White Sugar Clumping – Why, How to UnClump, & Prevent

Last updated on February 19th, 2019

white sugar clumping

We try not to consume too much white sugar. But it’s a good food storage prep to have in bulk. It will last indefinitely.

However, there is a problem I’ve had…

I have stored white sugar in a 5 gallon bucket (actually we had two). We had bought bulk bags and dumped it in until full.

We use Gamma Lids on these (and some of our other accessible food storage).

The problem has been after awhile (not exactly sure how long it took) the white sugar gets hard. In fact this last go around it was very hard indeed!

I had to chip away at it. It took a good amount of effort to break the top layer into chunks.


How to Un-Clump White Sugar


Food Processor

Unclump? De-clump? Whatever you call it, I used a food processor.

Mrs.J’s Cuisinart ‘Pro Classic’ food processor worked well. I kept pulsing it on and off, and then let it run steady for a bit. This process brought it back to granulated sugar (with some powder too – given the food processor action).

But that’s certainly all a pain…


Use the Oven

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Place clumped sugar chunks in a oven proof bowl or pan and put in the oven for 20 minutes. Then shut off oven and let stand for an hour or two.

Note: I’ve tried this with severely chunked up sugar and it partially worked. Maybe if your sugar isn’t too severely clumped, it will work well.


How to Prevent White Sugar Clumping

So how to prevent it from clumping in the first place?

The buckets were on the concrete floor. The Gamma lids do seal (keep external moisture out). Maybe it’s just what happens after some time with white sugar (years?).

Maybe the cool concrete floor transferring into the bucket created some (enough) condensation inside?

Anyway, do any of you have a trick or two to keep white sugar from clumping?

I await your comments…

Note: This is unlike brown sugar. To prevent brown sugar from clumping you actually add some moisture (those brown sugar bears for example). But if you add moisture to white sugar it will turn to a brick… time to get out a hammer and chisel! And the food processor!

Read more: Foods That Will Last Forever – Indefinite Shelf Life

Read more: Gamma Seal Lids – And Here’s Why You Want Them…


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