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how do you soften baking soda which has hardened

I purchased a huge bag of baking soda for cleaning. It has become a rock. How do I soften it so I can use up the bag?

  • Dan's of Central Florida, Inc.
    Dan's of Central Florida, Inc. Clermont, FL
    on Feb 1, 2012

    Hmm, I've never run into this myself, but it comes to mind that smacking it a bunch with a hammer might work. If that doesn't, I'd just go and get more (perhaps in a smaller quantity).

  • 3sonscrazy
    3sonscrazy Fort Collins, CO
    on Feb 2, 2012

    If you are using it for cleaning, you generally will make it into a paste, so it doesn't really have to be a powder again. I would try to chip away at your baking soda rock. In the future, avoid getting any moisture into your baking soda. That is probably what caused your problem.

  • Sharon G
    Sharon G
    on Feb 3, 2012

    I want to use it with vinegar to clean the drains and a paste isn't possible. Think I will just throw it out and get a smaller bag. Thanks

    • Linda
      Linda Glendale, AZ
      on May 6, 2016

      Just add the vinegar to a few lumps you smashed

  • Marilynn Gillespie
    Marilynn Gillespie Canada
    on May 3, 2015


  • PainterNoni
    PainterNoni Black Diamond, WA
    on Jun 22, 2015

    I had the same problem...I need it for my goats, for cleaning, etc. It got hard as a rock even before I opened it. I just tried this, and it works. Take a pastry blender...the kind with a handle and metal splines....just scrap the top of the "rock", and it turns into powder again.

  • Barbara
    Barbara Lomita, CA
    on Apr 2, 2016

    Put a quarter of an apple inside the box and let it sit there for a day or two, the moisture from the apple should help it soften up a little bit, much like brown sugar.

  • William
    William Burbank, IL
    on Apr 2, 2016

    Baking powder may no longer work long before its "use by" date if not stored properly. The way baking powder works is that it mixes carbon dioxide gas into the dough or batter of baked goods, acting as a leavening agent. Baking powder will harden in its packaging if it is exposed to moisture. Hardened baking powder is ineffective because the desired carbon dioxide release has already occurred. The best defenses against hard baking powder are a good container and smart storage. Keep baking powder in an airtight container made of glass, metal or plastic. Once in the container, only dip dry utensils into the container to avoid adding any moisture, and reseal the container quickly after removing any baking powder. Some baking powders already come in airtight containers -- though if the container is cardboard, transfer the baking powder into a sturdier container that won't absorb moisture like cardboard will. Store baking powder in a dry area near room temperature to ensure that the powder will stay soft longer; do not refrigerate the container because that will expose the powder to moisture. A simple way to test if baking powder is still good is to add a teaspoon to about 1/3 cup hot water; if the baking soda starts to bubble, then it will still work in your recipes.

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