How long does hot sauce burn last?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “How long does hot sauce burn last?”, and why does it burn. We will also talk about things you can do to calm down the burning sensation and if hot sauce can burn skin.

How long does hot sauce burn last?

Burn from hot sauce generally lasts for about 20 minutes. The amount of time can vary depending on how hot the sauce was, how hot the chili peppers used to make it were, and how much of it did you actually consume.

Why does the hot sauce burn when consumed?

The burn from hot sauce is basically a pain sensation. There is a substance present in chili peppers called capsaicin. When it comes in contact with the tongue, it triggers a nerve pathway which makes the brain think that the tongue is burning. So basically, when we eat something and it feels ‘spicy’, it is just a pain sensation.

Capsaicin can also lead to a surge of stress hormones which is why the person’s face turns red and he starts sweating. It is all just a chemical reaction because you are not actually burning but still your breath feels like you are blowing out fire!

Why can some people handle hot sauce while others can not?

People who like spicy food eat it a lot. This overwhelms the temperature-sensitive pathway and makes it dull to the same reaction over and over. Or you can say that a person develops ‘tolerance’ to spicy food. So while someone who can not handle spicy food is sweating, a person with tolerance will be enjoying his food.

How to cool down the burning sensation from hot sauce?

Well, in case you have accidentally or by choice eaten hot sauce and now your mouth is on fire, do not worry. Read the following tips to help you calm down the burning sensation.

Dairy products

Look inside the fridge for any dairy products. Milk helps calm down the burning sensation very efficiently. It has a protein called casein which fights off the capsaicin from the hot sauce. 

Keep in mind that coconut milk, soy milk, or almond milk will not work because they do not have casein. If milk is not available, look for other milk based products like yogurt or cheese. You can even use cream. 


Have a juice which has acidity in it such as lemonade or an orange juice. This is because capsaicin is alkaline in nature so acidity will neutralize it.

Starchy foods

Starch can help mask the effect of capsaicin or just act as a barrier. Have something like bread or rice.

Does water help in calming down the burning sensation?

If your mouth is on fire, the first thing that you reach out for is most likely water but it is not a good idea to have water during a burning episode from hot sauce.

The reason being, capsaicin is an oil based molecule so water will just move around the capsaicin in your mouth. So, avoid drinking water and instead, try one of the things mentioned above.

Can hot sauce burn the skin?

If hot sauce or chili peppers come in contact with skin, they will not actually ‘burn’ your skin and in fact they will do no physical harm to your skin.

The capsaicin will just trigger the same receptors as it would on the tongue, making your brain think it’s burning, while it is actually just pain you are experiencing. 

Read about whether hot sauce is healthy or not here.

How to store hot sauce so it does not go bad?

You can store unopened hot sauce in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight and moisture. Once it has been opened, keep it in the fridge so that it retains its freshness.

Do not let hot sauce clump up around the rim of the bottle and the cap. This sauce will get dried out and fester a lot of bacteria on it which can spread into the whole sauce.

Keep it away from heat. Do not let it sit near the stove.

Sanitize the bottle from outside every once in a while so get rid of any pathogens that could spoil the sauce.

Following these precautions will definitely increase the shelf life of hot sauce.

Other FAQs about Sauces that you may be interested in.

Does BBQ sauce have to be refrigerated?

What can I use Instead of Green Chili Sauce?

Can you substitute applesauce for vegetable oil?

Can you freeze vodka sauce?


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long does hot sauce burn last?”, and why does it burn. We also talked about things you can do to calm down the burning sensation and if hot sauce can burn skin.