Baking soda is a versatile item which is more than just for baking cakes and can be very useful when cleaning your home. Many cleaning gurus will advise you to shun more expensive sprays in favour of this cheap but effective solution instead. If you haven’t got baking soda in your cupboard but have baking powder or bicarbonate of soda you might be tempted to use them as substitutes. But is baking powder the same as baking soda or bicarbonate of soda?

Is baking soda the same as bicarbonate of soda?

Yes, baking soda and bicarbonate of soda are the same thing.

Baking soda’s proper name is sodium bicarbonate and its chemical formula is NaHCO3.

In the UK and Australia, we typically call it bicarbonate of soda, whereas Americans say baking soda.

READ MORE: Does baking soda whiten your teeth, is baking soda good for teeth?

Is baking powder the same as baking soda?

No, baking powder is not the same as baking soda or bicarbonate of soda.

They might look the same and are both leavening agents, but they are slightly different.

Baking soda requires an acid and a liquid to activate and helps baked goods rise, but baking powder only needs a liquid to become activated.

Baking powder isn’t as strong as baking soda, so you’d need to use more baking powder in a recipe if you used it as a substitute for baking soda.

You should use roughly two to three times more baking powder than baking soda.


Ovens are notoriously hard to clean, but baking soda will do the job.

Take the racks and trays out of the oven and then mix up a bowl of baking soda with water to make a paste.

Spread the paste on the walls of the oven making sure to avoid the heating elements, then leave it overnight.

Wipe the walls with a camp cloth to get rid of the bicarbonate of soda and then spray white vinegar on them.

It should start to foam and then you can wipe it away with a damp cloth.

Sprinkle the racks with bicarbonate of soda and then spray again with vinegar.

Soak them in hot water after they start to foam, and then scrub away the grime with a sponge and water.


Nobody likes a smelly pair of running shoes, but you shouldn’t chuck them away.

Instead, use baking soda to freshen them up.

Pour a layer of baking soda into the shoes and leave them overnight before knocking out again the next day.

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