How much baking soda neutralizes vinegar?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, ‘How much baking soda neutralizes vinegar?’. We will closely look at the chemical reaction that enables the neutralization reaction to occur. We also consider ways to ensure precise values of baking soda to neutralize the vinegar.

 How much baking soda neutralizes vinegar?

In your cooking pot, you might need to add baking soda to your recipe that contains vinegar. To cancel out the dominant taste of vinegar in your food, you can add baking soda in a controlled amount. A chemical reaction occurs between baking soda and vinegar that produces water; you will taste neither baking soda nor the excess quantity of vinegar that you added accidentally.

An excessive amount of vinegar can cause the food to taste sour and vinegary. Luckily, the chemical components in baking soda can help you to allow a neutralization reaction to occur.

 You can chemically work out the expected amount of baking soda to let neutralization occur. Instead, you could add pinch by pinch until you are sure that the food has lost as much acidity as you would like it to by tasting it.

What chemical reactions let the baking soda neutralize vinegar?

Baking soda is chemically sodium bicarbonate and, vinegar is acetic acid. The basic nature of sodium bicarbonate reacts with the acidic counterpart that is acetic acid. The result is a neutralization reaction. Like other neutralization reactions, this also produces carbon dioxide and water.

Let us start by discussing what exactly happens when this reaction occurs. For such a chemical reaction to occur, one mole of each of the reactants is involved. One mole of sodium bicarbonate reacts with one mole of acetic acid.

The resultant product also has 1 mol of each carbon dioxide, water, sodium ion, and acetate ion.

This is an example of a double displacement reaction followed by a decomposition reaction. 

The chemical equation for this reaction is:

NaHCO3(s) + CH3COOH(l) → CO2(g) + H2O(l) + Na+(aq) + CH3COO-(aq)

The s stands for solid, l is for liquid and aq means aqueous and, g is for gas.

To break the above equation up, it will be in two steps.

  1. The double displacement reaction

NaHCO3 + HC2H3O2 → NaC2H3O2 + H2CO3

Here we have sodium acetate and carbonic acid as a product.

  1. Decomposition of carbonic acid

H2CO3 → H2O + CO2

As the reaction occurs, we can see a bubbling reaction, as the bubbles of carbon dioxide try to escape.

 The precise chemical reaction

To consider the yields of the reaction, we need to explore the amounts at a molecular level.

Our acid, the vinegar is not acetic acid; only 5% of it is. The rest of the liquid does not take place in the chemical reaction.

The average reaction will need 1 tablespoon of baking soda and a cup of vinegar to neutralize. Remember to add the chemicals slowly. One molecule of baking soda reacts with one molecule of vinegar to neutralize.

Any reaction cannot go on forever, there is a limit set to when one of the reactants deplete. It could be either acetic acid or sodium bicarbonate. The chemicals need to be added in correct proportions to avoid leaving one of the reactants staying unused.

 Let us look at an example to demonstrate how much baking soda will neutralize acetic acid.


A box of Arm and Hammer Baking soda contains 450 g. 450 g of Baking soda equals 5.4 Moles. Let us consider that we use 5 cm3 of baking soda that is roughly a teaspoon. In mass units that is 4.80 grams or 0.01 pounds.

Also, according to data, baking soda has a molar density of 0.019 moles/cm3.

Our vinegar here is of the Heinz brand that they claim is 5% acetic acid. The rest is water. We will take 100 g of acetic acid, from which we need to narrow down the amount of acetic acid considering the 5% concentration.

The ratios suggest that in 100 g of vinegar, the 5 grams are of acetic acid.

So if we take 100 g of vinegar and 4.80 g of baking soda, theoretically, the reaction will produce a neutralization reaction.

In volumes, that will be 5 cm3 of baking soda and 100 cm 3 of vinegar. This ratio can be used as a standard to manipulate any amount of reactants that you may need to produce a neutralization reaction that involves vinegar and baking soda.

However, it is better to weigh it on a balance as volume measurements are not as accurate.

Using the guide above you can adjust calculations to suit your reaction whether you are performing the chemical reaction in the kitchen or a lab.

In this brief guide, we answered the question, ‘How much baking soda neutralizes vinegar?’. We looked at the chemical reaction that enables the neutralization reaction to occur. We also considered ways to ensure precise values of baking soda to neutralize the vinegar.

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