Baking soda is a very popular product that is also known as ‘sodium bicarbonate’, which is a chemical compound and is mostly salt which is also made up of sodium and bicarbonate. In its appearance, baking soda looks like a white powder similar to salt but a little bit less and much more soft in its texture and makeup. Baking soda is a product known for being a leavening agent that helps to preserve certain kinds of food, specifically for bread dough and bread batter. The product is also a pure substance and has alkaline in it which is acidic in its’ nature which helps baking soda act as a preservative for different kinds of products. Baking soda has a variety of uses, which means that you can find the product in many parts of the world and in all kinds of markets. If you’re at the local supermarket and you see a big sale on containers of baking soda, what should you do? Would it be worth the savings in both time and money to store the product for the long-term and buy the product in bulk? Will it be possible to find ways to make the extra baking soda last for a while without problems arising? The ultimate question remains; does baking soda go bad?
Does Baking Soda Go Bad?
In addition to cooking, baking soda is known for its uses in medicine as well as cleaning purposes. Baking soda is also an ingredient that needs to be added to baking powder too. The two kinds are also similar in that they should be stored in the same manner and that the shelf lives are going to be close to each other in terms of overall length. Baking soda is unlike most products in that it doesn’t really sour or go bad in the traditional sense but that it rather loses its’ quality and texture as time goes by. The longer you store the baking soda, the less quality it may have but it’s still important to know what to do for storage. If you read on in this article, you’ll find out useful information about how to store baking soda properly, what’s the usual shelf life, and what are the signs to look for to spot baking soda of poor quality.
Storing The Baking Soda
When you store baking soda properly, you will be able to reap the benefits for many months if you follow certain steps and procedures. Baking soda is a product that needs to be stored in a cool, dark, and dry area. There are a couple of ideal places for baking soda such as kitchen cabinet / pantry, basement, cellar, and even the attic if you have one. Keeping the baking soda dry above all else is a top concern for any consumer. Outside elements like heat, sunlight, moisture and oxygen can really negatively affect both the texture and quality of the baking soda.
It’s especially important to keep the baking soda dry at all times and to not expose the product to any moisture or wetness. The worst thing that could happen to your baking soda is for it to be exposed to some water which would cause it to go bad very quickly meaning that you’ll have to throw it out and lose out on some money because of that. The container, bag, or box of baking soda should be tightly sealed at all times. This is especially important after you open and use the product for the first time. Exposing baking soda to oxygen, heat, and sunlight becomes much easier when the seal is broken or the cap doesn’t fit anymore. As long as the baking soda stays dry and its’ contents sealed tight, the storage process will be a successful one for you.
Shelf Life of Baking Soda
When it comes to baking soda, each container or box of the product will either come with a “Use by” and “Best before” date. It’s important for the consumer to be aware that this is not really an expiration date as most consumers believe it to be but rather the date as to which the baking soda will begin to decline in overall quality and appeal. Usually, this date is not the most accurate so if you use the baking soda a couple of weeks or months past the “Use by” date, you should be alright as the quality will not have deteriorated that much.
After the original date of production, the baking soda depending on the brand and type should be good for a period of between one to two years if it hasn’t been opened or used yet. When you decide to open and use the baking soda for the first time, the shelf life of the baking soda will shorten to about six months or so of good quality and texture. Now, the baking soda could last for longer or shorter than these given timetables but it really depends on how you store the product and if you keep track of its’ physical makeup and appearance so you know when it’s going bad or not.
Check out this easy trick that tells you if your baking soda has gone bad or not:
Signs of Bad Baking Soda
As stated before, baking soda won’t really go bad on its own but rather that its quality will decline the longer you store the product for. In addition, it will go bad quite quickly if it is exposed to any water, heat, or moisture, which is why it’s important to seal the product tightly to prevent this kind of exposure.
There’s a unique test that any consumer can use in order to verify the good or bad quality of the baking soda. It is a test designed to serve the purpose of letting the consumer know whether or not the baking soda can still do its’ job. You basically use an empty measuring cup and pour three tablespoons of vinegar into it (or you can just use plain hot water). Then, you should add a small teaspoon of baking soda from the container into the measuring cup. If some acidic bubbles form on the surface of the mixture of vinegar and baking soda, that’s a good sign which means that the product can still do its’ job in cooking and other purposes. If the mixture doesn’t bubble or fizzle at all, it’s a sure sign that the baking soda is ineffective and should be replaced because the quality is poor and unreliable. Good luck and use your best judgment!