Home » Food and Water » Does Baking Soda Go Bad?

Does Baking Soda Go Bad?

Baking soda is considered an excellent multi-use non-perishable to have in your food reserve. Although the consensus is that baking soda doesn’t go stale when passing its recommended shelf life, it does lose some potency over time. Many attribute this to its original packaging, which could still make it susceptible to moisture, even when left unopened. 

Because moisture is the biggest culprit in making baking soda lose its potency, it’s essential to follow the proper storage guidelines. Read on below to see what they are!

The Best Container for Storing Baking Soda

Having an ample supply of baking soda should be a top priority for every prepper, so make sure you stockpile this product as part of your food stash. The official shelf life of baking soda is considered three years, though storing it properly can significantly delay it from becoming stale after this. The type of container you use to store baking soda in will directly impact the amount of oxygen and moisture it’s exposed to, making it important to change containers if bought in one that isn’t ideal. 

There are many different storing methods that you can use to keep your baking soda stash fresh. Although many stores sell baking soda in cardboard packaging, storing baking soda in a cardboard box is not ideal. Boxes are known to attract moisture which will make the baking soda go bad in a short timeframe. To add a protective layer against moisture, it’s better to seal the baking soda in a plastic pouch or bucket. Plastic is an adequate moisture barrier and will afford you fresh baking soda for at least a year.


Plastic Pouches and Vacuum Sealing

If you want to extend this timeframe to up to 3 years, the plastic pouches and containers can be used together by placing sealed bags in a sealed bucket for extra protection. If you choose to store baking soda directly in plastic buckets, remember that risk of contamination arises once the bucket is opened. To minimize waste, you can use small buckets in this instance. 

Though simply sealing a zip-lock plastic pouch tightly will be sufficient, vacuum sealing will add extra protection. You can vacuum seal baking soda in its original packaging or seal it in a vacuum sealing pouch. Since vacuum sealer bags still allow entry of some moisture, double-sealing is best for long-term storage. 

Metal Cans and Mason Jars

Metal cans and mason jars also make great long-term storage containers for baking soda. It provides a proper barrier against oxygen and moisture exposure, extending the time baking soda lasts far past its expiration date. Expert preppers believe that baking soda will store indefinitely when you place it in an air-tight container that is moisture-proof, like metal cans or mason jars.

The secret to storing baking soda in mason jars or metal cans is to make sure that no dust is present on the lids, screw the lids down tightly, and place the container in a cool, dry location to ensure that the baking soda’s shelf-life is extended. 

Whichever way you choose to store your baking soda, try to break batches down into tiny quantities. Doing this will lessen your risk of waste by allowing you to only open enough baking soda to last you a few months. 

Where to Store Baking Soda

It’s a well-known fact that baking soda can absorb moisture from the air. This property makes the storage location of baking soda a vital factor to consider when you want to keep it fresh for the long-run. 

Baking soda can be used for both baked goods and as a DIY cleaning product, making it a must-have item for preppers to stockpile as part of your long term strategy. Storing it in the right location will have a direct influence on how long your baking soda lasts in terms of freshness and usefulness. 

If you store baking soda near items that produce a strong or foul smell, chances are your baking soda will start smelling this way over time, especially when not stored in an adequately sealed container. Apart from choosing the best container to store your baking soda in, you should select a moisture-free storage location that’s unlikely to be exposed to temperature fluctuations. 

Both heat and moisture will trigger a chemical reaction in the baking soda, causing it to lose its potency. When an air-tight storage container is paired with a cool, dark storage location away from other products that produce a scent, your baking soda is likely to last years past its expected expiry date. 

When Does Baking Soda Expire?

The consensus is that baking soda doesn’t go bad in the same way that other food items do, making it impossible to pinpoint an exact expiration date. When left unopened, baking soda will generally perform optimally until the best-by date that’s stamped on its original packaging. Once opened and left in its original packaging, you should ideally use baking soda within six months. 

Although baking soda won’t become moldy or stale, use after its suggested shelf-life will present some issues. When baking soda loses its potency, it can cause baked goods to fall flat and produce a bitter taste in them. Consumption-wise, this is the only danger it holds, and consuming baking soda under these conditions will pose no threat to your health.

If you planned to use the baking soda as a deodorant or a cleaning product, you’d find it underachieving in these tasks, too, although its changed performance won’t be as noticeable as with edible goods. 

Storing baking soda properly is essential for prepping purposes. It’s best to move baking soda to an air-tight container and keep it sealed until you’re ready to use it all in an approximate timeframe of 6 months. Keeping air and moisture away from baking soda will extend its estimated shelf-life.  

How to Test if Baking Soda Has Gone Bad

Doing a simple acid test with your baking soda will tell you if it has gone off over time. Baking soda is categorized as an alkaline compound, and when you combine it with an acid, a carbon dioxide gas will be produced. 

Common acids that cause a reaction with baking soda include vinegar, cream of tartar, buttermilk, lemon juice, and yogurt. Since baking soda reacts to acid, the fresher it is, the larger its reaction will be. 

To do a baking soda freshness test, you need to place a few tablespoons of vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of baking soda on the vinegar and observe the reaction. If it hisses while forming fizzy bubbles, it’s still fresh as can be. If only a tiny fizz is present, it’s best not to use your baking soda to bake goods. 

Uses for Baking Soda

Even if baking soda has gone useless for baking purposes, you can still use it for many cooking, medicinal, hygienic, and other odd purposes. Often referred to as a prepper’s secret problem solver, baking soda should be stocked up by the pound per person. For a year’s worth of stock per person, two pounds are considered ideal for hygienic purposes, while one pound is respectively regarded as sufficient for medicinal and odd purposes.

Apart from baking with it, baking soda can turn ordinary food items into wholesome meals. Make a breading batter with baking soda for crispier fried foods, or create fluffier eggs by adding this ingredient. You can transform ordinary spaghetti into Ramen noodles and tenderize meat cuts in a baking soda and water solution. If you’ve prepped your cupboard with beans and they’ve gone old, add baking soda to your soaking water to restore them. 

Medicinally, you can use baking soda to relieve skin itches, rashes, and inflammation. You can treat bug bites and bee stings, heat rashes or sunburn, minor burns, and even canker sores. You can use baking soda to make dry shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, and a mouth wash for hygienic purposes. Baking soda also helps to get ant or roach infestations under control. If a fire occurs, you can use baking soda to help extinguish it, and around the house, baking soda serves as an excellent all-purpose cleaner. 

Risks of Using Baking Soda

While you won’t experience any problems when consuming baking soda used in edibles, there are a few risks to keep in mind when using baking soda for medicinal or hygienic purposes. Due to its high sodium content, it’s advised not to overconsume baking soda. 

When you overconsume baking soda for health reasons, you run the risk of experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, and other serious health issues like kidney failure or seizures. Using baking soda as a toothpaste or mouthwash on the regular could also lead to tooth enamel erosion. 

In Conclusion

Baking soda is a wonderful item to have in your household. To build a good prepper stash, you need to store many items, and at the rate this will happen, saving space is usually a priority. A great way to save space as a prepper is stocking items that serve multiple purposes and baking soda fits this category perfectly. It’s been around for ages and can be used in regular life and emergencies. 

Baking soda has gained its status as a miracle product under serious preppers, and it’s clear to see why. Unfortunately, the store-bought packaging it comes in is likely to breathe and allow moisture in, making it essential to move your purchased baking soda to an adequate container. Although baking soda doesn’t expire and will still be useable when left in its original container, storing it this way is not recommended.

2 thoughts on “Does Baking Soda Go Bad?”

Leave a Comment