Sometimes when I buy (cheap) gummy candy, it's a little too hard to enjoy. Is there a way to soften them? Preferably something that lasts, as opposed to perhaps heating them and eating them while they're warm.

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    Not quite what you asked, but if you don't mind changing them to a slightly more adult treat, you can put them in a bowl and add just enough vodka to cover them. Let them sit in the fridge for about 48 hours. The vodka will be absorbed, they will swell and be significantly softer. They'll also have a slight alcoholic kick that goes away over the next day or two as they cure.
    – Matthew
    Nov 17, 2014 at 21:47
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    Microwave them for a couple of seconds. Works wonders Jan 30, 2018 at 22:18

9 Answers 9


Gummy candy is essentially just water, sugar, gelatin, and a few other additives like food colouring.

Gelatin's gel strength1 is partially dependent on its concentration. The more concentrated, the harder it gets. Gummy candies left sitting around will lose water due to evaporation, which makes the gelatin more concentrated and thus harder, and if you watch carefully you'll notice that the moisture loss also makes the gummies shrink.

To soften them, you need to rehydrate them. Toss them in a bowl of hot or warm water (don't use cold water - gelatin is only soluble in warmer water) until they reach the desired consistency - usually around 20 minutes or so. The longer you leave them in the water, the more water they'll absorb, the more they'll grow and the softer they'll get.

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    I've done what Aaronut suggests in the past, the only thing I'll add is that if you aren't going to eat them then, toss them on a drying rack for a little while so the outer surface dries before packing them back into a bag. Otherwise they'll stick to each other and turn into a congealed concrete like mass. This is especially true with gummy worms. They were almost impossible to get apart.
    – cabbey
    Nov 8, 2010 at 21:55
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    depending on who is consuming you can use rum instead of water, that is the only experience i have with hydrating gummies. They do stick terribly if you don't let them dry before re-packing.
    – Manako
    Nov 8, 2010 at 22:11
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    How warm should the water be? I tried it but my gummy bears melted and ended up half the size and they were only slightly softer. Nov 10, 2010 at 18:22
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    @Brian: I think you made it too warm. :P I guess this partly depends on the actual gummies, but try starting with a temperature just above tepid and try just a few gummies as a test. It is possible, though unlikely, that your gummies weren't made with very much gelatin to begin with, so it might not take much to dissolve them outright.
    – Aaronut
    Nov 10, 2010 at 23:51
  • While gelatin melts in warm water, it actually hydrates just fine in cold. You actually bloom gelatin in cold water to hydrate it fully so it can melt more evenly in hot water. So I'd thing cool water would work too, just more slowly.
    – kitukwfyer
    Aug 14, 2021 at 12:12

Put the gummies in a microwave for 5 to 10 seconds, but since microwave ovens vary by manufacturer keep an eye on them.


Put a piece of bread in the bag with the gummies, clip the bag, and put it somewhere warm. It will take a day, but will come back just like new. 👍


Put em in your pocket! They get warm and squishy after five minutes or so.

  • 2
    This would be a temporary warming solution, which the question specifically avoids.
    – SourDoh
    Jan 29, 2014 at 15:49

I think it takes approximately three hours for chewy candy to become a soluble in water


Submerge them in vegetable glycerin and Seth them in top of your gaming PC while playing a demanding game for an hour. They become so soft that they nearly melt in your mouth. The vg also makes them slightly sweeter.

  • What is vegetable glycerin and where can you buy it? Oct 18, 2022 at 18:04

Yes you can very easily soften gummy candy. I have to do this with Swedish Fish because lately regardless of where I purchase them, they are quite hard straight out of the bag. I would say every 4 out of 5 bags are dry and hard and that 1 good bag is getting harder to find. It may be a recipe change, or just bad luck. I’ve experimented with different methods of making them softer and most of the advice offered is spot on. There are many ways of making them softer. Basically you need the addition of a liquid. Water, vodka, juice, rum, any liquid will work. Next you need to increase the temperature of the gummy candy. The warmer they are, the faster they will start softening. My go to method is to place my gummies in an ziplock bag, add just enough water to coat the gummies (1 or 2 tbsp). Shake to coat and then place in microwave for 10 seconds. Take out, shake again. I do this for about 60 seconds. You can eat them at this point. To store for later, I put the gummies in a dish lined with parchment paper and let them dry up overnight before storing. You can experiment with different liquids and different ways to heat until you find your ideal method.


I put mine on the dash of my car on a warm sunny day. You have to keep an eye on them but they regain softness. I have even used the heat from my blow dryer!


Try stick a piece of bread in the bag, I use this to soften my cookies

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