Does baking soda go off? How to test baking soda with simple trick

Baking soda has gained itself a loyal following during lockdown, with many people turning to the product for cleaning or baking tasks. However, baking soda definitely has a shelf life, so read on to find out when baking soda is still ok to use or whether it’s time to buy a new packet.

Does baking soda go off?

Baking soda should be kept in a cool dry place in the home to keep it good for use.

However, even in optimum storage conditions, baking soda can lose its potency.

Manufacturers will put an expiry date on baking soda products, which are important to take note of.

When baking things like muffins or cakes, they won’t rise properly if the baking soda is past its prime.

Generally, most baking soda products will be given an expiry date of around two years for an unopened package.

Most baking powder will need to be used within a shorter timeframe than this once it is opened, with some suggesting it should be used within six months.

However, the expiry date for baking soda will differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.

How to test baking soda

Expiry dates will be printed on packets and containers of baking soda, but it is also possible for baking soda to lose its potency before its expiry date arrives.

Using some simple household items, you can quickly test whether the baking soda is still up to scratch at home.

You’ll need a measuring cup or bowl and some measuring spoons for this test.

According to Michigan State University Extension experts, you can test if baking soda is still potent with just some vinegar.

If you get a reaction, your baking soda is still potent enough.

The university website reads: “You can test for the freshness of your baking soda by placing 1 ½ teaspoons of the baking soda in a bowl or cup and then adding 1 tablespoon vinegar.

“If it fizzes, it is still potent and usable.”

How to test baking powder

You can also test to see if baking powder will still be effective with some warm water.

The university website adds: “To test your baking powder simply combine 1 teaspoon of the baking powder with 1/3 cup of warm water.

“This mixture will bubble if the baking powder is still of good quality and it will have good rising power.”