Does baking soda go bad?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “does baking soda go bad?. “We will also discuss the shelf life of baking soda as well as the best ways of storing it.

Does baking soda go bad?

Yes, baking soda can go bad because it loses its efficacy during long storage times,although it loses its potency, it does  not mean a harm to health.

 After opening a bag of baking soda, a slow decomposition may start right away. Access of humidity from the air initiates a conversion to the sesquicarbonate or carbonate, accompanied by the premature loss of some carbon dioxide. (1)

The fact that most baking soda containers include a best-by date does not imply that it is hazardous to use beyond that date.

Some of the manufacturing issues, often blamed to flour quality fluctuations, might come from the use of old baking soda (1)

How Long Does Baking Soda Last?

According to the Foodkeeper provided by the United States Department of Agriculture, unopened baking soda should be stored for 18 months. After opening, store at room temperature for 6 months for best quality. (2)

How to store Baking Soda?

If you keep the packets of powdered foods in your pantry open, they may get infected or destroyed. Always store baking soda in a sealed container in a cold, dry location such as a closet or pantry to prevent spoilage.

In high humidity environments, don’t buy overly big packs of baking soda or quantities that will have many months of storage time. Keep packs or premixes, once opened, within moisture-proof containers that are easy to close. (1)

If the baking soda is stored in a sealed bag and is towards the end of its shelf life, test its effectiveness before using it in a recipe.

How to Test Your Baking Soda’s Potency?

To test whether the baking soda is still quite strong, you need to have some acid, like vinegar or lemon juice. Once baking soda hits acid, it generates carbon dioxide, which fizzes and bubbles.Make use of this easy test to see whether your baking soda is still somewhat suitable for baking purposes.

  • In a small mixing basin, combine 14 tsp baking soda.
  • Toss the powder with a tsp of vinegar or lemon juice and mix well.
  • If the liquid immediately begins to bubble vigorously, the baking soda is still suitable for baking. If you only receive a little amount of fizz, your baking soda is no longer usable for baking, but you’ll still use it for cleaning purposes.

It is also possible to test baking soda in the lab by dissolving 2 g of baking soda in 50 mL water at ambient temperature. If, after stirring, the solution is not clear but cloudy, some of the SBC activity is lost already. 

Then add two drops of a phenolphthalein solution (1% in ethanol). The baking soda solution should stay colorless; a slight or strong pink colouration indicates increasing activity losses. More and more baking soda has been converted into sodium carbonate.(1)

Can you refrigerate or freeze baking soda to extend the shelf life??

No you should not refrigerate or freeze baking soda. Storing baking powder in the freezer can also degrade its potency quicker than when stored in a cool, dry place. Exposure to humidity in the freezer triggers a chemical conversion of baking soda to sesquicarbonate or carbonate, resulting in the early release of carbon dioxide (1).

What are the health issues caused by  expired baking soda?

Expired baking powder is not harmful, nor will it make you sick. This is because the baking additive does not have any toxic substance.

If ingested in different ways, the gas-producing property of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) can cause very different effects. For people with acid reflux, sodium bicarbonate can act as an antacid to settle the stomach. (4)

Baking soda is often referred to as a “systemic” antacid because the unreacted fraction is readily absorbed into the general circulation and may alter systemic pH. The potential for sodium (Na+) overload and systemic alkalosis limits its use to short-term relief of indigestion.

Sodium (Na+) overload resulting from repeated use of large doses may contribute to fluid retention, edema, hypertension, congestive heart failure, and renal failure. Sodium bicarbonate is contraindicated in patients on a low-salt diet. (3)

What can you do with your old baking soda?

If you have a box of baking soda inside your cupboard that hasn’t been opened or resealed yet and it doesn’t pass the fizz test described above, don’t throw it out just yet. It may still be sufficient for some cleaning chores in certain cases.

It may be used for a variety of things, including:

  1. Pots, pans, and countertops should all be cleaned. Simply sprinkle it over the surface and clean it with a sponge to remove the grime. When working with fragile surfaces, use caution. Baking soda is non-abrasive and will not leave scratches.
  2. Getting rid of bad odors in your refrigerator. Put a small dish of it in the fridge to keep it cool.
  3. Purifying the odors in your shoe rack and trash cans. In a similar vein as the preceding
  4. Getting rid of dirt and mold from bathrooms is a difficult task. Dissolve baking soda in warm water and scrape the spots away.
  5. Active baking soda, on the other hand, is required for difficult tasks such as unblocking a pipe or wiping an oven that has been caked with food. The chemistry between baking soda and an acid (such as vinegar or lemon juice) helps to relieve the dirt and grime, making it simpler to clean.
  6. Slowly pour baking soda right down the drain, accompanied by vinegar and boiling water, to unclog it.
  7. To clean ovens, spritz the area with vinegar or lemon juice, dust with baking soda, and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it away with a scratch-free cleaning sponge.


In this short article, we provided an answer to the question “does baking soda go bad?. “We also discussed the shelf life of baking soda as well as the best ways of storing it.


  1. Tiefenbacher, K. F.  Technology of Minor Ingredients for Wafers and Waffles. Wafer and Waffle, 227–311.(2017).
  2. U.S. Department of Agriculture. Website. Washington, DC. What is the shelf life of baking soda? 2023.
  3. Shaw, D. H.  Drugs Acting on the Gastrointestinal Tract. Pharmacology and Therapeutics for Dentistry, 404–416. (2017).
  4. Alice GravesandKate Qualmann. The Science of Baking Soda. ACS Axial 2018.

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