Hydrogen Peroxide cleaned burnt sugar from my pan

In summary, the person burnt their hand on sugar solution, and found success using hydrogen peroxide to clean it.
  • #1
I did something really stupid, and walked away from a sugar solution I was heating on the stove (4 parts water, 1 part table sugar for humming bird feeders). I got distracted, and the sugar was burnt onto the pan, carbonized, really bad.

Some came off in chunks, but a thick layer adhered to the stainless steel pan. I had a cover on the pot at the time, I assume the lack of oxygen kept it from flaming?

The web had many recommendations for baking soda and water at a simmer. I was skeptical, but figured I had little to lose, baking soda is cheap and pretty safe. Almost no effect, even though I gave it a couple tries and left it simmer for 20 minutes or more.

Then I see recommendations for Hydrogen Peroxide. OK, that sounds a little riskier, but not too dangerous. I was skeptical at this point, but I added ~ 1/4" of the generic 3% stuff to the pot, and as it reached a simmer, about half of it lifted right off. Alright! Another 5 minutes of simmering and swirling and ~ 99% was off, and little wiping removed the rest. Looked like new.

I assume the people reporting success with the baking soda merely had a thick, cooked, hard syrup that would still react with water? What I had was carbon, charcoal like stuff (yes, there was a lot of smoke, and two alarms were beeping - it was bad).

I'm not well versed in chemistry, any simple explanation of what happened with Hydrogen Peroxide, heat and carbonized sugar?
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  • #2
NTL2009 said:
stainless steel
A catalyst for decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, making your request for a "simple explanation" a bit more complex.
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  • #3
So you are saying the stainless steel acted as a catalyst between the hydrogen peroxide and the carbonized sugar? And people may have had different results in, say an enamel (or other) lined pan?

If so, and a simple explanation isn't possible, that's OK, I would not understand a complex explanation! That would be good enough - thanks.
  • #4
I wonder if this would work on anything else burned in a pan, not just sugar...
  • #5
DaveC426913 said:
I wonder if this would work on anything else burned in a pan, not just sugar...
Or in a non-stainless steel vessel (seems the SS acts as a catalyst?)? Fortunately, I haven't had a badly burnt pan since then, but if/when I do I will try it, and try to remember to post back here.

Related to Hydrogen Peroxide cleaned burnt sugar from my pan

1. How does hydrogen peroxide clean burnt sugar from pans?

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful oxidizing agent that breaks down the chemical bonds in burnt sugar, making it easier to remove from the surface of a pan. It also has a mild bleaching effect, which can help remove any discoloration caused by the burnt sugar.

2. Is hydrogen peroxide safe to use on pans?

Yes, hydrogen peroxide is generally safe to use on most types of pans. However, it is important to always read and follow the instructions on the product label and to test a small area first to ensure it does not damage the pan.

3. How do I use hydrogen peroxide to clean burnt sugar from my pan?

To use hydrogen peroxide to clean burnt sugar from a pan, mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the burnt sugar and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, use a scrub brush or sponge to gently scrub the burnt sugar away. Rinse the pan with water and dry it thoroughly.

4. Are there any precautions I should take when using hydrogen peroxide to clean my pan?

It is important to wear gloves and protective eyewear when handling hydrogen peroxide, as it can be irritating to the skin and eyes. Additionally, make sure to properly dilute the hydrogen peroxide and avoid mixing it with other cleaning products, as this can create dangerous chemical reactions.

5. Can I use hydrogen peroxide on non-stick pans?

It is generally safe to use hydrogen peroxide on non-stick pans, but it is best to check with the manufacturer's instructions first. Some non-stick coatings may be sensitive to certain cleaning products and could be damaged by hydrogen peroxide. It is always a good idea to test a small area first before using it on the entire pan.

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