Can You Use Fridge and Freezer Baking Soda for Baking? [Plus 4 Alternatives]

Baking soda is a common leavening ingredient in baking, but it’s also one of the best natural cleaning solutions available. Baking soda is now available in a wide range of formulations, but are they really all that different, or is it just marketing? Can you use Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda in baking?

Arm & Hammer Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda can’t be used in baking. While both pure baking soda and Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda are 100% sodium bicarbonate, the latter is more granular for better deodorizing and won’t mix properly into baked goods. If you’re out of pure baking soda, triple the amount called for and use baking powder instead.

Keep reading to find out all the differences between Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda and pure baking soda, plus several great alternatives if you’re in a baking pinch.

Can you use Arm & Hammer Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda for baking?

When I was younger, my mom always kept a box of baking soda in the back of the refrigerator, and chances are yours did too. These days, that little yellow box has been replaced in many fridges with a slightly less iconic blue-and-yellow box: the Arm & Hammer Fridge-n-Freezer variety of baking soda.

Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda is not recommended for use in baking because of its texture. Even if it hasn’t been used as a deodorizer, Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda is granular rather than powdered.

Can you use Fridge and Freezer baking soda for baking?

If it has been used as a deodorizer in your refrigerator or freezer, you’ll also be dealing with the addition of unwanted flavors and aromas in your baked goods.

6 Causes Of A Burning Smell From The Fridge (Plus Fixes!)

What is Arm & Hammer Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda?

Arm & Hammer baking soda has probably been used to deodorize refrigerators for as long as there have been refrigerators! But in 1999, the popular cleaning brand took it a step further and introduced the Fridge-n-freezer box you can pick up at your local grocery store today.

Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda has been optimized for odor absorption and is granular (rather than powdered) and comes in a patented box that exposes the maximum amount of baking soda to the air, allowing it to absorb more unwanted odors than the classic box.

Unlike regular baking soda, Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda should not be used for baking.

Are you dealing with a stink that baking soda just can’t get rid of? What to do if your fridge smells like a dead animal!

Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda vs. regular baking soda

If you’re in the grocery store, you’ll notice that pure baking soda and Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda are located in different aisles. What’s the actual difference between the two?

Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda vs. regular baking soda: what's the difference?

Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda differs from pure baking soda (aka regular baking soda) in the following ways:

  • texture
  • packaging

Certainly, here’s an updated table with the additional information you provided:

CharacteristicPure Baking SodaArm & Hammer Fridge-n-Freezer Baking Soda
Chemical composition100% sodium bicarbonate100% sodium bicarbonate
TexturePowderedGranulated
PackagingRegular cardboard boxPatented Flo-Thru Box
Appropriate for bakingYesNo
Appropriate for deodorizingYes
*Don’t use for baking if it has been used as a deodorizer
Yes
Table comparing pure baking soda and Arm & Hammer Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda – composition, texture, packaging, and uses

While that may seem like a short list, it makes a huge difference, especially if you accidentally use the wrong one in your cookies!

Texture

The primary difference between pure baking soda and Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda is the texture.

Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda is granulated to maximize odor absorption.

Pure baking soda, on the other hand, is powdered and has a texture similar to that of flour or baking powder. This ensures it mixes well with other baking ingredients.

The fine texture also makes pure baking soda ideal as a gentle cleaner.

Packaging

More than 20 years ago, Arm & Hammer introduced its patented Flo-Thru packaging for the Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda.

The Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda box has two patented side panels that allow maximum airflow without the risk of spilling baking soda in your refrigerator.

Watch this video for a good look at exactly how the Flo-Thru panels on Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda boxes work.

Does Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda have additional chemicals?

Contrary to what some people may believe, baking soda itself is chemically the same as pure baking soda.

I personally contacted Arm & Hammer, and the representative assured me that Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda is 100% sodium bicarbonate and is, therefore, safe to use. They also said it isn’t recommended due to the particle size.

While the Fridge-N-Freezer contains pure ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda we do not recommend it for baking. The granulation size is intended specifically for deodorizing.

– Arm & Hammer customer service

Can you use Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda for cleaning?

Baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice are basically the holy trinity of natural cleaners, but where does the Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda fall? Is it just as good?

Arm & Hammer does not recommend using the Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda for cleaning.

That being said, many users have reported that Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda can be used to absorb odors throughout the home and that it dissolves well in hot water.

What can I use if I don’t have baking soda?

If you don’t have pure baking soda, I wouldn’t recommend attempting to use Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda, even if it hasn’t been used in the refrigerator.

No matter what you’re planning on using baking soda for, chances are you have an adequate substitute at home without resorting to opening the Flo-Thru box.

Keep reading for what to use instead of baking soda for baking, deodorizing, and cleaning.

What can I use for baking if I don’t have baking soda

If you’ve already started baking and didn’t realize you’re out of baking soda, never fear!

Depending on the recipe you may be able to use the following ingredients in place of baking soda:

  • Baking powder
  • Self-rising flour
  • Whipped eggs whites
  • Nothing at all

Baking powder

Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate while baking powder also contains cream of tartar and cornstarch.

When using baking powder in place of baking soda, use three times as much leavener as called for.

You can use baking powder in place of baking soda in cookies, but the result with by a much cakier cookie.

For example, if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of baking soda, use 3 teaspoons (or 1 tablespoon) of baking powder.

This substitution works best in recipes like cookies where the resulting cakier texture may be welcome.

Self-rising flour

Self-rising flour is essentially all-purpose flour with extra stuff in it. While that “stuff” doesn’t include baking soda, it does include our second favorite leavening agent: baking powder.

Self-rising flour can be used in some recipes that call for all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt, but it can get a little complicated.

One cup of self-rising flour contains 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Given the small amount of these additions, you can assume one cup of self-rising flour is equal to one cup of all-purpose flour.

As an example, if your recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt, you can use 2 cups of self-rising flour and ½ teaspoon of salt.

Time to show my work:

2 cups of self-rising flour will have 3 teaspoons of baking powder and ½ salt. As established previously, you need to use three times as much baking powder in a recipe as baking soda. This means that you now have the appropriate amount of flour and leavening agent for the recipe, but you’ve only got half of the required salt.

Whipped egg whites

In most recipes, eggs are used as thickeners, emulsifiers, and binders. Egg whites on their own, however, are perfect for adding volume to your baking – if you’ve ever made a souffle, you already know that!

Used whipped egg whites as a substitute for baking soda in simple recipes that will be baked in the oven, such as cookies and muffins.

Use one egg which as a substitute for 1 teaspoon of baking soda - just remember to reduce the liquid as well!

Use two whipped egg whites for each teaspoon of baking soda called for in the recipe.

To avoid adding too much moisture to your recipe, you should weigh the egg whites and remove that amount of liquid from your recipe.

For example, if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of baking soda and oil is the primary liquid, weigh 1 egg white (it’ll probably be around 30 grams). Once you measure out the oil, you’ll want to weigh it and remove 30 grams before mixing it into the recipe.

Top tip: For recipes that don’t have a liquid ingredient – think most cookies – whip the egg whites into stiff peaks and gently fold them into the dough.

Nothing at all

If these substitutions seem a little overwhelming, you may want to try simply leaving the baking soda out of the recipe.

In some cases, such as cookies or pancakes, you may be able to get away with leaving the baking soda out altogether, especially if the recipe also calls for baking powder.

Be aware that the final result won’t be as fluffy, but it should taste about the same.

Summary of can you use fridge-n-freezer baking soda for baking?

Arm & Hammer Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda is not recommended for baking.

While both it and regular baking soda (the kind sold in the yellow box) are chemically identical, Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda is granular rather than powdered. This makes it perfect for absorbing odors, but also means that it will not function properly in recipes.

Additionally, the Fridge-n-Freezer packaging is specifically designed to optimize airflow so you’re paying a little more for that box, likely due to the Flo-Thru filter.

Finally, if you’ve been using the Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda for its intended purpose, using it in your baking would certainly impart some unwelcome flavors to what would otherwise probably be a delicious dessert!

Can you use Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda for teeth?

Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda is only recommended for use as a deodorizer.

The more coarse texture of this baking soda is not ideal for brushing your teeth. Instead, try pure baking soda or one of Arm & Hammer’s baking soda-based toothpaste offerings.

Can you use fridge-n-Freezer baking soda for heartburn?

When mixed with water, baking soda is a natural heartburn remedy – but stick to the regular stuff.

Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda is only recommended for use as a deodorizer.

Is Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda edible?

Fridge-n-Freezer baking soda is 100% sodium bicarbonate and is safe to consume.

Arm & Hammer states that “if used for baking, less than optimal performance may be experienced [but] there is no health concern.”

Can you use Arm & Hammer baking soda for baking?

Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda is the gold standard of baking soda and can be used for baking soda.

It is also an excellent natural cleaner!

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