Baking soda (baking soda): what is it and what can you use it for?

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Is the kitchen your domain and are you busy with (healthy) delicacies? Then you have probably heard of baking soda. But what exactly is it and what can you use it for? I can already tell you that the use of this special substance goes much further than cooking and baking. Time to take a closer look at this multifunctional product.

More players on the market

Everyone knows baking powder. You buy it in those little bags. It is used to make batter or dough rise. The end result is airy baking. In addition, the baking powder gives the flour used room to cook properly.

Still, there are more players on the market when it comes to letting the dough rise. And actually, they are all less well known. So you have self-raising flour, yeast, sourdough, and… baking soda.

Baking soda and baking powder, isn’t that the same?

Baking powder vs baking soda

Baking powder is not the same as baking soda. Although they both cause the baking to rise, it does not have the same composition. What’s up with that?

Baking powder can be seen as a total package that is composed of sodium bicarbonate (also called baking soda), an acid (usually citric acid), a stabilizer, and sometimes some corn starch. The stabilizer serves to keep the powder dry to prevent premature reaction.

Baking soda consists of only sodium bicarbonate, so baking soda. So it is part of baking powder. (To increase the confusion, baking soda is also referred to as baking soda in addition to baking soda and sodium bicarbonate, such as baking soda, bicarbonate, and bicarbonate of soda).

Baking soda is pure nature

Baking soda is a soft and white mineral salt with very fine grains. It just occurs in nature and can be extracted when salt lakes evaporate.

Baking soda (baking soda): what is it and what can you use it for?

Bicarbonate (without the word sodium) is even an essential, naturally occurring component in our body. It is an important pH buffer in our blood. It must be sufficiently present in our body to maintain the acid-base balance. Click here if you want to read more about the acid-base balance.

Bakes love sour

In addition to moisture and heat, the combination of acid and baking soda ensures that the batter rises properly. This process occurs because leavening agents form gases in the dough or batter. Put an acid (eg vinegar or lemon juice) and baking soda together in a bowl and you will see that it will fizz enormously. It is therefore a well-known chemical experiment. This also happens in the oven, just a little more evenly.

Pure and only baking soda does not ensure that your cake or bread rises nicely. That is why a recipe with baking soda always states an acid. This can be, for example,  lemon (juice) or vinegar.

Baking soda and acid together form the golden combination to make batter and dough rise nicely

Is it possible to replace the baking powder with baking soda?

If you want to use baking soda in a recipe instead of baking powder, you will have to add an acid component yourself. In a small batter, a teaspoon is usually enough. For 3 teaspoons of baking powder you only need 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Baking soda has a powerful effect.

Theoretically, you can substitute one for the other. In practice, on the other hand, it appears that one recipe responds better to baking powder or to baking soda. Or just the combination of the two. That’s a matter of trying it out!

Why baking soda instead of baking powder?

If baking powder is such a nice total package, why should we choose baking soda?

Baking soda is one of the most natural leavening agents we have for baking. In addition, by adding your own acid, you can control all the ingredients used. Ready-made baking powders often contain extra additives to keep things mixed and good. If you still want baking powder, then tartar baking powder is the healthiest option. It contains a natural acid (tartaric acid) and the tartar itself acts as a stabilizer at the same time. These two are added to the baking soda. You can find tartar baking powder in organic stores.

But there is another reason why baking soda should not be missing in your kitchen cupboard!

Baking soda in the rest of the house

Baking soda (baking soda): what is it and what can you use it for?

Baking soda appears to be at home in all markets. Do not confuse it with regular soda ( sodium carbonate), because that is not suitable for consumption. The baking soda that you can also use for other purposes is the real  baking  soda:   sodium bicarbonate

It is a very environmentally friendly alternative to chemical cleaning agents. The name says it all: baking soda, it purifies on the basis of very fine powder. You can really use it for infinite purposes. Below is some inspiration, but there are many more applications. And yes, these tips really work!


Replace chemical cleaners with baking soda and your body will thank you

  • Abrasive
    This is actually the application that works best of all. Baking soda turns out to be a perfect abrasive because of the fine particles. Think of cleaning caked (steel) pans, tiles, joints, gas burners, bathroom floor, etc.
  • Limescale in the toilet (or wherever)
    Put a cup of (household) vinegar together with a cup of baking soda in the toilet bowl. Let it soak for at least 15 minutes (and overnight in the case of stubborn limescale). You will see that the combination with vinegar immediately produces an effervescent effect. Then brush the toilet well.
  • Coffee and tea deposits
    Do you ever have those black circles in your cup that you find difficult to get off? A teaspoon of baking soda with some water and a scouring pad is all you need for sparkling clean cups and glasses.
  • Stain remover
    Soak clothes in soapy water with two tablespoons of baking soda and some lemon juice. Stain gone! Also ideal as a soaking agent before the clothes go into the washing machine.
  • All-purpose cleaner
    Fill a small bucket of soapy water with two tablespoons of baking soda and activate it with vinegar or lemon juice. And just brush! There is almost no cheaper all-purpose cleaner.
  • Odors in the refrigerator
    Place a saucer with baking soda in the refrigerator. Replace it when you notice the smells coming back.
  • Refreshing fabric upholstery
    Think of your sofa, chairs, or car seats. Sprinkle with a thin layer of baking soda. Leave for fifteen minutes and vacuum up with the vacuum cleaner. The same method works with rugs, mattresses, cuddly toys, or sneakers that could use a refresher.
  • Flowers
    A teaspoon of baking soda in the water in a vase ensures that the flowers remain beautiful for longer.
  • Cleaning fruit and vegetables From
    now on, wash your fruit and vegetables with a little baking soda and any pesticide residues will disappear more effectively.

Baking soda in your bathroom cabinet

Feel free to have some baking soda ready in your bathroom, because this stuff also comes in handy when you freshen up.

Baking soda (baking soda): what is it and what can you use it for?

  • As a toothpaste
    Because baking soda has a slightly abrasive effect, it is very suitable as part of homemade toothpaste. On the internet, you will find several recipes with coconut oil, among other things.
  • Deodorant
    I can almost swear, that no deodorant is as effective as baking soda. This is probably because it has a  strong antibacterial effect. It doesn’t clog the pores (and that’s a good thing!) so it doesn’t make you sweat less, but it does eliminate the odor.
    You can just use it neat. Just wet your fingers and dab a little on your armpits. If you want a nice scent and/or a better spreadable deodorant, you can mix it in a jar with some extra virgin coconut oil and/or essential oil. At the bottom of this article, you will find an easy recipe to try for yourself! There are also ready-made cans for sale based on baking soda.

Use internally?

There are also people who use baking soda internally. To dissolve a tablespoon in a glass of water and drink it. But its healthy effect has never really been proven. Some studies have been published, but they are often paper-thin. Moreover, it is not harmless.

When you ingest sodium bicarbonate in its pure form, unprotected or dissolved in liquid, it comes into contact with stomach acid, causing a chemical reaction. Remember that sparkling story? That also happens in your stomach. And you’d rather not. And certainly not in the longer term. It can cause gas, stomach, and headaches. In 50% of the users of sodium bicarbonate, it directly causes diarrhea and abdominal cramps. (1)

Baking soda for internal use, we do  not  recommend it

The fact that baking soda is sometimes internally recommended has to do with what you have already read above: it is a body’s own substance (bicarbonate) that binds acids. It ensures that the blood remains slightly alkaline (basic). So it may sound logical to use it in a body in which too many acids are formed. It would also help with stomach acid complaints, as a natural probiotic and as an aid to remove waste products. But there is not enough solid scientific evidence of this.

The only way to safely take baking soda is through a capsule. Never doctor this yourself, but only do it under the treatment and advice of a doctor or professional therapist.

Safe and therefore external

So only use baking soda at home for external use. Except for a small amount as a leavening agent in your baking. I’m curious what you use it all for because the applications are really endless. Please let us know below. And when are you going to make the deodorant?

Homemade cream deodorant

Baking soda (baking soda): what is it and what can you use it for?

You need this for a jar full of
6-7 tbsp coconut oil (extra virgin)
4 tbsp cornflour or arrowroot
4 tbsp baking soda
3 tbsp almond oil
Optional: a few drops of essential oil (lavender for example) for a nice scent

How to make it
Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan. Mix the baking soda with the cornstarch/arrowroot. Add the other ingredients and mix with the coconut oil. Stir well. If necessary, use a small whisk to knock out the lumps. Pour into a glass jar and let it set. Just use at room temperature. If you always work with clean fingers or use a small spatula, the deodorant will stay good for at least a few months.


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