What is the best way to store baking soda?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “What is the best way to store baking soda” with an in-depth analysis of the best way to store baking soda. Moreover, we are going to discuss tips to properly store baking soda and the mode of action of baking soda.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

What is the best way to store baking soda?

For storing baking soda, always opt for a sealed container and store it in a cool, dry place like a closet or pantry to maintain its quality. Properly storing powdered food packets in your pantry is essential to avoid contamination or spoilage.

In regions with high humidity, it’s best to avoid purchasing excessively large packs of baking soda that will remain unused for many months. Instead, opt for quantities that you can use up relatively quickly.

Once opened, transfer packs or premixes into moisture-proof containers that have easy-to-close lids to protect them from absorbing moisture. (1) 

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

Refrigerating or freezing baking soda is not recommended. Similarly, storing baking powder in the freezer can lead to a faster degradation of its potency compared to keeping it in a cool, dry location. 

The humidity present in the freezer can initiate a chemical transformation of baking soda into sesquicarbonate or carbonate, leading to the premature release of carbon dioxide. (1)

Is it safe to use baking soda after the “best before” date?

Yes, as the “best by” or “best before” date that is written on the package of baking soda refers to the quality rather than safety so the baking soda doesn’t necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date.

This date refers to the time during which you can enjoy the peak quality of baking soda but you can still use baking soda that is past this date as long as it was stored properly. (2)

Does baking soda go bad?

Yes, baking soda can go bad over extended periods of storage, leading to a reduction in its effectiveness. However, it’s important to note that while it may lose potency, it does not pose any health risks.

Once a bag of baking soda is opened, a gradual decomposition process may begin, triggered by exposure to humidity from the surrounding air. This can result in a conversion to sesquicarbonate or carbonate forms, accompanied by a premature loss of some carbon dioxide.

It’s worth mentioning that the presence of a “best-by” date on most baking soda containers doesn’t necessarily indicate any safety hazards associated with its use beyond that date.

In certain cases, manufacturing issues that are sometimes attributed to fluctuations in flour quality may actually arise from the utilization of old baking soda. (1)

What is the shelf life of baking soda?

As per the guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foodkeeper, unopened baking soda maintains its quality for up to 18 months when stored properly. 

However, once opened, it is recommended to store it at room temperature for about 6 months to ensure the best quality. (3)

How to determine whether it is still effective?

To test the potency of your baking soda, you can perform a straightforward acid test using common substances like vinegar or lemon juice.

Take a small mixing bowl and add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to it, gradually pour a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice into the powder, ensuring thorough mixing.

If the mixture produces immediate and vigorous bubbling and fizzing, it indicates that the baking soda is still potent and suitable for baking. 

However, if you only observe a minimal amount of fizz, the baking soda has lost its leavening power for baking but can still be utilized for cleaning purposes. (1)

What are the health issues caused by expired baking soda?

Consuming expired baking powder is not harmful, and it won’t cause any illness. Baking powder doesn’t contain any toxic substances that could pose a risk to health.

However, the gas-producing nature of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) can have varying effects when ingested in different ways. For individuals dealing with acid reflux, sodium bicarbonate can function as an antacid, helping to soothe and settle the stomach. (4)

Baking soda’s unreacted portion can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream, potentially affecting the overall pH balance of the body. However, its use is restricted to short-term relief of indigestion due to the risks associated with excessive sodium (Na+) intake and systemic alkalosis.

Repeatedly using large doses of baking soda can lead to sodium overload, which may result in issues like fluid retention, edema, hypertension, congestive heart failure, and renal failure. 

As a result, sodium bicarbonate is not recommended for individuals following a low-salt diet. (5)

Can old baking soda be used for cleaning?

Yes. Old baking soda that is no longer fit for cooking offers a wide array of cleaning abilities, making it an incredibly versatile and practical option for numerous tasks.

Its main component, sodium bicarbonate, acts as a powerful abrasive, akin to soap, effectively tackling grime and grease, leaving surfaces shining and immaculate.

A notable attribute of baking soda is its ability to eliminate unwanted odors, whether in kitchens or homes. Its alkaline properties allow it to neutralize odors, particularly those stemming from acidic substances, resulting in a revitalized and more pleasant environment. (4)

Other FAQs about Baking soda that you may be interested in.

Can you mix ammonia and baking soda

What happens when adding baking soda to toothpaste?

How does baking soda absorb odor?


In this brief guide, we answered the question “What is the best way to store baking soda” with an in-depth analysis of the best way to store baking soda. Moreover, we discussed tips to properly store baking soda and the mode of action of baking soda.


  1. Tiefenbacher, K. F.  Technology of Minor Ingredients for Wafers and Waffles. Wafer and Waffle, 227–311.(2017).
  2. U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety Website. Washington, DC. Food Product Dating. 2019.
  3. U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://ask.usda.gov/ Website. Washington, DC. What is the shelf life of baking soda? https://www.fsis.usda.gov/shared/data/EN/FoodKeeper-Data.xls 2023.
  4. Alice GravesandKate Qualmann. The Science of Baking Soda. ACS Axial 2018.
  5. Shaw, D. H.  Drugs Acting on the Gastrointestinal Tract. Pharmacology and Therapeutics for Dentistry, 404–416. (2017).

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!