One item that has so many applications for recipes that you’ll want to save a lot of it for both everyday use and disaster preparedness is the leavening agent – baking soda. It’s different from baking powder – which contains sodium bicarbonate.
Although baking soda can last for many years and technically has an indefinite shelf life, it’s crucial to store it carefully in a storage container. Baking soda ranks highly when you consider kitchen essentials, and for valid reasons.
Baking soda is a need in recipes, whether you’re using it to get rid of garbage can stench, enhance your garden, or make a batch of Irish soda bread.
However, storing baking soda in its cardboard box isn’t the most effective approach to keep it fresh. To give baking soda a long shelf life, you need an airtight seal, a dry place, rather than a cardboard box which won’t keep your baking soda fresh because it loses potency.
Can Baking Soda Go Bad?
Unlike other foods, baking soda doesn’t go bad. Baking soda can be kept in storage forever. However, baking soda will experience a chemical reaction over time and gradually begin to lose its effectiveness.
The fact that baking soda absorbs moisture and smells from the air is another problem with storage. Due to this feature, it is excellent for absorbing unpleasant odours from your refrigerator but more challenging to store.
Baking soda would soon begin to smell like detergent if it were kept nearby detergents, for instance.
Baking Soda Expiration Dates
In an unopened bottle, baking soda typically lasts two to three years. The baking soda must be used within six months of being opened. In fact, this changes depending on the kind of packing; the longer that baking soda lasts, the more airtight the packaging.
Can Expired Baking Soda Be Eaten?
In the same way as canned goods have official expiration dates, baking soda too has a manufacturer-determined shelf life. Although we don’t recommend it, you can use baking soda far after the expiration date.
The issues with baking soda that has expired are as follows:
- Loses its effectiveness: Baking soda loses its effectiveness after undergoing a chemical reaction; it is no longer effective for many homemade deodorants or cleaning solutions.
- Becomes bitter: Even though cakes still rise beautifully, old baking soda develops a bitter flavour that makes them taste awful.
How To Store Your Baking Soda
The key to properly preserving baking soda and increasing it’s shelf life would be to store it away from moisture and heat which can cause a chemical reaction that will reduce its effectiveness. Stored properly, baking soda can have a longer shelf life.
Your best option is a totally airtight container for the baking soda stored in a cool environment. Airtight plastic containers will increase shelf life the most. Here are various options for storing baking soda to increase the shelf life.
Original Box: NOT Recommended
Baking soda comes in inexpensive boxes, but they are not good for long-term storage. The thin cardboard is easily permeable by air, which means that the baking soda will absorb moisture and absorb odors from the air.
Anticipate baking soda to expire in a box in no more than two years, and considerably less if you reside in a warm, humid climate.
Vacuum sealing baking soda in its original packaging makes it simple to keep. Even while vacuum sealer packs still let any moisture in, it is significantly less than if you’d left the package outside. Double-seal baking soda if you want to be cautious.
Mason jars have an excellent air tight seal. The jar will prevent moisture from reaching the baking soda as long as you manage to tighten the lid down firmly. An empty spice jar or glass jar works!
Just be careful not to get any dust on the jar lid since baking soda will quickly absorb any odour or dust, which is common with a glass jar.
Moisture is largely kept out of the contents of a higher-quality airtight container. However, the airtight container must have a very excellent airtight lid.
You can put baking soda in food-grade buckets if you wish to store it in large quantities. However, regular bucket lids don’t offer a good seal. Rather, spend your money on some gamma-seal lids. They are much simpler to open and keep air out.
Mylar bags, which include baking soda, are undoubtedly the finest storage option for dry goods. This material keeps all air and moisture out when it is sealed. A plastic bag can work but make sure the plastic bag is sealed properly.
Cans – NOT Recommended
While many different types of food can be stored quite well in cans, it is typically not advised to keep baking soda inside cans. The primary explanation is because the cans’ metallic taste can transfer to the baking soda.
Another problem is that as baking soda undergoes its chemical reaction, a tiny amount of moisture is released. In the can, moisture can accumulate and interact with the metal.
Do I Need To Store Baking Soda With Oxygen Absorbers?
No, you don’t need to combine baking soda with oxygen absorbers. It is not necessary because baking soda does not become spoiled by oxidation.
Additionally, it’s recommended to keep baking soda without the oxygen absorber packages because the iron inside them may interact with the baking soda.
Do I Need To Use A Desiccant To Store Baking Soda?
Food packaging desiccants are employed to manage moisture. To help prevent clumping, some individuals choose to place a desiccant on top of the baking soda prior to sealing the container.
You don’t have to do this, though; even if the baking soda clumps, you can simply crush it down into a powder.
Checking the Quality of Baking Soda
Use this test to determine whether or not expired baking soda is still usable:
- In a cup, add a spoonful of lemon or vinegar.
- Add a small amount of baking soda.
- The baking soda is still good if it immediately begins to fizz. If bubbles are small or slow, the baking soda’s effectiveness has been diminished.
It’s crucial to treat baking soda like a diamond to increase its lifespan and prevent it from absorbing unneeded scents.
The most effective method for doing this is to keep it in a sealed container or any of the other above methods in a dry, cool and odor-free location.
Hopefully you found this article helpful and can now make sure your box of baking soda stays fresh in the pantry and free from moisture so you can use it in your baked goods.