134 Responses to “The Great Baking Soda Anti-Hoax”


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  1. Wendy

    Thank you, thank you! I was just starting to look for this exact answer as I was getting ready to make my first batch of homemade deodorant and wanted to make sure I wasn’t getting anything unwanted.

  2. Terry

    Thank you! I already knew about the Baking Powder Baking Soda non-aluminum issues for quite awhile. Today you taught me how Baking Soda is procured – I had no clue before this. Thank you!

  3. Stacey

    That was the most brilliance I have read on a blog ever! Thank you for the clarity :)

  4. Bonnie

    Bobs Red Mill is a great company, employee owned by the generous gift from Bob when he retired. Try their excellent flours. I use ww for everything. It is great fun to go to their country store in Milwaukie Oregon.

  5. Ben

    Actually Bob’s Red Mills has recently removed the “aluminum free” label from their baking soda and have given it the meaningless descriptor “all natural”. I was buying it because it said aluminum free (and the thought of Alzheimer’s scares me). I take a lot of it because I use it to neutralize the acidity in vitamin C powder that I mix into a glass of water(and it’s also supposed to potentiate the Vitamin C somehow). Anyway, because I was concerned about the change in labeling I called Bob’s Red Mills and asked about it. What I was told was that their baking soda contains naturally occurring trace elements of aluminum and that is why they changed their label. So it in fact does contain aluminum. My question is how much is too much. I’d like to keep doing what I’m doing because it is a cost efficient way to take mega doses of vitamin C. If anybody has any info on that it would be great to hear from you. Thanks!

    • janine

      Thank you for sharing this. I noticed that the “aluminum free” label was nowhere to be found on a recent bag I purchased…and then began googling for answers. Heh heh. So now they are saying it contains naturally occurring trace amounts of aluminum, eh? Hmmmm…

    • Blanche Douma

      Hello Ben, I also was mega-dosing on Vitamin C (being a loyal Linus Pauling fan), and getting the ‘C crystals’ which were more economical for the amount I wanted to take. THEN, I learned that Vitamin C is made from CORN – and nearly all corn in the US is GMO (90 to 95%), so I located a different online supplier that sells the powder and capsule form that’s made from dried berries (acerola, etc.). That’s SYNERGY out of Moab, Utah. There are now other brands, including Trusted Health Products which uses European corn as their source. Because I’ve read about GMOs (Seeds of Deception, etc.), I want to be as GMO free as possible, although I can no longer afford to ‘mega dose’ with C. :( Also, THANKS for the correction re trace amounts of aluminum in baking soda.

    • kyle

      with a direct intake of baking soda, be careful, a half a tea spoon is good, but not for long periods of time, but if you want vitamin C, forget supplements, majority of there are just Ascorbic acid, it’s like getting an egg shell with nothing inside, your best bet is to juice organs, lemons, limes, and grapefruits, oranges for the taste, lemons and limes for the high content of vitamin C, and the grape fruit juice helps the body absorb more of the vitamins, and remember that true vitamin C is water soluble, not this misguided synthetic stuff

    • I would say that naturally occurring trace aluminium (I’m not from the UK but I recently read that the official spelling has been changed to this, and I’m a freak when it comes to spelling :) is ok, compared to what they add in deodorants, which is most likely some kind of processed aluminium coming from a huge block of it. I don’t know for sure, but I’d rather have naturally occurring aluminium if I had to have it in some form.

  6. Ben

    I notice the author of the article gives no proof of her research and doesn’t give any indication as to where you might find the information that led her to that conclusion. It’s a fairly persuasive article that requires you to take everything on faith. I’m not saying there is a harmful amount of aluminum in baking powder, but I do think this article is very much like the scone story used to illustrate the author’s point. It’s just hearsay. Where are the facts to back it up?

  7. Swany

    Arm and hammer baking soda has been tested for aluminum and it is a scientific fact proven in the lab analysis that it does contain aluminum often depending upon where they get it from. Bob’s red mill is not processed in any industrial chemical plant as is most of arm and hammer’s. They gather it from nature’s sources without any processing and when tested it never shows aluminum. Now, if you really want to prove that your arm and hammer is clean, go test it and have it analyzed for aluminum and come up with the facts! That is the only way to PROVE any point, otherwise it is all opinion and unsubstantiated. By the way, aluminum has not been proven to cause Alzheimer’s, it is simply assumed that, because they find deposits of aluminum in the person’s brain, that perhaps it contributed to the disease. But now research shows that it is lack of various minerals that contributes to the disease and the result is mineral imbalance causing aluminum to deposit in the brain tissue. I say lets get some good documented facts not conjecture. Go research it for yourselves is probably the best advice in a situation like this. I have and it gave me the critical evidence i needed.

  8. Lyd

    Thank you so much for this clarification. I started going like; but my homemade deodorant has just normal store bought baking soda ;) just took a deep break after reading your nice piece.

  9. good to know, however, I ‘heard’ that Arm & Hammer DOES UTILIZE ANIMAL TESTING. So, that has made a BIG impact on my buying choices. Have to admit, I haven’t researched it past that… it’s on my list ;)

  10. DMJ

    Here’s my take … Why does it cost so much more for something that doesn’t need any additions or mixing or heating etc. We have to pay extra for it to be simply mined. That makes absolutely no sense at all.

    • Jamie

      I don’t know exactly why they price their items the way they do, but I can give you my opinion based on my observations of other products with similar disparities. Often, if a product uses any non-American factories/mines/etc. to package their product, they are able to do it cheaper because of the wage disparity between American workers and, well… everyone else. Also, smaller businesses often have a higher end price due to the smaller size of their consumer group. In this case, A&H has their product EVERYWHERE and everyone recognizes them and all that. They can afford to procure ginormous amounts of baking soda because they will sell it. Bob’s is not everywhere and is not as easily recognizable, so their base is smaller and they have to buy smaller amounts and on and on. HTH

  11. Gary Clyne

    Thanks so much for ending this confusion!

  12. Thank you for this info. I’ve been trying to find aluminum free deodorants & recipes to make my own & got really confused when I saw the aluminum free claims on baking soda. I thought baking soda was just sodium bicarb….did NOT know about how A&H make theirs & did NOT know about the baking powder. Thanks again!!

  13. Sylvie

    Had been wondering if my HS science was REALLY that rusty!!

    Reminds me of packaging that says “Fat Free” on things like Twizzlers….

  14. James

    Today I received a manufacturer’s email that contradicts your post on aluminium in bicarb of soda. It’s from “Dr Oetker” a multinational that makes bicarbonate of soda for the home baking market (sold under the brand superfood here in UK):


    Thank you for your enquiry.

    There are between 5 & 50 parts per million of aluminium in our bicarbonate of soda, and this is due to cross contamination, not an added ingredient, and therefore can vary slightly from batch to batch.

    I hope this is of assistance to you.

    Kind Regards

    Consumer Response Team

    I’d emailed them myself to double check a post on yahoo discussion saying the same, as there is so much misinformation out there by people not checking facts properly. Crunchy Betty it would be very helpful if you update your post in light of such evidence as few will read all these replies and may still be ingesting aluminium unnecessarily due to being misinformed. Love your home made deodorant work though.

  15. Hello!
    Others have voiced my confusion above, but it’s pleasant sometimes to add into the melee. I have been signed up since the middle of January, but have three letters. They’re great letters! But similarly, I’d like to know if this is just the process in the dust settling or if this is to be expected?

  16. jo

    I noticed your column after searching for aluminum free baking powder online, I was not aware that baking soda could contain aluminum since it is sodium bicarbonate. I must confess that I thought you were talking about baking powder until I clicked on your article.

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  22. Joanna

    It is obvious that baking SODA does not contain aluminum, it is one simple ingredient period; sodium bicarbonate. However, many commercially-available baking POWDERS DO CONTAIN AlUMINUM and they should be avoided. Always look for aluminum-free baking POWDER. I agree that marketing baking SODA as aluminum-free is irrelevant. This article began with discussing baking powder but then transitioned to baking soda. Do not confuse the two, they are not one in the same.

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  24. Judy

    Thanks for this information. I actually just tried to call ArmandHammer but the office was closed. I know too, that depending on who answers the phone I could get a number of different answers! May I ask if you spoke with someone at the Co to see what their response is? I skimmed through the FAQ’s on the website, and did not see this concern addressed, although they seemed to speak a lot on Ph and Alkalinity/Acidity for their swimming pool products. Thanks again for your information and research.

  25. Patricia

    That was probably one of the best post ever!! Thank you for clarifying this! You are awesome :)

  26. There are some fascinating points in time in this article but I don�t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There’s some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like more! Added to FeedBurner as well

  27. Debbie

    I looked into Bob’s Red Mill and the ingredients list. It has cornstarch. GMO?? or non GMO???

  28. ria

    dear people, where can I buy bobs red mill or frontrier soda bicarbonate in the netherlands or closeby

    thanks you in advance

  29. Hmmm

    Sodium aluminum sulphate is the one I had recently been advised to avoid. I even bought Rumford Baking Powder until I could research. After exhaustive search, the only link between health and harm associated with SAS was a link in some studies to Alzheimer’s. But nothing truly conclusive. I would like to thank you for this blog, it has really helped to solidify my own suspicions.

  30. Kerry

    I think baking soda back in the day had aluminium chloride or something in it. I’m actually looking for it (hence finding your post) to make super snappy gingernut biscuits. So Bob’s label at some time may have been purposeful.

    Can’t seem to find it though!

  31. Cman


    I know a lot about health, but didn’t know this. Just never thought to consider otherwise! (Not that I’m really so afraid of aluminum now, with all the great ways I know to single it out for elimination.) Thanks for your lesson. :)

  32. BOB’S RED MILL did not stop using “aluminum free” because it back-tracked not containing aluminum. It’s because it wasn’t necessary. And were there aluminum in natural traces, you can live with that. For example, apple seeds contain traces of arsenic such that if you swallow seeds you have NO CHANCE at all of dying. Naturally occurring traces are just that.

    Regardless it is a good discussion thus, how much is in fact in a naturally-occurring “trace” of aluminum?

    And yes you may wind up PAYING MORE for something that is not processed by a company that is as ubiquitous as Arm & Hammer. With most products you want as little refining as possible.

    If you are making deodorant even with A & H baking soda you are still avoiding the aluminum that commercial deodorant companies ADD to the product. I’m not sure why people would argue on this board about that. You STILL are making a huge difference! If you can’t afford to buy for $3 what you can get for $.80 at a local store, it’s okay – you haven’t failed the universe!

    Always be questioning and it will go in the right direction!!

    - Mr. Awesome

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  34. Bob

    Aluminum is one of the most plentiful elements in the world. It is in trace amounts in almost everything including you! It is in the plants you eat and even in pastured, organic meat. Ordinary clays have large amounts of it but it is chemically tied up. So I personally wouldn’t worry about clay. So yes, it is in A&H baking soda in very small amounts and it is also in Bob’s Red Mills baking soda, in very small amounts. Almost anything mined has it. Almost anything running through any kind of equipment has it. It is darn near everywhere and in darn near everything.

    But if you are trying to avoid consumption of significantly large amounts of aluminum, then buy baking POWDER that is not aluminum based. You would have to eat tons and tons of baking soda (either brand) to equal the aluminum in one teaspoon of aluminum based baking powder. Even then you can be assured that even non-aluminum baking powder contain tiny amounts of aluminum. Don’t spaz over it. Stress is bad for you. Smiling improves your health more than worrying about the trace amounts of aluminum.

  35. Desireé

    Bobs doesnt have aluminum free on their packaging for BS. Maybe they use to?

  36. jane doe

    I just bought Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda. It does not say aluminum free on the package. It does say aluminum free on their baking powder package.
    Thank you

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  40. I contacted bobs red mill and asked about the aluminum.. This is what I got as an answer today: Thank you for contacting Bob’s Red Mill!

    Bob’s Red Mill packages only one type of baking soda, an all-natural baking soda that is mined from the earth. Like most of our other products, our baking soda is minimally processed—it is simply a product of nature; nothing is added, nothing is taken out.

    About a year ago we took the statement “aluminum free” off the label because we became aware that there may be naturally-occurring traces of aluminum in our baking soda. While the amount of aluminum is miniscule to none, we feel omitting the term “aluminum free” will avoid any confusion or misleading claims with our customers. It is the same baking soda that it has always been.
    Please feel free to contact me if you need help with anything else.
    Have a great day!

    So.. it contains traces of aluminum…. Sad story..

  41. marek

    Unfortunately I dont believe what is said here. Theres aluminum in bicarbonate of soda. One of the biggest european producers Dr. Oetker admits their BoS got particles of aluminum. so… dont take it for granted.

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  43. You are lucky! at least you know which baking soda do you use? There are no labels for the baking soda in Serbia, unfortunately. They are all the same! No warnings in any way. Ha!

  44. Rufus

    “There are no chemical reactions, nothing added or fiddled with. It’s just pure sodium bicarbonate, the way the earth made it.” If you and the guileless fools that swoon over your blog think that sodium bicarbonate mined from the earth wasn’t produced through chemical reactions, I have a bridge to sell you. Don’t worry, it’s crunchy.

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  46. fanta

    If baking soda doesn’t include aluminum, why companies that produce it admit there are traces of it in their products?
    “We can confirm that Doves Farm Bicarbonate of Soda conforms to the relevant purity criteria relating to aluminium levels including Commission Regulation (EU) 231/2012 and amendments. Although there are no aluminium additives in the product,there are trace levels of aluminium present at < 0.5mg/kg. Doves Farm "

  47. Bob Ryan

    Sorry, but your article does not clear up the confusion at all. Your blanket statement that baking soda does not contain aluminium is not a proven fact; it is just your unsubstantiated opinion. Without having samples analysed by a certified trace elements laboratory, one cannot be certain that any particular batch of baking soda does or does not contain aluminium.


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