microwave-safe bowl.
Moisten the white sugar with a mist of water.
Microwave the bowl on a high setting.
After 5 minutes, remove the bowl and check the white sugar level. If the hard white sugar is easily broken, tap clumps with a spoon to even them out.

2. How do you keep white sugar from hardening?

The trick is to keep the granulated and confectioners sugars dry and the brown sugars moist. All sugar should be stored in airtight containers. Once opened, keep the sugar in an airtight container to avoid it becoming hard or damp.

3. How to Avoid Making a Mess When Softening Sugar in the Microwave

The best way to avoid making a mess when softening sugar in the microwave is to use a microwave-safe bowl. You can also use a wet paper towel to dampen the sugar before microwaving it.

4. Is Hard white sugar still good?

Granulated sugar does not spoil, but it will likely cake up or become lumpy if exposed to moisture. If it does, simply pulverize it again until the granulated texture returns.

5. How do you fix hard white sugar?

Here is a simple method for re-softening hardened granulated sugar — Preheat oven to its lowest setting, between 150 and 200 degrees. Remove the sugar from the package and place it in an ovenproof container large enough to hold it. Place in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes. With a spoon, tap sugar.

About the author

Gisele Perez

When not giving in-home, hands-on cooking classes, or developing recipes, Gisele "cooks" wonderful posts for us. She writes about various topics related to cooking appliances and cooking methods.



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