How long does baking soda last? (+7 uses)

In this article, we will answer the question “How long does baking soda last?”, and how to tell If baking soda has gone bad?

How long does baking soda last?

The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of opened and unopened baking soda in the pantry.

In the pantry 
Baking soda (unopened)3 years past the Best-by date 
Baking soda (opened)6 months 

How to tell if baking soda has gone bad?

  • If baking sodas been in contact with moisture, it will develop mold growth. In this case, it needs to be discarded immediately.
  • If the baking soda has been sitting in the pantry for too long, or If it is mishandled after opening the package, it will quickly lose its potency as a leavening agent.

The best-by date on the baking sod package does not indicate safety. It rather tells you how long the baking soda will perform best. Eating cookies made p of expired baking soda won’t make you sick. But It might not perform its best job in baking if it was not potent enough.

How to store baking soda?

  • Just like baking powder and cornstarch, baking soda needs to be stored in a dry, cool, and dark place away from direct sunlight and stovetop.
  • If the original packaging of baking soda is not resealable, transfer the contents to an air-tight container to protect it from moisture.

How to check if the baking soda is still potent?

  1. Pour 2 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice in a cup. Add a teaspoon or two of baking soda in it. 
  2. Baking soda, being a base, will neutralize the acid, forming bubbles on top of the liquid if it is still potent. 
  3. If no foam or bubbles are formed on the surface, the baking soda has lost its potency and is of no use.

What does baking soda do?

Sodium Bicarbonate aka baking soda is a crystalline chemical compound. It is sold in a white powder form. Baking soda and baking powder are two different leavening agents. 

The difference between the two is that baking soda requires acid and liquid for activation. As a result of which it produces carbon-di-oxide making the product light and fluffy. 

While the baking powder is complete in itself. It already contains Sodium Bicarbonate and acid for its activation. 

The uses of baking soda are not limited to baking. It is frequently used for cleaning, deodorizing, skincare, dental care (for teeth whitening), insect bite relief, killing weeds, etc. it also treats heartburn and indigestion.

How to use old baking soda for cleaning?

If the baking soda fails the test for its potency, it does not need to be discarded. Use it for the following purposes.

Clean pots and pans

Clean our pots, pans, and counters with baking soda using a sponge. Baking soda does not leave scratches unless it is rubbed too harshly against the delicate surfaces.

Use as a deodorizer

Baking soda acts as an excellent deodorizer. Place a bowl filled with the baking soda and put it in the fridge to get rid of unwanted odors. It can also be placed in shoe cabinets and garbage bins to get rid of the stinky smell.

Get rid of soap scum and mildews

To remove soap scum and mildew from bathrooms, sprinkle some baking soda and scrub the area to clean it properly.

Use as a decongestant

Baking soda can also be used as a decongestant. Just add a tsp of baking soda to your vaporizer to get rid of the stuffy nose and get a good night’s sleep.

Keep the bugs at bay

If nats have infested your kitchen, place a bowl of baking soda near where they are entering the kitchen. This will repel the ants and other insects.

Make a DIY play dough 

On medium heat, cook  2 cups of baking soda, 1 cup of cornstarch, and 1/4 cup of water. When the mixture thickens up, remove it from the heat and cover it with a cloth. Let it come to room temperature.

Sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch on the kitchen counter. Remove the mixture from the saucepan and knead it on the counter until soft and elastic. Add food colorings at this point to enhance its kid-appeal.

Brighten your toilets

Sprinkle some baking soda over the discolored areas around your toilet bowl. Let it sit for about an hour at least. Flush it away. You will notice the area has brightened up the unwanted odors are gone.

Other FAQs about Baking Soda which you may be interested in.

how to soften beans with baking soda

Can dogs eat baking soda?

Can you eat arm and hammer baking soda?


In this article, we answered the question “How long does baking soda last?”, and how to tell If baking soda has gone bad?


Does Baking Soda Go Bad? [And How to Test if It’s Still Good]