Baking soda is a versatile ingredient, present in every household, which can get you out of trouble in many situations – if you know how to use it. Most housewives keep it in the pantry or closet to use as a fermenting agent in cakes and pies. But – in addition to its culinary uses – baking soda is an abrasive product that can be a reliable help in the house when it comes to cleaning, deodorizing, refreshing, and using natural products, non-toxic for you, your child, and your pet.
How much does baking soda cost?
A 16-ounce box of baking soda can cost somewhere between $0.95 and $4, depending on where you buy it.
The price of a 4 pounds pack of baking soda would be around $6.
For a 60-ounce pack, expect to pay anywhere between $35 and $45.
A popular brand of baking soda like Bob’s Red Mill might be more expensive than other ones because it is mined directly from the ground in its natural state, without any chemicals added to alter or change what you’re getting. If this isn’t possible for whatever reason (company policy), they may use trona ore, which creates chemical reactions instead of carbon dioxide to make baking soda.
Baking powder details
Baking powder contains starch, baking soda, and an acidifying ingredient. Starch has the role of absorbing moisture so that the two substances do not react before being incorporated into a dough. Baking powder is mainly used for cookies and fluffy doughs that, among the ingredients, also contain sweet milk. If the dough is well dosed and homogenized, the baking powder leads to the formation of tiny pores in the dough.
Baking soda produces reactions 3-4 times stronger than baking powder and makes the dough much more porous. It needs to be quenched with an acidic substance (vinegar, lemon) and to be incorporated more easily into the whole mass of dough. It is suitable for doughs containing fermented milk (yogurt, whipped milk) and which are commonly used in the preparation of donuts, American pancakes, muffins, or appetizer cakes, which usually include, among the ingredients, fermented cream.
Baking powder can replace baking soda in a recipe, but not the other way around. Thus, you will add two teaspoons of baking powder quenched with a bit of milk instead of ½ teaspoon baking soda, but expect a slight change in the texture and taste of the dough (which, however, only the finest connoisseurs will notice).
What are the extra costs?
You may not have to pay shipping fees if you purchase baking soda online.
Important things to consider
It has a solid structure, is crystalline but is often marketed as a fine powder. It has a slightly salty, alkaline taste.
It can help treat heartburn by neutralizing gastric acid. Dissolve a teaspoon in a glass of cold water and drink the mixture slowly.
It is a popular remedy for teeth whitening. Many studies have found that toothpaste containing bicarbonate is better for whitening teeth and removing plaque than toothpaste without it. This is probably because this ingredient has mild abrasive properties that allow it to break the bonds of molecules that stain teeth. It also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that can help fight harmful bacteria.
It can eliminate the smell of sweat, making the smells less acidic. Try to put a little on your armpits, and you may notice a difference.
A bath in which you add this ingredient is often recommended to soothe itchy skin. These baths are a common remedy used for itching caused by insect bites and bee stings. In addition, it can help relieve itching from sunburn. Some people claim that it can be more effective when combined with other ingredients such as corn starch and oatmeal.
It can help refresh a foul-smelling refrigerator by neutralizing unpleasant odors. It interacts with odor particles to remove them rather than masking their odor. Fill a cup with this powder and place it behind the refrigerator to neutralize unpleasant scents.
This powder is an alkaline – a soluble salt – that can help remove dirt and stains. When dissolved in water, an alkali can interact with acids in stains and help remove them.
Baking soda contains sodium bicarbonate, which comes from chemical processes. Despite what it says on the packaging, people often confuse baking powder with baking soda because of their similar names and appearance in recipes.
Contraindications to baking soda
In general, baths with this ingredient are well tolerated by most people. Do not take such a bath if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding
- You have high blood pressure
- You have diabetes
- You are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- You have open wounds or serious infections
- You are prone to fainting
Baking soda vs. Baking powder
Both baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents, which means that they are added to baked goods before cooking to produce carbon dioxide and make them grow. Baking powder contains baking soda, but the two substances are used under different conditions.
When baking soda is combined with moisture and an acidic ingredient – such as yogurt, juice, or honey – the resulting chemical reaction produces bubbles of carbon dioxide that expand at the oven temperature, causing the pastry to rise. The reaction starts immediately after mixing the ingredients, so you need to bake recipes that require baking soda immediately; otherwise, they will fall apart.
Baking powder contains baking soda, but already includes the acidifying agent (cream of tartar), as well as a drying agent, usually starch. Baking powder is available as a single or double effect powder. Simple-acting powders are moisture-activated, so you need to bake recipes that include this product immediately after mixing. The double-acting powders react in two phases and can remain for a while before baking.
How can I save money?
When you buy a larger quantity, it’s possible to get a lower price.
Baking soda is a necessity for many people, and companies that manufacture it often offer coupons to help you save on your purchase. You can find these online or via the company’s social media channels.
Sometimes, you can find a store brand that will be cheaper than the name-brand equivalent. For example, Walmart’s Great Value retails for only $0.90, while you would pay three times more for the Arm and Hammer brand.