The Shelf Life of Baking Soda: How Long Does it Last for Cleaning and Odor Absorption?

baking soda powder

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a popular cleaning agent that has been used for decades. 

Its mild abrasive properties make it effective for removing stains and grime, and its natural deodorizing properties make it great for eliminating odors.

However, like all cleaning products, baking soda has a shelf life. 

In this article, we will explore how long baking soda lasts for cleaning, whether or not it is safe to use expired baking soda, and how to prolong the life of baking soda.

Let’s get started.

How Long Does Baking Soda Last for Cleaning? 

The shelf life of baking soda for cleaning purposes can vary depending on how it is stored. If it is kept in an airtight container, away from moisture and strong odors, it can last for up to 2 years. However, if it is exposed to moisture or strong odors, it can lose its effectiveness more quickly.

Can I Use Expired Baking Soda for Cleaning? 

Yes, expired baking soda can still be used for cleaning, but its effectiveness may be reduced

Over time, baking soda can lose its potency and become less effective as a leavening agent and as a cleaning product. It can also absorb moisture and odors from its surroundings, which can affect its performance.

Does Expired Baking Soda Still Have the Ability to Absorb Odors?

Baking soda is able to absorb odors because it is a mild alkali and can neutralize acidic odors. 

However, as baking soda gets older or if it’s exposed to moisture, it can lose its effectiveness as a deodorizer.

Over time, baking soda can absorb moisture and odors from the environment, which can reduce its ability to absorb new odors. When it’s exposed to moisture, it can form clumps, which can make it less effective as a deodorizer.

It’s best to check the texture and smell of baking soda before using it as a deodorizer. If it has hardened or has a strong odor, it may no longer be effective and should be replaced.

Additionally, if you’re using baking soda as a deodorizer, it’s recommended to replace it every 3-4 months.

Does Baking Soda Lose Its Abrasiveness for Cleaning Over Time? 

Baking soda’s abrasive properties come from its physical structure, which is made up of small crystals. Over time, these crystals can break down and become less abrasive, making the baking soda less effective as a cleaning product.

Exposure to moisture can cause the baking soda to absorb moisture and form clumps, which can make it less abrasive. In addition, if baking soda is mixed with other cleaning agents and left to sit, the abrasive properties may be diminished.

Before using baking soda for cleaning, it is best to examine its texture and consistency. It may no longer be as abrasive and has to be replaced if it has solidified or developed clumps.

What Happens If I Use Old Baking Soda for Cleaning? 

If you use expired baking soda for cleaning, it may not be as effective as fresh baking soda. 

Expired baking soda may not release as much carbon dioxide, which is necessary for its cleaning and deodorizing properties

Additionally, if the baking soda has absorbed moisture, it may be clumpy and difficult to use.

How Do You Prolong the Life of Baking Soda? 

To prolong the life of baking soda and maintain its effectiveness for cleaning and eliminating odors, it is important to store it in an airtight container and use it within 6 months after opening. This will help to prevent moisture from getting inside and decrease the chances of the baking soda becoming clumpy. 

Read 3 Ways to Store Baking Soda to Keep It Fresh Longer to learn how to store baking soda.


Baking soda is a powerful and versatile cleaning agent, but its effectiveness can deteriorate over time. To ensure the best cleaning results, it’s recommended to use fresh baking soda within six months of opening the package. 

Using expired baking soda may not yield the same cleaning results as using fresh baking soda, so to avoid disappointment, it’s best to start with a new box.

I hope you learned something new from reading this article.

Thanks for reading.

-Baking Soda Guy

Image by NatureFriend from Pixabay