Does Baking Soda Contain Aluminum?
Which Baking Soda is Best?
According to the manufacturer of Arm & Hammer, Church & Dwight Co, aluminum is not added as an ingredient. However, it is unknown if the equipment and process might be introducing aluminum.
“Thank you for taking the time to contact Church & Dwight Co., Inc. regarding ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda.
In response to your inquiry, ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda is 100% sodium bicarbonate and does not contain aluminum.”
Bob’s Red Mill uses a different process but they have a similar statement regarding aluminum, “Because it is mined from the earth, that means there are naturally occurring traces of aluminum in our baking soda.”
How is Baking Soda made?
From my research, baking soda is made by mining trona ore or nahcolite from the earth. Arm & Hammer Baking Soda is primarily from Trona Ore mined in Wyoming. Bob’s Red Mill and other more natural baking soda products are from Nahcolite extraction using solution mining.
Mining & Processing Trona Ore for Baking Soda
“All trona is mined underground and then processed into soda ash or baking soda. An underground trona mine is like an underground city. There are maintenance shops, bathrooms, electricity lines, and streets.
Most trona is mined through a room-and-pillar system where a series of parallel drifts are driven. Connections are made between the drifts at regular intervals, which creates a checkerboard pattern of rooms and pillars. The pillars are left to support the overlying rock, and the mineral is then cut from the mining face and processed.
“The purification process begins with crushing the ore, which is then heated to drive off unwanted gases. This transforms the trona into a sodium carbonate. Water is added to this substance, which is then filtered to remove impurities. The water is evaporated and the resulting slurry is placed into a centrifuge to separate the remaining water from the soda ash crystals. The crystals are then sent to driers, screened, and sent to storage bins for transport.” – Wyoming Mining Association
The trona near Green River, Wyoming, is the largest known deposit in the world.
Church & Dwight Co. Inc. (Arm & Hammer) is basing more and more of its manufacturing on trona mining.
Nahcolite extraction using Solution Mining
Nahcolite (NaHCO3) is colorless to white carbonate mineral, a naturally occurring sodium bicarbonate.
From the company, Natural Soda: NAHCOLITE IS SODIUM BICARBONATE IN ITS PURE MINERAL FORM, WHICH ALLOWS NATURAL SODA TO PRODUCE A COMPLETELY NATURAL PRODUCT REQUIRING ZERO CHEMICAL ALTERATION.
Solution mining is used, where hot water is used to dissolve and extract nahcolite—a soft, colorless white carbonate mineral—for sodium bicarbonate production.
“Natural Soda recovers sodium bicarbonate using a process known as solution mining. This involves pumping hot water approximately 1900 feet underground to dissolve the underlying nahcolite beds and return the bicarb saturated water to the surface. The saturated brine is pumped back to the processing facility where the sodium bicarbonate is extracted.”
Naturally occurring deposits of nahcolite (NaHCO3) are found in the Green River Formation, Piceance Basin in Colorado.
Video from Natural Soda: https://youtu.be/lJ1M4F4XUSA
Is Trona Ore the same as Nahcolite?
No, these are different materials mined from the earth to produce baking soda. Reading about the two processes, I prefer that baking soda used for internal and topical use come from a more natural process called solution mining of nahcolite.
How to use baking soada for cleaning
Arm & Hammer is fine to use for cleaning purposes.
- Scrub Your House: Make a baking soda paste with warm water to scrub tile, tubs, sinks and more.
- Make an All Purpose Cleaning Spray: Make a mixture of ½ teaspoon dish soap, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 2 Tablespoons white vinegar in a spray bottle. Fill with warm water, shake and spray!
- Polish Silver: Make a mixture of three parts baking soda to one part water to polish flatware with a clean sponge; rinse and dry with a soft towel.
- Clean the Oven: Sprinkle the bottom of your oven with baking soda and spray with water. Let sit overnight, then scrub to get rid of grease and odors.
- Degrease Dishes: Add a scoop of baking soda to a sinkful of soapy water; it’ll help cut the grease and leave your dishes squeaky clean!
- Deodorize, Soften and Whiten Laundry: Add ½ cup baking soda to a load of laundry to help eliminate odors and naturally soften!
- Freshen Flowers: Add a teaspoon of baking soda to cut flowers in a vase to keep them fresh!
- Remove Odors from Carpeting: Scrape any dirt or mess away, blot with a warm soapy cloth, and then sprinkle liberally with baking soda. Let sit overnight, then vacuum in the morning.
How to use baking soda topically and internally
Choose Bob’s Red Mill or Frontier Co-Op
- Freshen Your Breath: Rinse your mouth with a glass of water mixed with 1 teaspoon baking soda.
- Exfoliate Your Skin: Gently rub your skin with a mixture of three parts baking soda to one part water.
- Relieve Heartburn: NOTE: Check with your doctor before using. Mix 8 ounces of warm water with 1 teaspoon baking soda; drink!
- Give Yourself a Pedicure: Mix a basin of warm water with 3 Tablespoons baking soda and soak those feet!
Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda
Bob’s Red Mill statement: “Our Baking Soda is mined out of the earth in Western Colorado using a simple water filtration process. Most baking soda on the market today does not contain aluminum; it was typically added as an anti-caking agent back in the day.” Because it is mined from the earth, that means “there are naturally occurring traces of aluminum in our baking soda.”
Frontier Co-Op Baking Soda
Frontier Co-Op statement: “Our baking soda is mined nahcolite. The process to create this USP Grade sodium bicarbonate involves extraction via hot water pumping, crystallization, centrifuging and drying.”
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