Does Baking Soda Go Bad?

Does baking soda go bad? It actually doesn't go bad but it can lose its potency. Here is how you can tell and how you should store baking soda properly.

Baking soda is one of those all-useful leavening agents used in baked goods like muffins, cookies and cakes. Baking soda comes in the form of a white powder and is formally known as sodium bicarbonate.

Have you stocked up on baking soda with a plan to bake lots of cakes, only to have accidentally forgotten all about that half-open bottle?

Don’t worry – we’ve all been there, and today we’re running through how to store baking powder, how to tell if it’s gone bad, how to use the remaining half-a-bottle up, and some substitutes.

If you’re in a hurry: 

The bad news is: baking soda can lose its potency over time. 

The good news is: baking soda lasts indefinitely past its expiration date. 

It’s best to store baking soda in a sealable airtight container, or a mason jar, somewhere cool and dry.

Related:Does Baking Powder Go Bad?Does Flour Go Bad?Does Yeast Go Bad?

How To Store Your Baking Soda

jar of baking soda and glass of water

Once you’ve uncapped your bottle of baking soda, put it in an airtight container or glass mason jars. This will help your baking soda to stay fresh. 

Place the airtight container or mason jar in a cool, dry area of the house, such as a kitchen cabinet. 

We certainly don’t recommend putting your baking soda in the refrigerator.

Baking soda is also very sensitive to other odors, so leaving it open in the pantry or refrigerator isn’t great!

How To Tell If Baking Soda Has Gone Bad

baking soda brands

So you might be wondering…if baking soda doesn’t go bad, isn’t it alright to use it for years? 

However, your baking soda may have gone bad if it was exposed to acidic moisture.

 Do you remember leaving it uncapped on the table, and you accidentally flicked vinegar residue on it? You may have noticed some bubbling or fizzing as a result. 

Baking powder that’s lost its potency isn’t necessarily dangerous, but old baking powder may not produce as much leavening action. 

To test your baking soda’s potency is quite easy. Simply toss a teaspoon of baking soda into a bowl and combine a bit of vinegar or lemon juice. 

Baking soda becomes activated when combined with an acidic ingredient and a liquid. 

If it fizzes or bubbles heavily, the baking soda is still good to use in that chocolate cake or cookie.

How To Use Up Baking Soda

baking soda in bowl and spoon

There are many useful solutions to use up the wasted baking soda sitting in your kitchen cabinet. Here are a few:

  • Use the baking soda as a cleaning detergent, make a paste from the baking soda and water. Baking soda can dissolve grease and dirt, because of its mild alkali subsistence. This cleaning agent can be used on kitchen appliances such as the oven.
  • Use it in the drain- baking soda can help to dissolve the grease and deodorize the drain.
  • Whiten your teeth, many research studies have shown that toothpaste containing baking soda is better for whitening teeth and removing plaque than any other toothpaste.

Substitutes For Baking Soda

baking powder and baking soda

If you have found that your baking soda has lost its potency, some various techniques and ingredients can be substituted:

  • Baking Powder is an ingredient in baking used to make something rise or leaven. Still, it’s leavening power isn’t as strong as baking soda. For every 1 teaspoon of baking soda, use 3 teaspoons of baking powder.
  • Bakers Ammonia is another great substitute for baking soda. 
  • 200g self-raising flour already contains 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. 

The Verdict

So… does baking soda go bad?

The answer is: no it doesn’t, and even if the baking soda does lose potency it isn’t unsafe to use. 

There are also ways to tell if your baking soda has lost its potency, and ways to extend its life, like storing your baking soda in an airtight container, or mason jar in a dark, dry place (e.g a kitchen cabinet).

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Alisa Shimoyama
Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.