We rely on baking soda to create those wonderful CO2 bubbles in our baking, but how long does baking soda last in our pantry? Is it eternal or does it have an expiration date? We are here to solve all your doubts and keep you from wasting time, effort, and ingredients into a cake that will not rise!
How Long Does Baking Soda Last?
We use baking soda as a replacement for natural yeast or beaten egg whites, that are natural leavening agents still used today. When you combine it with something acidic, like vinegar in a red velvet cake, it reacts and releases small gas bubbles that make up the crumb. Unlike baking powder, it does not react with water, so it does not need to be stored in an airtight container. That is why you will usually find baking soda packaged in cardboard boxes.
It is good to know that no matter when you use baking soda, it will never pose any health risks. It does, however, lose potency over time. This happens over a period of several months, though.
As a rule of thumb, a sealed container can last up to 2 years. An opened container lasts for about 6 months without losing any power.
Testing to See If it is Good
To make sure the potency has not been compromised, you want to perform a simple test. You need to mix some acid into a sample and see how it reacts.
- Put a spoonful of baking soda in a small bowl.
- Grab your acidic liquid (it can be vinegar, lemon juice, orange juice, whatever you have on hand!) and pour it over the powder.
- How much does it fizz? If you get a strong reaction, it is still good. Otherwise, it has gone bad and you will want to buy a new box.
What Do I Do with Baking Soda that has Gone Bad?
If you find out that it has gone bad, do not throw it away! You can use it for cleaning!
Use it for Cleaning
One of my favorites uses for it is as a deodorizer. Just place the whole box into the fridge and it will clean it of any lingering smells. You can do the same with carpets, by pouring some of it on top of a stain before cleaning.
You can also mix it with water and lemon juice and create an amazing kitchen sink scrub that will also help polish your silverware. The acid from the lemon with the abrasion from the powder will help you get rid of stubborn grease leftover after making buttercream, for example.
Why you may ask. Well, half a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in two glasses of water can help you get rid of indigestion, bloating, heartburn or gas. It is a great replacement for antacid in a pinch. Isn’t that great?
Did you know your baking soda could go bad? Check it and see if you can still use it for baking!