Asked on Feb 01, 2012

how do you soften baking soda which has hardened

Sharon G
by Sharon G
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?
  17 answers
  • 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).
  • 3po3 3po3 on Feb 01, 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 03, 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
  • PainterNoni PainterNoni 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 on Apr 02, 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 on Apr 02, 2016

    Still good. Use a hammer.

  • Marie Marie on Aug 25, 2017

    Hardened Baking Soda can be turned back into a powder by:

    1. Place the hardened baking soda into a larger plastic container.

    2. Cover the soda bag with a dish towel.

    3. Use a hammer and break into chunks.

    4. Pour the chunky baking soda into the plastic container (throw away the beat up bag).

    5. Place soda chunks into a blender - blend until powdered (wait a minute until the powder has settled).

    6. Place a large strainer over a large bowl and slowly pour the powdered baking soda into the strainer - Strain (put the small chunks back with the larger chunks - for the next round. Continue blending the rest of the chunky baking soda.

    7. Spoon the strained powdered baking soda into clean "dry" containers. Store...


    (1) Remove the baking soda from the box. (2) Place the baking soda in a microwavable bowl. (3) Cover it with a napkin or paper towel. (4) Microwave for 1 minute. You should be able to scrape it with a spoon by now. (5) Microwave again for 1 more minutes. (6) Put the baking soda in a Ziploc bag, and gently squeeze the bag. The baking soda should return to its normal form.

  • Sylly Sylly on Jun 24, 2020

    I SHAVED IT WITH THE COURSER SIDE OF A BOX GRATER. It was actually kind of fun to do and went pretty fast! You can hold it up with hand on top and grate it on the side like you would cheese... or you can put it down flat, hold the end handle with one hand and grate the soda horizontally, away from you. No mess either. Pretty easy to clean up.

  • CARRIE CARRIE on Nov 12, 2021

    I sifted it in an old-fashioned flour sifter. I broke it up first, while still in the plastic package, with a hammer. Worked great!

  • CARRIE CARRIE on Nov 12, 2021

    I sifted it in an old-fashioned flour sifter. Worked great! Broke up first with a hammer while still in package.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Dec 20, 2021

    Hit it with a hammer and take a chunk and break that up. Put that over your drains and add vinegar, when the fizzing stops, rinse well with hot water.

  • Nan68613583 Nan68613583 on Jul 22, 2022

    the pastry cutter works perfect!

  • Lisa Janda Lisa Janda on Jun 24, 2023

    when it’s in the large 13 pound plastic bag I drop it on cement. Today I threw it from stairway and to cement and it took twice to break it up.

    I do not want to remove it from the bag and smash it in a separate container. I need it in the bag for a month. I’ve tried using a hammer an ice pick and many ways did not work, especially with so little effort.

    I previously returned the bag to the store It fell out of the car, hit the pavement , when I got to the return counter the clerk told me it was soft.

    he he

  • Mogie Mogie on Jul 01, 2023

    You can dump your chunky baking soda into another container and use a mallet or meat tenderizer to break the clumps apart or break-out your blender and pulversize the clumps until they are once again a fine powder.

  • Use a pastry cutter.