Is Baking Soda an Acid or Base?

Baking soda is a base because the pH level is 9. Any substance with a pH level over 7 (neutral) is considered a base.

My name is Michelle, and I have been baking since the dawn of time. Well, not really, but I sure know my way around a cookie or cake. However, I’m no scientist. That’s why I recruited my brother, a doctor who has studied chemistry extensively, to help me out with this answer.

If you have ever wondered if baking soda is an acid or a base, I’ve got your answer. This article will dive deep into the depths of science to explain why baking soda is a base and other related questions.

Let’s dive in!

Is Baking Soda an Acid or Base?

Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate, is a nifty chemical compound (NaHCO₃) that can do plenty of great things. There’s a reason why this is a kitchen staple that is found in homes around the world.

Is it an acid or a base? To put it simply, baking soda is a base. How do we know this? There are a few reasons.

  • Baking soda has a pH of 9 – If a chemical is added to a pH strip and the color lands between 8 and 14, it is a base. Since baking soda lands at a 9, it is a base and not an acid.
  • When added to water, baking soda dissociates from NaHCO3 (s) to Na+ + HCO3-.
  • It reacts to acid – This is another tall-tell sign that something is a base. If you add a base to an acid, it will react (and vice versa).

What is the pH Level of Baking Soda?

A pH level indicates the acidity and alkalinity of a substance. pH levels range anywhere from 0 to 15. Lower numbers are acidic, seven are neutral, and higher numbers are alkaline. 

(Image Credit: OpenStax College |

Baking soda has a pH level of 9. Therefore, it is known as an alkaline substance. That’s why it is used in various ways, including soothing a stomach ache, keeping your mouth healthy, and treating kidney disease. 

Is it OK to Drink Baking Soda Water Every Day?

Many people drink baking soda to relieve indigestion and other stomach upsets, which is all thanks to the alkaline properties of sodium bicarbonate. But is it okay to drink this concoction daily?

No. While drinking baking soda water is a wonderful short-term solution to stomach problems, it should not be consumed regularly. Why? Because baking soda contains sodium. Consuming high levels of sodium can interfere with the cardiovascular system over time (Medical News Today).

Can Baking Soda Alkalize the Body?

Yes, baking soda can alkalize the body. That is why plenty of individuals believe that baking soda has cancer-fighting properties. 

Since cancer cells thrive in acid, it only makes sense to try alkalizing the body with alkaline foods and ingredients, including sodium bicarbonate. Research is still being conducted on this aspect.

Can I Use Salt Instead of Baking Soda?

Oh, no. You’re trying to bake a treat, and you’re all out of baking soda. Is your dessert destined for failure? Not necessarily. Potassium bicarbonate (potassium salt) can be an effective substitute. When using potassium bicarbonate, use a 1:1 ratio in place of the baking soda.

Final Thoughts

Baking soda is a base that has a pH balance of 9. When dissolved in water, it can be consumed to alkalize the body and treat indigestion and other stomach problems. 

However, limited consumption of this sodium base is recommended to avoid an overdose of sodium or other health issues.

Did you know that baking soda was a base? Do you ever drink water with baking soda to alleviate stomach pains? Let us know below!

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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