Today, while making a cup of coffee at a fundraising event, I spilt some sugar on a hard floor. We had no dustpan and brush or vacuum, so effectively, we resorted to picking up the sugar from the floor.

How could I have more efficiently and quickly cleaned up the mess?

To extend the problem, what could have been done if the amount spilled had been substantial?


5 Answers 5


You can make a little heap with the sugar, and then with a sheet of paper you try to push the sheet under the heap to get the sugar. It's not a perfect solution, there is probably sugar remaining but now you can reuse a part of the sugar

  • 3
    I wouldn't want to be served coffe with sugar and floor... I'd probably just throw the sugar away...
    – Vogel612
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 10:16
  • 1
    To be clear, we did throw away the spilt sugar ;) Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 10:28
  • 1
    Well it's depend of the amout of sugar on the floor I think. If it fall and make a heap you can re use the part which didn't touch the floor (but only for you I guess, if you serve it to other peoples they probably won't be ok).
    – agonist_
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 10:45
  • I think this works quite well as a general solution for a larger amount of sugar. Then to get the remnants when it's difficult with paper, use Vogel's solution. Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 11:10
  • 1
    A sheet of paper can serve as a makeshift dustpan. Hold it in the middle on one of the long sides, giving it a slight crease with your thumb. When applied with gentle pressure, and at a rather steep angle, the leading edge should hold true to the floor.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 7:38

Sugar is easily soluble in water. The easiest way would be wiping it with a towel or similar that's been wetted.

That works best with small grains of sugar, so you'd still have to pick up the larger chunks. Alternatively you could smash those, too.


Once you've cleaned up the sugar as @agonist_ has suggested, press your hand against the floor to pick up the remaining sugar grains. Your hand is just moist enough that the sugar will stick to it instead of the floor.


Get a Canis lupus familiaris to clean it up.

  • Although I do have one now, I didn't have one at the time. But there isn't always one to hand anyway. In this case, I was in a public sports hall. Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 14:52

Water is the most practical thing to remove sugar. It dissolves with sugar and make it easy to remove quickly. After sugar get mixed with water wipe it using a piece of cloth.

  • 2
    This doesn't add anything that wasn't covered in Vogel612's answer.
    – Allison C
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 16:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.