Baking Soda, Is It Still Good?
One of the best and most used kitchen essentials is that box of Arm & Hammer baking soda you have sitting on the top shelf in your pantry.
How can you tell if is still good? Simply stir about 1/4 teaspoon of soda into 1/2 cup or so of very hot tap water. The proportions aren't critical, if it's still good, the soda will immediately start to bubble.
Baking soda needs an acid to get a reaction, so use the same procedure for baking powder but add 1/4 teaspoon of vinegar to the water before adding the soda. As before, if it bubbles up, your powder is fine to use.
If you don't see bubbles, then you need a fresh box. You could probably still use it to get some lift, but your baked goods will be more dense that usual. Don't be tempted to double the amount of baking soda or powder - it would make your food taste funny!
And since we are on the subject of baking soda, I hope that you too use it as an all around household cleaner. I am personally very sensitive to all of the harsh toxic cleaning products on the market today, and I have found a box of baking soda will freshen and clean most surfaces safely and often better than those other products. Not to mention the box that we keep in the refrigerator to keep smells out, it works wonderfully. BTW, that box should be replaced about once a year for best results!