Baking Soda, part I: Sodium Bicarbonate

Sometimes the more mundane things in the kitchen can be overlooked, when really there is so much to say about them.  There is as much information on baking soda as there are uses for it.  I thought I might break it down for you…..

Baking Soda, part I: Sodium Bicarbonate

Baking soda, aka; sodium bicarbonate, is a salt. This salt is found naturally in sediment, mineral and water deposits.

Much of the baking soda that you now use in natural mineral form, nahcolite (NaHco3), is from the mineral, trona. Trona can be found in large deposits in Colorado and Wyoming.

The two best uses that I know of for baking soda are cooking and cleaning. Even the Egyptians used it as part of a cleaning agent! The American colonists found use for it in cooking applications, finding it a consistent and affordable leavening agent. Early labeling even called it aerated salt to advertise that it seems to make things bigger with more air.  To further solidify baking soda in American culture, sodium bicarbonate became more accessible when large trona deposits were discovered in the American West.


TIP:  Use baking soda as an all-purpose cleaner.  Mix with water to form a paste. Use the paste to gently everything from your face to your shoes. Use it in the kitchen and bathroom, too. Scrub sinks, counters, stove tops, coffee pots, etc., with a damp rag and soft baking soda paste. Add a wee bit of liquid soap for a great sudsing action.

3 Replies to “Baking Soda, part I: Sodium Bicarbonate”

  1. This was really interesting, thanks! I’ve noticed that they don’t use baking soda in French cooking and you can’t even buy it at the grocery store here, only at the pharmacy!

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