Does Baking Soda Go Bad? Does it Expire?
Question: Does baking soda go bad? Does it expire? Read our guide to find out.
You come across a large container with baking soda that has been in storage in the kitchen cabinet for a long time and you don’t even know how long it’s been there. You’re aware that the product has very long shelf life but you don’t really know how long it can last without going bad.
You find yourself wondering can baking powder get spoiled? Is it still active for baking? These are some of the questions that we normally ask ourselves after finding an old package of baking soda that has been in storage for God knows how long.
Here, we’ll discuss everything to do with baking soda, its shelf life, storage and potency. If you’d like to know more about this ingredient often used for baking, read on.
How To Store Baking Soda
Baking soda has to be stored in the same way as cornstarch and baking powder. This means that it should be kept in a cool and dry area. The best places you can achieve this is in either the pantry or a kitchen cabinet. The most vital factor is that the area has to be dry, and away from moisture and water.
After opening the packaging, make sure that the package is tightly sealed after every use.
How Long Does Baking Soda Last?
Some manufacturers include a best-by date or any other date-related specification on the package, though this isn’t always the case. If the package doesn’t have this information, then its probably best to assume that the shelf life of the product is at least 3 years.
If the baking soda you’re planning on using has been in storage past the best-by date, make sure to check for its potency. This will take not more than one or two minutes, but you’ll be able to prevent a baking disaster from happening. Although the product is past the best-by date, it can still be used as long as it’s still potent.
After the package is opened, the baking soda should be able to retain its freshness for at least ½ a year. When the ingredient comes to contact with air, it will lose its potency much faster, but it will still be safe for consumption. So, if you prefer using baking soda (also referred to as sodium bicarbonate) in your baking, confirm its potency before mixing it with other ingredients, especially if it has been in storage for a very long time.
|Baking soda (unopened)||Best-by or 3 years|
|Baking soda (opened)||6 months|
Don’t forget that the periods provided above are meant for cooking and are just rough approximates. Make sure you test for the potency of old baking soda before you can use it in your baking.
How To Tell If Baking Soda Lost Its Potency Or Is Bad?
Like we’ve mentioned before, if the baking soda is properly stored, it won’t go bad in such a way that it becomes unsafe for use. However, if it gets in contact with moisture or water, then it becomes very useless. If the baking soda is stored in the right way, none of the above will occur.
Baking soda can easily lose its potency which is vital aspect for it as a leavening agent. This tends to occur gradually, so if the ingredient is very old, you won’t receive the require results from your baking project. If you mix your baking soda with vinegar and some bubbles form, it means that it’s still potent. This is how it will look like:
How can I tell whether my baking soda is fresh? This can be conducted using a simple test. Put 3 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar into a cup. Then add a teaspoon of the leavening agent. If bubbles form in the mixture, it means that the baking powder hasn’t lost its potency. This is how it will look like:[insert photo]
If no bubbles form in the mixture, it means that your baking soda is stale. However, you can still use it to perform other things such as cleaning. When it comes to cleaning, baking powder remains quite safe indefinitely.
Lemon juice or vinegar are used to taste for potency instead of water because baking soda reacts faster when mixed with acid.