Does Baking Soda Go Bad ?

Baking Soda is a king ingredient also known as the powerhouse ingredient in the kitchen. Because , no matter what, if it’s about baking cake, cleaning stains on clothes and many other tasks, all you need is baking soda all the time available in the Kitchen.

But sometimes, I see it doesn’t bring the results which makes me wonder if baking soda expires or not. But, here comes the music to the ears. No! Baking soda doesn’t go bad. But it only becomes less effective.

In fact, the mentioned expiration date is just a ballpark estimate for baking soda to start losing its efficiency. And talking about its efficiency, once you open the packet of baking soda it does have a shelf life that is from 6 months to 1 year (keep the manufacturing date in mind) which only determines its effectiveness.

And if it is an unopened pack of baking soda then it can go for 18 months to 2 years . Thus, keep in mind, the fresher the baking soda the more effective it is!The reason is that Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda. It is a base that reacts with acidic things like vinegar, lemon juice, buttermilk etc.

It acts like a leavening agent and when the baking soda comes in contact with these liquids it gets fizzy and makes the baking batter rise and gives them a lift

It is also responsible for making cakes and breads fluffy. It reacts with any acidic ingredient present in your batter or recipe due to its alkaline properties. Furthermore, here are some warning signs that can help you detect if it is good to use or not!

Warning Signs That Your Baking Soda Has Gone Bad

does baking soda go bad

To test whether the baking has gone bad or loses its effectiveness or not, or not there is a little procedure. This testing is as per the conditions shared by Brigham Young University during the research,which  states that under optimal storage conditions, it appears that baking powder retains its functionality as a leavening agent for many years and can be included in applications requiring long-term food storage. (Reference Link 3)

Considering ourselves lucky there is an easy way to tell whether your pack of baking soda needs a replacement or not, for which we have to follow a few instructions. So, let’s see the steps of the procedure. This process is also known as baking soda test. 

  1. Put a spoonful of baking soda into a bowl 
  2. Add any acidic liquid like lemon juice, vinegar, etc
  3. If the soda creates a strong fizz then you can use it for baking.
  4. If it does not create any fizz or very less soda effect then it might have gone bad. But don’t throw it away you can use it for cleaning stuff or use it as a whitener.

Even if your baking soda is not fizzy or making bubbles that does mean that it has gone bad for using in cakes or breads but you can still use it in many other ways like you can use it in your laundry as a whitener or you can put it in refrigerator to prevent from having funny smell (works as a room freshener in a fridge), you can even use it for cleaning kitchen and other places like your bathroom. 

Tips To Store Baking Soda

does baking soda go bad

To start with, I would like to mention that as per US Department of Agriculture, it is advised to store it at room temperature (reference link 2)

However, I had a very bad experience in storing the baking soda because I stored it on a kitchen shelf near a water filter and all of the baking soda became wet and useless. So, i would suggest, while keeping it at room temperature, ensure to keep it away from wet places, from heat and kitchen appliances. 

Also, you can use a ziplock bag or an airtight container to avoid any moisture entering the baking soda. Also do not store it in the refrigerator and keep it away from the products who have strong odour.  Keep these few things in your mind to make baking soda’s shelf life longer.

What Happens If You Have Expired Baking Soda?

does baking soda go bad

Although, as said above baking soda doesn’t really expire but it does lose its effectiveness. Which can cause your baked cake or bread to not rise properly or maybe it will prevent bread from getting a proper texture. 

However, if you are worried about your health after intaking expired soda then there’s not really anything to worry about but if you have a sensitive stomach then you might get an upset stomach or acidity problems as using too much baking soda can cause rapid formation of gas in the stomach. And you should avoid alcohol after consuming baking soda. 

But if you have consumed too much of expired Bakingsoda then there are chances of getting diarrhoea or vomiting as the body tries to balance the high sodium concentration by pulling more water into the digestive tract.


Q1. How long can you keep baking soda open?

Ans. Even though they are not perishable an open pack of baking soda can last upto eighteen months or two years if stored properly or it sometimes depends on the quality of the baking soda you are buying. 

Q2. How long does Arm and Hammer baking soda last?

Ans. The shelf life of Arm and Hammer soda is said to be three years. The expiration date is located on the bottom of the box. 

Reference Link:

Our mission is to provide accurate and researched insights to our readers. Thus, we wish to share the references of the studies conducted on the subject matter for detailed read for our readers to refer:

1. U.S Department of Agriculture 

2. Brigham Young University 

You may also Like

Does Vegan Butter Go Bad?
Does Vanilla Extract Go Bad?
Does Sugar Go Bad
Does Brown Sugar Go Bad ?