Baking soda vs baking powder: What is the difference between baking soda & baking powder?

TikTok: Woman cleans oven with baking soda and vinegar

Baking soda is an efficient leavening agent for cakes, cookies, brownies and all manner of baking while baking powder in things like bread and scones. Baking soda can also be used as an efficient cleaner for all manner of household messes. Simply mixing with water you can apply baking soda to stains and beat grease. But what is the difference between baking soda and baking powder?

Natural cleaners like baking soda can be a cost-effective way to clean household stains and freshen surfaces.

Making a paste by mixing baking soda and water can create a cleaner for stovetops, ovens, microwaves and grouting.

Sprinkling baking soda into bins, over soaking dishcloths and sponges can lift stains and freshen.

And a small dish of baking soda can help remove smells from fridges and cupboards.

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What is the difference between baking soda and baking powder?

Baking soda and baking powder are not the same thing, there is one key difference between the two.

Baking powder has an acid in the chemical mixture, while baking soda needs an acidic ingredient to enable a rise.

Baking soda creates a fizz when mixed with an acid.

Baking powder creates two reactions when cooking, first when it mixes with ingredients in the bowl, and then again when it meets heat.

When baking, you should use baking soda in recipes which feature acidic ingredients such as lemon juice, vinegar and buttermilk.

Baking powder can be used in dishes which don’t have acidic ingredients, like bread or pancakes.

Many of us may have a jar of baking soda or baking powder sat in the cupboard, and may not be aware of how long it has been there.

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There are simple tests for freshness for both baking soda and baking powder.

How To Test Baking Soda

Add some white vinegar into a bowl, then pop a teaspoon of baking soda in.

If you see an immediate reaction of bubbles on the surface, the baking soda is fresh and fine to use.

If the mixture doesn’t react and you see no bubbles, you should throw it out and replace the baking soda.

How To Test Baking Powder

To test baking powder you will need some warm water in a bowl.

Sprinkle some baking powder over the bowl and watch carefully.

The powder should fizz up when it hits the water, and this will show it is still active.

If the mixture doesn’t fizz up, you should throw out your baking powder and replace it.

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