Does It Go Bad?

Information about storage and shelf life of various products

Does Baking Soda Go Bad?

Does baking soda go bad? Baking soda is, similarly to baking powder, a leavening agent. It’s used in cooking, medicine and even as a cleaning agent. In fact, baking soda is a component of baking powder. Because of that, the way how both substances are supposed to be stored and their shelf lives are fairly similar. There are only minor differences between them. The most important information for you is: baking soda doesn’t go bad in a meaning of spoiling or getting moldy, but it loses its potency with time. Therefore, after some time you won’t be able to use it as desired. Let’s start off by discussing how to store this product.

How To Store Baking Soda

As you should know, in most cases proper storage decreases the risk that a certain product will go bad early. This works for baking soda as well. Baking soda should be stored similarly to most other ingredients in form of powder. A dry and cool place is best for storing baking soda. The pantry seems to be the best room in the house, since there’s cool and dry in there. The dryness is the most important factor here. If any moisture can reach baking soda, the product will go bad quickly and you’ll have to discard it. Please remember that the container should be tightly closed when it’s being stored. If you can’t store this product in the pantry, you can keep it in a cupboard in the kitchen as well.

 

BakingSoda
(credit:[F]oxymoron )

 

Shelf Life Of Baking Soda

Every package or container of baking soda has a ‘sell-by’ or ‘use-by’ date. Please remember that it’s just a rough estimate of how long the product should be fine and effectively do what it’s supposed to. When it comes to baking soda, the mentioned date depends on the product’s producer. Some manufacturers state that their powder will be potent for a year, others declare that it’s good for a longer period of time. It’s pretty safe to assume that baking soda in an unopened package will be fine for about 2 years. Once it’s opened, it should retain its potency for about half a year. Of course baking soda might work well for a longer period of time. The best thing you can do when you find a container of baking soda is to test whether it’s still potent enough.

How To Tell If Baking Soda Has Lost Its Potency Or Is Bad

As I’ve mentioned earlier, when it’s stored well, baking soda doesn’t go bad in a meaning of getting moldy etc. However, if any moisture will be able to reach baking soda, the product will spoil pretty quickly. If you’ll store the powder properly, none of the mentioned can happen. Baking soda can, however, lose its potency. It loses its potency with time, so when the powder is old enough, you can’t expect that it’ll do its work properly.

How to tell if baking soda is fine to use? There is a simple test. Get a vessel and pour 3 tablespoons of vinegar into it. Now add a teaspoon of baking soda. If there are some bubbles on the mixture’s surface that means the powder is still potent enough to do its duty. If it doesn’t bubble, the product is stale and you should discard it. It’s always (when it’s stored for at least few months) better to test the baking soda before cooking with it. You don’t want to ruin a great dish because of a condiment that’s unable to do its job.

Summary
As you can see, baking soda doesn’t go bad in a meaning that it spoils. It can, however, lose its potency.

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