Baking powder and baking soda are chemical leavening agents that cause dough and  batters to rise when baked. Leavening agents are substances that cause expansion to dough and batters by the release of gases by such mixtures, producing baked products with porous structure.

difference between baking soda and baking powderBaking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate. When baking soda is combined with moisture and an acidic ingredient like yogurt, chocolate, buttermilk, or honey, the resulting chemical reaction produces bubbles of carbon dioxide that expand under oven temperatures, causing baked goods to rise. Baking soda starts to react and release carbon dioxide gas as soon as it is added to the batter and moistened. Make sure to bake the batter immediately.

There are numerous uses for baking soda. Baking soda has an indefinite shelf life if stored in a sealed container in a cool dry place. Baking soda causes reddening of cocoa powder when baked.

difference between baking powder and baking sodaBaking powder contains sodium bicarbonate, it includes the acidifying agent (cream of tartar), and also a drying agent (usually starch). Baking powder is available as single-acting baking powder and as double-acting baking powder. Single-acting powders are activated by moisture, so you must bake recipes which include this product immediately after mixing. Double-acting powders react in two phases and can stand for a while before baking. With double-acting powder, some gas is released at room temperature when the powder is added to dough, but most of the gas is released after the temperature of the dough increases in the oven. Because of the two stages, baking of the batter can be delayed for about 15-20 minutes without it losing its leavening power. Store in a cool dry place and it should be replaced every 6-12 months.

Few measures to be followed:

  • Follow recipe instructions for quantities.
  • Sift baking powder or baking soda with the other dry ingredients before adding to the batter to ensure uniformity in a recipe.  Otherwise the baked good can have large holes.
  • Too much baking powder can cause the batter to be bitter tasting. It can also cause the batter to rise rapidly and then collapse. (i.e. The air bubbles in the batter grow too large and break causing the batter to fall.)  Cakes will have a coarse, fragile crumb with a fallen center.
  • Too little baking powder results in a tough cake that has poor volume and a compact crumb.
  • Too much baking soda will result in a soapy taste with a coarse, open crumb.

Testing for effectiveness for the leavening agent nearing shelf life:

  • To test baking powder’s effectiveness: mix 1 teaspoon (5 grams)  baking powder with 1/2 cup (120 ml) hot water and the mixture should bubble immediately.
  • To test baking soda’s effectiveness: mix 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 2 teaspoons of vinegar and the mixture should bubble immediately.


Many a times you feel that the refrigerator at home is not sufficient as you need to constantly stuff things into the fridge. They look overflowing. And it becomes a tedious task to take out containers. That’s the right time when you need to organize your fridge. A well organized fridge has its advantages as there is space to store more and there is access to all racks in the fridge. Biggest advantage if you store upto ¾ capacity is that you save on electricity than an usually empty stored fridge. A full refrigerator uses less energy than an empty one. Once you organize the fridge you realize that your current fridge is sufficient and there is space for further storage too.

Note: Never store hot food in the fridge. Bring the food to room temperature and then place it in the fridge.

clean and maintain a refrigeratorTips On Organizing Your Refrigerator

Here are a few tips on organizing your fridge. I’m sure it will not consume much of your time to read and follow. So let’s take a look at the compartments in the fridge and how we utilize and organize .Take into consideration the number of times we access and place the items accordingly in the fridge.

  • Freezer:

Store only food items that has to be frozen in the freezer. The latest models are having racks and provided with brackets to stack .

Store meat , fish in the bottom rack. The top rack or door rack can be used to store ice cream. Replace the water to make ice at a regular frequency . Discard ice cubes even if not used.

  • Door :

Store eggs in the top racks . The middle racks to be used to store soft drinks, pickle, butter. The bottom rack can be used to hold large bottles and drinking water.

  • The Main Section:

The main section of the fridge is divided in to 3 separate parts meant for 3 different purposes.

The chiller is at the top of the main section. You need to store cream, milk packets,  chocolates.

There are racks below the chiller. The height can be adjusted based on the height of container to be stored. Transfer leftovers into plastic containers with lids and keep them in front row such that we can access it upon need quickly. This will enable us to stack one container over the other too based on availability of space.

The bottom rack is designed for vegetable storage or crisper. Use zip pouches or poly bags. Wrap the vegetables in paper and then store, to avoid decay with excess moisture.

How to get Rid of Bad Refrigerator Odor

Regular inspection of the status of stored bags and containers will avoid bad odor. A well organized fridgewill not only allow you to access the food easily but will also make it easy for you to keep the fridge clean.

The lingering bad odor in the fridge can cause a tumbling feeling in your tummy and you may get annoyed. The foul smell spread fast and can affect the stored food also. You can be relieved of this dilemma by following the following tips to get rid of bad odor in the fridge.

  • Remove all the food from your refrigerator. Push the defrost button. If that option is not there, unplug the power supply.
  • Once defrosted unplug the power supply . Remove all the detachable trays and racks and dip them into a basin which has soapy solution . Using a sponge,  clean the dirt, grime and food residue from the trays.
  • Dissolve little baking soda into lukewarm water. Baking soda ( Sodium bi-carbonate) is an excellent deodorant and contains a unique chemical property that allows the particles to absorb the odor and other foul smell from your refrigerator.
  • Scrub out the entire mold, food particles and other stains on the walls of the refrigerator and deep freezer using a scrubber. Do not use a scouring pad as it will cause scratches.
  • Clean the inner parts of the refrigerator by dipping sponge in warm soapy water. Clean the chiller, egg rack and the rubber lining of the doors thoroughly. These are storage places for pests like cockroaches.
  • Once clean dip the sponge in clean water and thoroughly clean all the parts and the racks. Repeat once more to ensure all soapy and baking soda smell has disappeared .
  • Keep the fridge open for 30 minutes. Allow to dry. Once dried, place all the detached racks back into the slots.
  • Plug the power connection. Store all the food containers and bottles into respective brackets and racks.
  • If you are still not experiencing good smell from the fridge even after cleaning, place a cut lemon . Cut lemon into half, squeeze a little lemon juice in water and place the container in the refrigerator. You will be relieved of the foul smell



Here are a few natural cleaning solutions readily available at your home. Listed below is their solutions.


natural home made cleaning solutionsThe acidic property in lemon removes dirt and rust stains. Very effective when mixed with salt and applied as a paste.

Lemon is good to clean kitchen counter tops, cutting boards, stains on plastic storage containers , to remove grease from utensils,  remove bad smell in a container.

Cut lemon into half, squeeze a little juice in water and place the container in the refrigerator. You will be relieved of the foul smell . This can be applied for trash bins too.

To relieve smell off your hands after you touch or cut fish , rub hands with lemon juice and you will be relieved off the odor.

Lemon is widely used to brighten white clothes  . Add half a cup of lemon juice to the final rinse  and you will observe the difference.

To remove hard water scales on tiles and wash basins apply lime juice on the areas , leave it overnight. Next day you can gently scrub and remove the stains.

Lemons are used to clean the microwave oven too.

Note: Lemons are not recommended on marble surfaces.


The granular texture of table salt makes it suitable for scouring. There is a range of salts to select from. Table salt is the preferred and cheapest choice.

To remove tough stains on glassware, add some salt to the scouring pad and gently remove scrub.

Table salt can be applied on crockery too. Apply salt on a piece of lemon and apply on the crockery which has a tough stain.

To remove dust and dirt from artificial flowers and leaves , put them into a paper bag and add half a handful of salt to it. Shake it well and you will see great results. The flowers and leaves are clean now!

Coarse salt helps remove fins of fishes during cleaning activity. Put a handful of salt into a wide pan and shift the fish upside down in the  pan. The fins will totally be removed.

Salt is good to absorb any spills in the oven. It can be cleaned after use with a damp cloth.


The combination of surfactant, stain fighter and anti bacterial agent makes toothpaste an efficient stain fighter.

Toothpaste is good for cleaning tarnished silver articles. Use a toothbrush to enable better application. stains on glassware, add some salt to the scouring pad and gently remove scrub.

To remove hard water scales on taps and wash basins , squeeze toothpaste on the area and rub for some time with a soft cloth until it shines.

Tooth paste removes scuff marks on acrylic finishing and linoleum surfaces. Squeeze toothpaste on the desired area . Scrub it with a soft dry cloth until the toothpaste residue is removed.

Tooth paste is good for small burns . Apply on the affected area, It acts as a first aid remedy.


Vegetable and plant based oils removes dirt and minimizes scratches on the wooden surfaces. It hydrates wood that has aged or dried out from exposure to the sun

To prevent burning of hands during handling of spices like chillies, apply vegetable oil on the hands. You will not feel the intense burning.

To get paint off your skin, rub with vegetable oil and wash thoroughly with soap.

To brighten leather shoes , clean the leather shoes thoroughly off dust and grime. Add a few drops of oil on a cloth and apply on the shoe and rinse properly. This will make the shoe shine.

To prevent rattan and wicker articles or furniture from drying or cracking, lightly brush them with vegetable oil and gently rub in with a cloth. Warm the oil to enable east application

It is advised to use vegetable oil for getting the shine and cleaning Stainless steel . Lemon is not recommended for cleaning Stainless steel .

To clean wood furniture, mix 1 cup of vegetable oil or plant based oil with half a lemon. Add this on a soft cloth.  This will help smooth scratches too.


Due to its alkaline property,  Borax kills mold, fungus and softens water. When added to a laundry wash you will observe excellent results due to its effectiveness.

You can remove foul smell from a dishwasher. Sprinkle borax in the bottom, let it sit overnight, then wipe down with a damp sponge. No need to rinse; continue washing operations.

Rub borax into cookware with a damp cloth and rinse well . This will remove stains.

Borax  gets rid of toilet rust stains also . Sprinkle borax in the toilet bowl, leave it overnight. Rinse it with a toilet brush and flush water.


Due to its acidic property, Vinegar can wipe out tarnish, soap deposits, mineral deposits, and more. It is widely used for its varied benefits. It also prevents the growth of mold, mildew, and some bacteria.

You can clean glass ware and ensure no spots. Add 6 table spoons of vinegar to the rinse water.

Vinegar is used to disinfect the dishwasher. Rinse with 1 cycle of vinegar, add half cup. Follow rinse with plain water.

Remove hard water stains from Stainless Steel surfaces, shower heads. Dip the unit in vinegar mixed with water and leave overnight. Rinse with water in the morning.

Note: Vinegars are not recommended on marble surfaces.


Baking soda ( sodium bicarbonate) absorb odors. Baking soda is useful to remove odors from upholstery.

Baking soda removes stains from a can opener. It removes tough stains from mugs and cups.

Erase crayon marks by applying a baking soda paste (equal parts baking soda and water) to white painted walls (baking soda may dull colored walls). Let dry before brushing it off with a clean cloth.


Washing soda (sodium carbonate) absorbs odors. Recommended to use rubber gloves while handling washing soda as it is slightly stronger .

Washing soda is good to clean oily stains seen in workshops and garage floors. Lavishly sprinkle washing soda and leave it overnight. Thoroughly wash and rinse the floor with water.

Washing soda helps  remove grease from stove burner grates, garden tools.

Your accessories will be bright and sparkling.