Sustainability made simple

Use White Vinegar and Borax as an Alternative to Baking Soda

baking soda alternative
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / NatureFriend

Baking soda is great for cooking and cleaning, but if you find yourself without any on hand, you can try some of these natural baking soda alternatives.

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a salt which is commonly used in cleaning products because it can dissolve grease and dirt easily with water. It is an alkali, which makes it particularly effective against fatty substances like grease. In cooking, baking soda works as a chemical leavener, which means it helps baked goods (such as cakes) rise and makes them lighter.

But what to do when you run out? Rather than turning to non-sustainable cleaning products or giving up on your baking projects, try the tips below for similar results from these baking soda alternatives.

Baking Soda Alternatives for Cleaning

Borax can be used to replace baking soda when cleaning.
Borax can be used to replace baking soda when cleaning. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / SeaReeds)

There are a couple of natural baking soda substitutes that you can use for cleaning instead of baking soda or store-bought cleaning products.

  1. Borax — Borax, or sodium borate, is a naturally-occurring alkaline element found in some salt deposits. It has various uses around the house such as cleaning the bathroom or kitchen. Just mix two teaspoons of borax with four cups of hot water, then stir in a teaspoon of dish soap and four tablespoons of vinegar. You can also use it in your homemade laundry detergent to remove tough stains.
  2. White vinegar — The acidity in vinegar makes it a strong alternative cleaning product. It is tough on stains and mold and can be mixed with lemons to make a  homemade all-purpose cleaner.

Baking Soda Alternatives For Cooking

Self-rising flour can be used instead of baking soda when cooking.
Self-rising flour can be used instead of baking soda when cooking. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / hewq)

If you are short on baking soda, there are a few natural alternatives with similar properties.

  1. Self-rising flour — Composed of salt, baking powder, and all-purpose flour, self-rising flour can be used in recipes when you don’t have baking soda. You’ll need to use a conversion chart for your recipe, as it isn’t a 1:1 exchange.
  2. Potassium bicarbonate — Occurring naturally in salt beds, potassium bicarbonate can be used as an effective substitute for baking soda. It is easy to substitute since you can use the same amount of potassium bicarbonate as you would baking soda (for example, you can replace one teaspoon of baking soda with one teaspoon of potassium bicarbonate).
  3. Baking powder — Not to be mistaken for baking soda, baking powder works well as its replacement. The functions are similar, as it helps the final product to rise. The difference is that it’s made of two things: baking soda and a powdered acid (like cream of tartar). Generally, you should use three times the amount of baking powder to baking soda. For example, if you would normally use one teaspoon of baking soda, you would need to use three teaspoons of baking powder.

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