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How to Tell If Your Baking Soda Has Gone Bad

A glass jar is filled with baking soda and labeled with "Baking Soda."
focal point/Shutterstock.com

If there’s one versatile pantry ingredient that works wonders for many uses around the home, it’s baking soda. Apart from baking, it’s used for cleaning, treating sunburns, and even bee stings. But you might know it best for keeping your refrigerator smelling nice and fresh.

But if that baking soda expires, the freshness of your fridge will definitely take a hit. How do you know your baking soda has gone bad? To find out, mix it in hot water and vinegar.

Baking soda is an odor-defense hero in the fridge because it absorbs any stinky food particles floating around in there. So, when that baking soda eventually expires, what can happen? Cue: smelly fridge.

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Also, although using expired baking soda won’t harm you if consumed, your baked goods may not turn out as well—so you’ll definitely want to know!

To test if your baking soda has gone bad, simply mix a half cup of hot water and a quarter teaspoon of white or apple cider vinegar. Then, add a quarter teaspoon of your baking soda to the mixture. If it immediately fizzles or bubbles, it’s still good! If not, it’s time to toss it.

There are chemicals in your baking soda that cause this reaction. Testing them out will prove if those chemicals are still active. Thus, if they aren’t active, your fridge may not smell as fresh, and your baked goods won’t rise.

Fun fact: you can perform the same test with your baking powder by just adding water without the vinegar.

So if you realize your baking soda isn’t deodorizing your fridge, it’s probably time to replace it!

Lindsay Ray Lindsay Ray
Lindsay is a lifestyle and beauty writer currently living in Arizona. She has several years of experience as a freelance writer and reporter, with a specialized interest in the beauty and lifestyle space. From beauty hacks to DIY home décor and everything in between -- Lindsay has a passion for crafting stories that entertain, educate, and inspire. Her writing has appeared in Thought Catalog, The List, Drink Me Magazine, the Auburn Examiner, and Litro Magazine in the United Kingdom. Read Full Bio »
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