Does Baking Soda Go Bad? Here’s How to Tell

Does Baking Soda Go Bad?

Baking soda has quite an interesting history in the world of baking and general household use. It is a popular baking leavening agent and storing it at home is expected which is also why many can’t help but ask how long it is meant to last.

When it comes to neutralizing bad odor and cleaning, baking soda can come in handy as well, so there is practically no reason not to have it at home.

Baking soda is a leavening agent, and it is formulated to last past its expiry date. Baking soda can lose its potency over time and not produce much leavening action and is likely to still be safe to eat, but it eventually goes bad and needs to be discarded. Baking soda has a long shelf life, but you should know when to toss it out.

There are quite a lot of things baking soda can do in your house, especially in the kitchen. However, there are a couple of things you should know about this baking ingredient. From the kitchen to the bathroom, baking soda can take care of a lot of things, but before storing it in the pantry, there are things you should know.

Before adding your baking soda to your batter, you want to ensure it is still good as this can stop your cake from rising. Baking soda is an essential household ingredient, but it is also known to react to different temperatures.

What Are The Uses of Baking Soda?

Baking soda is a popular baking ingredient, but it can do a lot more than that. The uses of baking soda are quite many and people find ways to improvise with it. So, if you are not familiar with its numerous uses, we have compiled some common ones for you.

  • Use as a teeth whitener
  • Carpet stain remover
  • Multipurpose bathroom cleaner
  • Homemade weed killer
  • Shoe deodorizer
  • Used to give foods like cakes, bread, muffins, and cookies a light fluffy texture
  • Unclogged drains
  • Exfoliate skin gently.
How long can baking soda last?
Source: Blue Jean Chef

Does Baking Soda Go Bad?

Baking soda will eventually go bad, but it has a long lifespan. However, baking soda might lose its potency and still be safe to eat. Baking soda can still be used when it passes its expiry date, but you need to ensure it has not lost its potency yet.

After a while baking soda will not work as a leavening agent anymore but can be used for other things like cleaning and exfoliating.

Traditionally, baking soda is formulated to have an infinite shelf life even though it comes with an expiration date. It can go way past its expiration date, but you have to store it properly, and it can lose its efficiency if it is exposed to acidic moisture.

Baking soda needs an acid to activate it but if it has been exposed to air then this is unlikely to happen.

The general rule can help you decide when your baking soda needs to be discarded. Unopened baking soda found in the pantry can last two years while opened baking soda has a shelf life of about 6 months.

Baking soda will remain good to go a few days after its expiry date, but you will need ways to tell when your baking soda has gone bad.

Here is How to Tell Baking Soda Has Gone Bad

Being able to tell when your baking soda has gone bad is very important especially if you are planning to use it in baking.

Can You Use Fridge & Freezer Baking Soda For Baking?
Source: LoLWot

Note that leaving agents are technically not meant to go bad, but this doesn’t mean they are still safe enough for baking. Below is a simple and effective way you can test if your baking soda is still good to go.

  • Put a spoonful of baking soda into a bowl
  • Add a splash of vinegar, or you can go with lemon juice or any acidic liquid you can find. You can toss hot water in this bowl as well.
  • If the mixture fizzles or bubbles immediately then this means your baking soda is still good
  • If you don’t get any bubble or fizz then your baking soda has gone bad.

You don’t have to throw your baking soda out if it’s bad, it can still be used in cleaning but not for baking anymore.

How to Store Baking Soda

Baking SodaStorage
Unopened (room temperature)18 months
Opened (room temperature)6 months
Unopened (pantry)Indefinite
Opened (pantry)6 months

How do I store my baking soda? While how to store baking soda, so it doesn’t go bad is a common question, it is not that complex, and it is very easy to store and preserve.

Baking Soda can be stored in your kitchen cabinet but to preserve its shelf life and keep it dry, put it in a tight storage container.

If your Baking Soda is opened, pour it into a resealable plastic bag to keep air and moisture out. Baking soda should be stored in your cupboard and away from any heat or cold sources such as a stove or the refrigerator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use expired baking soda for baking?

Baking soda can still be used after it passes its expiry date, but usually, it will lose its potency in 1-3 years after the manufacture date. The only danger of using expired baking soda is that it won’t rise, and you can end up with dense and flat-baked goods.

What happens when baking soda is bad?

Baking soda might not produce much leavening agent anymore and will cause baked goods to be flat, but it is believed to be safe to eat. Baking soda is not dangerous and while bad baking soda won’t make your recipe turn out perfect, it is not unsafe and unlikely to make you sick.

Can old baking soda ruin cookies?

If your old baking soda hasn’t gone bad or been contaminated with moisture and air impurities then it won’t ruin your cookies. Old baking soda might not produce much leavening action hence your cookies might not come out great, but they can still be consumed.

How long can baking soda last?

Baking soda has a long shelf life and will even last past its expiry date. An unopened package of baking soda should last 2 years while the opened one can last 6 to 10 months if it is stored properly. Expired baking soda can also be used in cleaning instead of discarding it.

Wrapping Up

Worrying about how long your baking soda will last is quite necessary if you do come across a baking soda you have stored away for years and plan to bake with it.

If the container of your baking soda comes with a best by date then you can follow that but if there is no best by, you can assume it will last for 6 months after the expiry date.

In conclusion, if your baking soda has been sitting in the cabinet for years, then go ahead and check the potency to ensure it is safe to eat.

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