So I couldnt find baking soda anywhere, went to a shop and the guy gave me citric acid saying its the same thing? I bought it anyway but I want to know if its same because I use baking soda in face masks as well.

  • 3
    Like Jefromi answered: No, no and no! You might want to speak to the store manager, btw.
    – Stephie
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 18:07

1 Answer 1


No, those are absolutely not the same thing. They're completely different compounds: baking soda is sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), and citric acid is C6H8O7. And they're not even similar chemically: baking soda is a base, and citric acid is (surprise) an acid.

Also, to help out in the future, Google is actually really good for questions like this. If you search for baking soda or citric acid, then along with the usual web results you should get a knowledge panel with a brief description, chemical formula, various other simple facts, and a link to the Wikipedia page.

  • I searched it on google before posting it here :)
    – Ani
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 18:12
  • To perhaps explain the store guy's confusion: Citric or Tartaric acid is the acidic half of baking powder. The base or alkaline half is bicarbonate/baking soda. These don't react in their powdered form, but once mixed with wet ingredients, they form CO2, which is what does the raising. The reason baking soda is sometimes used by itself is that many foods have enough acid in them to provide the reaction (things like buttermilk, vinegar, lemon, or yogurt will do the trick). The reverse doesn't happen - not many foods are alkaline, so adding just the acid part doesn't do anything useful.
    – Beejamin
    Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 7:12

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