Baking soda is a common ingredient used in a lot of foodstuffs, especially in baked goods. Also known as sodium bicarbonate, this chemical gives off carbon dioxide when reacted with the right liquids. This is why baking soda is so widely used in baking because the gas that is produced is responsible for making baked foods rise.
If kept properly under the right set of conditions, baking soda has a plethora of other uses as well. However, the best part about this nifty chemical is that it can also be used for a number of things even when it is expired.
Needless to say, knowing how to keep baking soda fresh could be rather confusing, and so for today’s article, we will be checking out what to do to enhance its shelf life and how to make good use of baking soda that has already expired.
How to Keep Baking Soda Fresh
By following the few procedures that we are about to share with you, you will be able to keep your baking soda fresh for a much longer time. Read on to see what they are!
1. Keep It in a Polythene Bag
Your baking soda is most likely to come packaged in a box that does not need to be changed since it is made with materials that will support the chemical properties of sodium bicarbonate and help to keep it fresh.
However, even if you do not pour the contents of the box into another ampoule, make sure to wrap the opened box of baking soda in a polythene bag so that that powder inside does not come into contact with the air.
If air comes into contact with the baking soda that is inside the box, it will act as a catalyst in the decomposition of the chemical and thus reduce its lifespan. Before you seal the plastic bag completely, gently apply a little bit of pressure to force any air that might be trapped inside out.
2. Do Not Use Wet Spoons
Baking soda will react with water to form an alkaline solution. In other words, it will become activated and will therefore have a much weaker performance when you use it for baking later on in the future.
To prevent this from happening, you should always use a dry and clean spoon when taking the powder out of the box.
3. Store It in a Cool Dry Place, Away from Direct Sunlight
You will probably see this written on the box of your baking soda as well, and we would suggest you pay heed to it. The manufacturers kept the optimum conditions required to keep sodium bicarbonate fresh in mind when wording this piece of advice, and so it should not be overlooked.
Many people choose to keep their baking soda in a cupboard, which is dry and is hospitable to the chemical. Moreover, try to keep your baking soda in a place that does not have a rapidly changing, or in other words, a relatively constant temperature since the powder is very sensitive to external conditions.
3. Keep It Away from Other Seasonings
Cupboards are a great place to store your spices because putting them there will de-clutter the kitchen and also prolong the shelf life of the ingredients. However, even though the same could be said for baking soda, it has one downside to it.
Sodium bicarbonate has a tendency of absorbing smell from its surroundings, and this makes it unsuitable for placement in cupboards, which are already habituated by other spices.
Since absorbing odor will reduce the life of the baking soda and also make your baked goods smell weird, so we would suggest you place it somewhere where the smell of other spices will not reach the powder.
4. Test Your Baking Soda before Using It
This is a must-do before baking as expired or already-activated baking soda will work to hinder your baking process. To see if it is still alright, take out a bit of the powder (using a clean, dry spoon), and add a few drops of vinegar to it. If the baking soda is still fresh, then you will see bubbles forming.
Uses of Expired Baking Soda
Contrary to what you might be thinking, expired baking soda is not all that bad. The only downside to having expired baking soda at home is that it can no longer be used in baking since it will lose its ability to make foodstuffs rise.
However, as mentioned before, even out-of-date baking sodas can be put to a lot of good as they:
1. Absorb Bad Smell and Humidity
We already know that sodium bicarbonate has the ability to absorb smells. Side by side, it is also really good at reducing vapor levels in the air. To make good use of this property, all you have to do is keep an open box of expired sodium bicarbonate in the place where you want to remove bad smells and/or humid from.
Side by side, baking soda may also be dissolved in warm water and used to wash your hands in order to remove any bad odors from it.
2. Free Your Items of Mold
Sprinkling a little bit of baking soda on a mold-infested area will help you get rid of the infestation.
Mold and/or mildew usually form due to excess moisture being concentrated in one place. The baking soda that has been sprinkled on such an area will absorb all the humidity from that place and keep it dry and fresh, thus getting rid of the incursion.
3. Kill Cockroaches
Cockroaches absolutely HATE baking soda as it is extremely detrimental to them. Making a mixture of baking soda and sugar will help to attract all the roaches brooding in your house (thanks to the sugar) and then kill them when they try to feed on the baking soda and sugar mixture.
4. Help Prevent Clogs
Creating a solution of baking soda and vinegar and then pouring it down the drainage pipe in your bathroom or kitchen will help get rid of clogs. However, when making the solution, do make sure that no lumps of baking soda remain in the end result as this might cause the whole process to backfire and worsen the block in your drains.
5. Help Keep Your Kitchen Clean
Using baking soda to clean your cooking station after a long day of work helps to get rid of leftover grease and other remains. All you need to do is dust a small amount of the powder onto the area and then remove it with a brush and some warm water the morning after.
One last thing we would like to mention is that you should always wash your eyes and the area around them with warm water in case if the powder ever comes in contact with it.
This brings us to the end of our guide on how to keep baking soda fresh, paired with the various uses of expired baking soda. We hope you found this article helpful and were able to use the given information in real-life settings as well. Thank you for reading until the end, and we hope to see you again soon!