Baking soda has hundreds of uses, but what about what it says on the tin?

My mother bought a giant bag of baking soda in order to deodorize some carpet. She had some left over and wondered if it was food grade. The bag said, "Hundreds of uses!" and listed all sorts of uses for baking soda. "Baking" was not on the list.

Follow-up: She called the manufacturer. It is safe for baking, too.

Comments (11)
  1. Brian_EE says:


    Congratulations on this – your 5000th blog post.

    Some stats:
    1st Post: Monday July 21, 2003
    Number of consecutive weekdays with blog entry posted: 3550
    Number of posts: 5000
    Average posts per weekday: 1.408

    In all this time, you’ve been not only a key software developer at Microsoft, but also a senior executive and public relations rep (

    I haven’t looked it up to be sure, but you must be the most prolific blogger at Microsoft.

    1. My memory may be faulty here, but ISTR that Raymond’s blog was on some other domain at first, along with other Microsoft bloggers, and that there were some posts from that site that got lost in one of the migrations. The scrollbar series starts at part 2, which suggests that there’s a missing part 1. is in the Wayback Machine, but that also starts on 2003-07-21.

          1. I remembered the original site: The Wayback Machine archive of that one also shows that the first post was on 2003-07-21, so it looks like I was indeed misremembering history.

  2. DWalker07 says:

    Raymond may not truly be a “senior executive”, but he has done more than anyone else to shape my (mostly positive) ideas about Microsoft’s engineering. I have learned a LOT from this blog over the last 13 years.

  3. wyatt says:

    We used to mix it in with the cattle feed. Used a 50lb bag a day. I think a 50lb bag of agricultural grade cost about the same as a little box at the grocery store.

    1. smf says:

      Dishwasher salt is a similar conundrum. Search for whether it’s safe to eat and people will list all of the horrible chemicals used in it, but if you google those chemicals with “table salt” then you find hits on those too.

      1. Viila says:

        Generally the difference is whether the manufacturing is guaranteed food safe or not. It can be for hygienic reasons, or there may be trace amounts of solvents or other such byproducts left in the non food safe version.

  4. morlamweb says:

    I’ve used baking soda several times when baking waffles from raw ingredients (i.e., not from a waffle mix). I did not call the manufacturer about it. If you look at the ingredients list for most prepared waffle/pancake mixes, you’ll see baking soda or sodium bicarbonate listed in it.

    1. SimonRev says:

      I think the concern was not that baking soda in general is unsafe for consumption, but rather she purchased some sort of bulk package of baking soda and it wasn’t clear from the packaging that the manufacturing, packaging and handling process was done in a food-safe manner. (i.e. you can buy industrial dry ice for less expensive than food grade dry ice, but you shouldn’t use it to carbonate your root beer).

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