Does Baking Soda Go Bad and How Long Does it Last

Baking soda is a popular item found in most people’s kitchen cabinets and is one of those ‘set it and forget it’ kind of ingredients. And while it’s true that baking soda doesn’t necessarily go bad, it loses its potency around six months after being opened.

Hey there! I’m Michelle, and I love baking. I have baking soda in my arsenal all year round and I use it for a lot more than just baking. I also use it to clean my kitchen and baking essentials too, so it’s important to know the ins and outs of baking soda longevity.

If you’re curious about the lifespan of your baking soda, you’re not alone. While it can technically last forever, it doesn’t always mean it should find its way into your bread and cakes. This article will explain when baking soda goes ‘bad’ and how long it lasts.

Let’s dive into the great world of baking soda!

Does Baking Soda Go Bad?

The quick answer is no; baking soda does not technically go bad. The real issue with baking soda is that it does lose its potency over time. So, while you might be able to use older baking soda for things like cleaning, it shouldn’t be used in your baked goods.

Don’t worry, though. If you end up using older baking soda in your baked goods, you won’t be doing any harm. Old baking soda won’t cause you to get sick or anything near that. Instead, you might have a slight issue with the leavening action and your food’s overall taste. 

Why Doesn’t Baking Soda Go Bad?

At this point, you’re likely thinking – how come baking soda doesn’t go bad? Well, baking soda is a base and must be presented with an acid to ‘activate.’ This is the process used to leaven bread and make it fluffy.

So, unless your baking soda has come in contact with an acid – such as lemon juice or vinegar – it won’t activate and, therefore, won’t go bad. That’s why you won’t see an expiration date on baking soda (most of the time).

How Long Does Baking Soda Last?

As a general rule of thumb:

  • An opened box of baking soda lasts approximately six months.
  • An unopened box of baking soda lasts up to 3 years.

The main reason for this is that baking soda comes in a cardboard box with no seal. Over time, exposure to the air and surrounding smells will weaken the baking soda. That’s why it is said that baking soda loses its potency instead of necessarily going ‘bad.’

However, proper storage can extend the life of baking soda. The best way to increase longevity is to pour your baking soda into an airtight container, such as a mason jar, piece of Tupperware, or even a plastic bag.

Make sure that there are no scents inside the container or near the container for the best results. Also, store the baking soda in a cool, dry area. The best temperature for baking soda is between 30 and 70F.

With proper storage, the lifespan of baking soda can increase far beyond six months. Most people can expect at least a year, if not longer.

How to Tell if Your Baking Soda is Bad

If you’re not sure if you’re working with good baking soda, you will need to test it with some acid. To test your baking soda, do the following:

  1. Place a tablespoon of baking soda into a small bowl.
  2. Pour a bit of vinegar, lemon juice, or another acidic liquid over the baking soda.
  3. If the mixture fizzes and bubbles, the baking soda is still good.

Remember – baking soda requires an acid to activate. If the mixture does not fizz or bubble, the baking soda has gone bad. Don’t toss it, though! You can still use ‘bad’ baking soda for impeccable cleaning throughout the home.

FAQs

You’ve got questions about baking soda longevity, and I’ve got answers. Keep reading to find out some important information regarding baking soda and its lifespan.

What can you do with old baking soda?

There are lots of things you can do with old baking soda. My favorite uses are cleaning pots and pans, freshening up my laundry, making homemade play-doh, or deodorizing my refrigerator. 

CAN expired baking soda kill you?

There is nothing wrong with expired baking soda, and it will not kill you. However, it is important to note that if moisture comes in contact with the box, the baking soda will clump and form mold. That can be dangerous.

Final Thoughts

Baking soda is a popular staple in most kitchens, and it doesn’t ever expire. It does, however, lose its potency over time. Expired baking soda can still be used to clean, use as a laundry freshener, deodorize the fridge, and so much more.

What do you do with your old baking soda?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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