Chewy caramels and caramel sauce, we love. Cleaning the sticky pot shellacked with sugar residue after making those caramels, we love not so much. Here's a trick that will save you some time and save your poor arms a lot of scrubbing!
After you're done with the pot, simply fill it with water until the water covers all of the sugar residue. Then put it back on the stove and let the water simmer while you finish up your candies.
The warm water will gradually melt the sugar from the sides of the pan, leaving it residue-free! The water will also dilute and suspend the sugar, so even if you turn off the heat and save the cleaning for later, the sugar won't re-crystallize onto your pan.
If you used any spoons, thermometers, or other utensils in the process of making your candies, stick those in the pot of water, too. Works like a charm!