Baking Soda: Everything You Need to Know

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One of the Best Foods You Need In Your Pantry is baking soda. It is one of the most widely used baking ingredients in bread, cakes, and cookies. But, baking isn’t the only reason you should stock it in your pantry!

Baking Soda: Everything You Need To Know

You may stock baking soda for all your baking needs, but did you know that this common household ingredient has many other uses as well as health benefits?  Here is everything you need to know about baking soda.

Baking Soda: Everything You Need to Know

What is Baking Soda?

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a white powder that is most commonly used as a leavening agent in baking. It is found in a crystalline form in nature, but we grind it into a fine powder to use in baking and cooking. We will use the terms sodium bicarbonate and baking soda interchangeably in this post.

How Does Baking Soda Work?

When mixed with an acidic ingredient, such as yogurt or lemon juice, baking soda releases carbon dioxide gas.  This gas forms small bubbles in the dough or batter, and it is these bubbles that cause the bread to rise or the cake to fluff up.

Best Uses for Baking Soda

In addition to being a leavening agent, this baking ingredient has many other uses around the house. Here are some of the most common:

1. Natural Cleaning Agent

Sodium bicarbonate is a great natural cleaning agent. It can be used to clean your kitchen counters, bathroom fixtures, and even your car. To make a natural cleaning solution, you will need to mix baking soda with water in a 1:3 ratio.

2. Deodorize Your Home

Baking soda can also be used to deodorize your home. To do this, simply sprinkle some of it on the carpets and furniture, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up. You can even place an open container in the refrigerator to absorb odors.

3. Extinguish Oil and Grease Fires

If you have a small grease or oil fire, sodium bicarbonate can be used to extinguish it. This is because it reacts with the heat to produce carbon dioxide, which smothers the fire. However, it can’t distinguish larger house fires since there’s too much oxygen.

4. Homemade Weed Killer

Weeds have deep roots which make them hard to get rid of without a weed killer. However, this common household ingredient can be used as a cheaper and safer alternative. Simply sprinkle a few handfuls of sodium bicarbonate over the weeds to kill them. Keep in mind that you won’t want to use it in your gardens or flower beds as it may harm your other plants as well.

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5. Pesticide Remover

If you’re looking to live a more green lifestyle, you can use sodium bicarbonate as a nontoxic way to remove pesticides from your fruits and vegetables. All you need to do is soak them in a baking soda solution for 12-15 minutes before rinsing them off. Be sure to rinse your fruit and veggies in cool water to remove any and all of the powder.

6. Whiten Your Teeth

Sodium bicarbonate is a natural way to whiten your teeth. This is because it has mild abrasive properties that can break the bonds of the molecules that stain your teeth. Additionally, it has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that fight bacteria on your teeth.  You can make toothpaste by combining baking soda with water or you can use it as a scrub.

You can also use this baking ingredient to freshen your breath. This is because it neutralizes the acids in your mouth that cause bad breath. You can either gargle with a baking soda solution or add it to your toothpaste.

7. Remove Odors

Baking soda is also effective at removing odors. This is because it absorbs moisture and eliminates bacteria. You can use it to remove odors from your refrigerator, dishwasher, or carpets.

Baking Soda Health Benefits

Not only does this common household ingredient have more uses than just baking, but it actually has quite the list of health benefits as well. Here are several ways baking soda is healthy for you:

1. Can Help Relieve Heartburn and Indigestion

Baking soda can help relieve heartburn and indigestion by neutralizing the acids in your stomach. To do this, mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water and drink it. Be sure and consult with your medical professional.

2. Helps Relieve Constipation

If you’re having trouble going to the bathroom, baking soda can help. Mix 1/2 teaspoon into a glass of water and drink it. Baking soda will help to increase the pH of your intestine and make it less acidic, which will then help to soften your stool and make it easier for you to use the bathroom. Be sure and consult with your medical professional.

3. May Help Cancer Treatments Work Better

Some studies have shown that baking soda can help make cancer treatments, like chemotherapy, work better. This is because it can help to increase the pH in tumors, making them more alkaline. This may make it easier for the chemotherapy drugs to kill the cancer cells. Be sure and consult with your medical professional.

4. May Slow the Progression of Kidney Disease

People who have chronic kidney disease slowly lose their kidney function. One study showed that taking a daily dose of this common household ingredient may help to slow the progression of kidney disease. Be sure and consult with your medical professional before using it.

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5. Helps with Itchy Skin and Sunburns

Sodium bicarbonate can be used to help soothe itchy skin and sunburns. You can make a paste by mixing baking soda with water, and then applying it to the affected area. Leave the paste on for a few minutes, then rinse it off with cool water.

6. Reduces Inflammation

This common household ingredient can help to reduce inflammation in your body. This is because it helps to neutralize acids in your blood, which can then reduce swelling and pain. Be sure and consult with your medical professional.

7. Could Improve Exercise Performance

Did you know that sodium bicarbonate is a popular supplement among athletes?  This is because it can help to improve exercise performance. It does this by helping to keep your body from becoming too acidic, which can then cause you to fatigue more quickly. In fact, one study found that people who took it exercised for an average of four and a half minutes longer than those who didn’t.

Does Baking Soda Go Bad?

It doesn’t really expire. In fact, it is good indefinitely past its best by date. However, over time, it can lose its potency.  If you’re not sure how old your baking soda is or if it has lost its potency, there’s a simple test you can do to find out. Just pour a little bit of vinegar into a bowl and add some baking soda to it. If it fizzes and foams, it’s still good. If not, you’ll need to get replace it. Please remember to rotate what you stock. When in doubt, throw it out.

Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder

Baking soda is often confused with baking powder. Both do many of the same things, but have a different makeup. Baking powder is made up of sodium bicarbonate, but it also has an acid, such as cream of tartar, in it. Baking soda on the other hand does not have acid in it. Therefore, recipes with other acids in them would require sodium bicarbonate, and recipes with no acids use baking powder.

Final Word

When it comes to prepping and stocking, baking soda should be something you make sure you have. You can use baking soda in the house for a variety of reasons other than baking, but it also has several health benefits. Keep it stocked, and check it periodically for potency if it’s past its expiration date. Remember, luck favors the prepared. May God Bless this world, Linda

23 thoughts on “Baking Soda: Everything You Need to Know

  • March 24, 2022 at 6:12 am
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    Interesting

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    • March 24, 2022 at 9:49 am
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      Hi Matt, people can print this and save it for future use. Linda

      Reply
  • March 24, 2022 at 8:10 am
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    How do you use baking soda for chronic kidney disease? I’m at stage 3.

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    • March 24, 2022 at 9:51 am
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      Hi Deborah, that would have to be your doctor, my friend. I’m sorry to hear this. I’m not a medical professional so I can’t help you with that one. Dang it! Linda

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    • March 24, 2022 at 1:34 pm
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      Deborah,
      Yes consult your doctor…You might want to seek more information beyond , before you ask about it. There are Doctor’s who report specifics, and they do say consult your OWN doctor. You need to consider going to You tube and plugging in a search bar there.
      “health benefits of Baking soda”. Look at the ones for a positive take first, then also GO to the cautions…ie.. ingesting too much can be worse than not getting it at all.Any use of ANY substance must be done WITH knowledge…. and balance pro’s and cons and desired outcomes .
      One way, to balance out benefits and risk would be to begin w/ 1/3 to 1/2 of what ever recommended dose, for benefit you seek. It would be beneficial to do this after a set of bloodwork and have bloodwork,during and at the end of a trial. I have done this for a health issue and my weight loss has increased, my inflammation has decreased and digestion is improved.

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      • March 25, 2022 at 8:22 am
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        Denise, thank you for taking the time to comment to me. I do appreciate it. I’ll check out all you suggested. And thank you to Linda, too! I love this great group!

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  • March 24, 2022 at 9:42 am
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    Hi Linda,I read about a year ago that baking soda loses it’s potency for leavening after about 1 year. To keep it going for a longer period I would suggest using an air tight container to store it. I replace my baking soda for baking every year, by just dating the container, to remember to replace it. But that baking soda is still good for cleaning, and most other uses. When it no longer bubbles, it can still be used for scrubbing pots and pans. People who ingest baking soda for health reasons, should discuss it with their doctor. He/she may wish to do a blood test from time to time. To check the ph level of their blood. It needs to remain between a narrow set of parameters To main a healthy body.. And changing the ph of stomach fluids can effect how certain medications are metabolized and absorbed. They can help you decide how much and when it should be used.

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    • March 24, 2022 at 9:56 am
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      Hi MaryAnn, I agree, this is why I rotate baking soda for baking often. I like the idea of an airtight container. Great tip! Yes, everyone should always consult their medical professional before ingesting anything. Linda

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      • March 24, 2022 at 10:16 am
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        Ba Linda, Baking Soda absorbs water. That is why it clumps and eventually becomes a brick. That is 1 reason to keep it air tight. I also rotate it into a jar by my stove, for fire safety.

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        • March 24, 2022 at 12:22 pm
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          Hi MaryAnn, oh wow, I did not know that! It’s like salt and sugar!!! I have never had it go hard, good to know!!! Linda

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      • March 24, 2022 at 1:45 pm
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        It could be also stored in mylar/ or food saver bags In org. container.with oxygen absorbers in sizes you normally use.
        we use a LOT of baking soda and vinegar.It has not been stored in air tight packaging..
        . I have been doing this several years and never found any that was not good. Unlike Baking Powder.
        To make a small amount of Baking Powder .There are several recipes. is 2:1 ratio generally… with corn starch added for moisture and anti caking( if kept on shelf for use over the month). look up a recipe that suits your needs today while you can and store them together in appropriate amounts…with the recipe.

        Reply
  • March 24, 2022 at 11:33 am
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    Love this one!
    Re. the athletic improvement–giving “baking soda milkshakes” (no milk involved) to race horses was a “thing” at one time, to the point that the Jockey Club had to make some regulations about it. I believe a blood test was involved.

    Baking soda can be part of a good drain cleaner, especially if used periodically (may not work as well on a really bad clog). Pour some baking soda down the drain–add a handful of salt–then “chase” the whole thing with some vinegar. It will bubble frantically. When it dies down, follow with some hot water.

    To go with the heartburn/indigestion use… For anyone that may have been put on omeprazole for chronic heartburn–let’s just say that with horses prone to ulcers, omeprazole (with several serious side effects) is NOT recommended for more than a few weeks, by which time the root cause should (hopefully) have been identified and dealt with. Humans suffer the same side effects. When I discovered my husband had been on omeprazole for several *years* but was still gulping down Tums by the handful, I did some investigating. His (now former) doctor had never even done a test for stomach acid level! So I *did.* First thing in the morning, before eating or drinking anything else, I had hubby take that same 1/2 tsp baking soda in a glass of water. Then see how long it takes to begin burping. Under 3 minutes, stomach acid is probably high; over 5 minutes, and it’s probably low. Hubby was right in the middle, normal, so I promptly got him off the omeprazole and we solved the problem (apparently permanently) otherwise. (Which is another topic.)

    I’ve always used baking soda in the barn for scrubbing out water buckets, feed tubs, poultry waterers, water tanks… As you’ve noted, great use for baking soda with a little age on it!

    Reply
    • March 24, 2022 at 12:26 pm
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      Hi Rhonda, oh my gosh, your husband’s story is the best one ever! We really do need to be advocates for our own health. Some doctors tend to hand out medications and we just assume we need them. Yes, indeed sometimes we do. BUT, I have seen people with 20 bottles lined up and they still feel lousy. We do need to question the products we are prescribed. I’m not in the medical field and I’m not an authority on medications, believe me. But, thankfully, you thought to question his medication. Love this! Linda

      Reply
      • March 24, 2022 at 1:32 pm
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        Right, didn’t mean to imply ignoring all doctors! Just a specific use of baking soda to help identify (or eliminate) what’s causing a specific symptom. (Omeprazole blocks some of the stomach’s acid production, and low acid can bring *other* problems in its wake.)

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        • March 24, 2022 at 5:31 pm
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          Hi Rhonda, oh I didn’t take it as ignoring all doctors. YOU sensed something was off, and you were right. Linda

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  • March 24, 2022 at 12:23 pm
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    Hi Linda:

    I knew most of the ideas but not all of them. Thank you for the information.. I will get some when we go shopping the 19 of next month.. Isn’t it funny how we forget what our Grandparents and Parents knew and told about that we need to relearn. If I could only go back 64 years to learn at my Bubbie’s feet in her kitchen. I know I would be smarter than I am today.

    Reply
    • March 25, 2022 at 8:29 am
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      Jackie, we’d all be smarter if we’d learned more from our parents and grandparents. I guess that’s why they say hindsight is 20/20.

      Reply

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