Cotton candy is a summertime classic that’s eaten by many people, but few know how long it will last.
Although cotton candy does not expire (because the main ingredient is sugar), it can shrink very quickly. You definitely want to store it properly to restore the fluffy texture.
Cotton candy has a very short shelf life because it is made from sugar and water, which are highly hygroscopic (attract moisture) and prone to mold growth when exposed to air for too long.
How long does cotton candy last? If you leave it out in the open, the cotton candy will shrink after 20 minutes. If stored in a sealed plastic bag, it can last up to three weeks. The best way to store cotton candy is in an airtight plastic container, which will preserve it for up to 10 weeks.
In this article, let’s learn more about cotton candy and how best to store it for the best texture and taste.
How Long Does Cotton Candy Last Out In The Open?
When exposed to open air, the cotton candy will start to melt after 20 minutes. The longer it sits out, the harder it becomes and the less appealing it looks.
In most cases, cotton candy should be eaten within 30 minutes of being made.
If you have a large quantity of cotton candy and need to store it for later consumption, we recommend storing it in an airtight container in a dry place at room temperature (68 F).
If you are planning on giving some away as gifts or serving at an event like a birthday party or wedding reception, it is best to make the cotton candy just before your guests arrive or when you need it. This way, you can enjoy it at its freshest state.
If you want to use cotton candy as a topping for cakes or cupcakes, it’s best to add the finishing touches right before serving so that the cotton candy doesn’t deflate when you enjoy them.
How Long Can Cotton Candy Last In A Plastic Bag?
If you’re planning on saving your cotton candy for a later date, store it in an airtight plastic bag at room temperature.
The bag will help keep moisture out and prevent the candy from absorbing flavors from other foods in your kitchen. Keep the bag away from heat sources such as heating vents or ovens since high temperatures may melt the cotton candy over time.
Cotton candy that has been opened should be stored in an airtight container so that it doesn’t dry out.
A resealable plastic bag or sealed container with a tight-fitting lid works well for this purpose.
If you’re using a resealable plastic bag, make sure it is completely sealed before putting it away so that no air gets trapped inside the cotton candy.
This will help keep some moisture in while preventing bugs or insects from getting into your food storage area.
How Long Does Cotton Candy Last In A Mylar Bag?
Prepackaged cotton candy can last a few years if they are packaged in a mylar bag. The shelf life of cotton candy depends on if the package is secure.
Cotton candy that comes in mylar bags will have a longer shelf date than loose-packed cotton candy sold in bulk bins at grocery stores or fairs.
You can also purchase mylar bags to store your cotton candy yourself. As long as the seal is secure, the cotton candy will stay fluffy for a few years.
How Long Does Unopened Cotton Candy Last?
If you have bought prepackaged cotton candy in a thick plastic container, your cotton candy will last unopened for about five to ten weeks.
This is just an estimate, but if the cotton candy is not opened for that time period, it should be fine to eat.
Opening the container will shorten the lifespan of your cotton candy because it will allow air in and moisture from your breath onto the product.
If you have purchased cotton candy at a fair or carnival, it may be wrapped in a thin plastic bag that is perforated with tiny holes.
This type of packaging allows air to get into the bag while keeping moisture out. That way, when you are ready to eat your cotton candy, all you have to do is tear off one side of the bag and squeeze some out onto your tongue!
However, in this type of plastic bag, cotton candy will still deflate after a few days.
Cotton candy does not have an expiration date because it doesn’t contain any ingredients that would go bad over time (unlike something like potato chips).
However, if you store it properly (away from sunlight and heat), then there should be no reason why it wouldn’t last.
How Long Does Floss Sugar Last?
Floss sugar is the flavored sugar crystals that have dried flavoring and dye crystallized within.
Floss sugar is used in making cotton candy, which is sold by most carnivals and fairs throughout the world. It’s also used in making other candies, like lollipops, bubble gum, and gummies.
Floss sugar normally has a very long shelf life. Generally, it can stay fresh for two years from when it was manufactured.
Floss sugar should be stored in a cool, dry place away from heat sources, like fireplaces or radiators. Make sure the container is tightly sealed to prevent moisture from getting in and spoiling the contents.
If you’re using floss sugar regularly, you may want to purchase a large quantity so that you always have some on hand. If you don’t use up your supply within two years, it will probably still be good for another year or so if kept cool and dry.
If the sugar gets damp, it may clump together when squeezed through a press or sifter.
However, this can easily be fixed by placing the sugar in an airtight container with a few desiccants (silica gel packets) or by microwaving it briefly on high power until it’s dry again (this also makes it easier to store).
Best Way To Store Cotton Candy
Cotton candy is basically just sugar and air. It is made by blowing air through sugar crystals which form into fun, floss-like strands.
This process allows manufacturers to store large amounts of sugar without it going bad, but once you open the package, you have to use it quickly because the sugar will absorb moisture from the air and lose its flavor.
Store your cotton candy at room temperature for the best result. You should also keep it away from direct sunlight and heat sources. This will help prevent it from melting or becoming sticky.
If you’re planning on storing your cotton candy for longer than a week, you should store it inside an airtight container or resealable bag.
It’s important to note that cotton candy melts easily, so if you plan on traveling with your cotton candy, make sure it’s stored in a cool place so that it doesn’t melt during transit.
Don’t shake or move your bag of cotton candy around too much when you’re trying to open it or get some out — this can cause the strands to break up and become unwrapped from each other, which can lead them to get sticky and clump together in one big mess.
Try holding down one end of the bag with one hand while opening with the other hand — this will help prevent any unnecessary movement from occurring during the process of opening up your bag of fluff!
Will Cotton Candy Melt?
Cotton candy melts quickly, so it’s best to eat it right away. Cotton candy will melt when fully exposed to open air and should not be left out for more than ten to twenty minutes.
The main ingredient in cotton candy is sugar, which has a low melting point. The fibers of cotton candy can absorb moisture from the air, which will cause them to soften and stick together if left outside for too long.
While this isn’t harmful in any way, it may make the cotton candy less fun to eat.
Can Cotton Candy Go Bad?
Cotton candy will take years to go bad as the primary ingredient is sugar with minimal flavor and color. The only thing that could make cotton candy spoil is if it has been contaminated with bacteria from unclean hands or equipment.
When the cotton candy begins to melt, the sugar will absorb moisture from the air, creating a sticky substance instead of threads of sugar. This type of melted cotton candy is still safe to consume, but it will lose the signature fluffy texture of cotton candy.
Should You Store Cotton Candy In The Fridge?
Cotton candy should not be stored in the fridge but in a dry, dark space at room temperature in sealed packaging.
Heat, humidity, and light can cause the sugar to turn brown or harden. If you want to keep your cotton candy fresh for longer, store it in an airtight container in your pantry until you are ready to serve it.