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Taking Baking Soda on a plane

San Jose, California
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144 posts
45 reviews
19 helpful votes
Taking Baking Soda on a plane
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I realize this is a strange question, but I'm stumped. I suffer from frequent heartburn, and the only thing that really works is for me to dissolve a half teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it down. I'm going to be flying to Zurich from the U.S. via London on British Airways and returning from Berlin/London. If I pack a box of baking soda in my checked luggage, will it be okay? And if I take some baking soda in a small container on the plane with me, will that be okay? Baking soda is a white powder, and that's my worry.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
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66,356 posts
11 reviews
89 helpful votes
1. Re: Taking Baking Soda on a plane
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'If I pack a box of baking soda in my checked luggage, will it be okay?' There should be no issues with bicarbonate of soda in your checked bag, but you'll need to ensure the package and contents stay dry.

'And if I take some baking soda in a small container on the plane with me, will that be okay?' Yes. Bicarbonate of soda has a distinctive look and feel, and if anyone were to question what it was all you would need do is suggest that they put a drop of lemon juice in and watch the instantaneous reaction.

I've packed all manner of things in 35 mm film cans in my hand baggage (and you shouldn't need a lot of the product whilst in transit) without issue.

Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin, Kakadu National Park
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3,559 posts
181 reviews
131 helpful votes
2. Re: Taking Baking Soda on a plane
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The fact it is a white powder may set off warning bells with security but have you tried the commercial tablets or liquids available from many stores or chemists? While they may not be as effective in your case as baking soda at least they will pass security. Or can your doctor give you a prescription for a stronger medication just for a couple of days?

San Jose, California
Level Contributor
144 posts
45 reviews
19 helpful votes
3. Re: Taking Baking Soda on a plane
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Thank you both for your suggestions. As for commercial meds, they actually work better than the prescription drugs, but unfortunately, they don't even come close to plain baking soda. Hopefully, Travellor Plus's suggestions will work. I hope to pack a small, unopened box of baking soda and will put it in a ziplock bag to be certain it stays dry. I frequently use contact lens cases to transport small amounts of creams and could also put a half tsp. of baking soda in a few of those containers in case I need to use it on the plane.

Do you think it would be helpful for me to contact the airlines or TSA?

Stuttgart, Germany
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
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10,275 posts
96 reviews
61 helpful votes
4. Re: Taking Baking Soda on a plane
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As I couldn't find bicarbonate of soda here in Germany,I bought some and flew with it, without problems. It never entered my head that there would be.

Should customs be curious on arrival it will take them seconds to work out what it is. I can't think why security would have any interest in it

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
27,633 posts
5. Re: Taking Baking Soda on a plane
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Baking soda won't look any different on an x-Ray than, say, loose face powder or baby powder. I seriously doubt you'll get any questions at all.

Cornwall, United...
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6,647 posts
75 reviews
60 helpful votes
6. Re: Taking Baking Soda on a plane
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They may ask you to taste it (like they do with mothers' expressed milk) just to see if you're willing to.

Thank you for letting me know that bicarbonate of soda works better than anything else! Cheaper too. Funny how manufacturers produce all sorts of stuff 'that's better and more effective" when simple things like this and vinegar, for example (but not for heartburn obviously, as a cleaning product) do a better job!

San Jose, California
Level Contributor
144 posts
45 reviews
19 helpful votes
7. Re: Taking Baking Soda on a plane
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I really appreciate all the reassurances that I will be able to take bicarbonate of soda on the plane and in my baggage, especially after reading that I may not be able to buy it in Germany. And BellaHampshire, although it may not work for everyone, bicarbonate of soda really works fast for me. I dissolve a half to a whole teaspoon in about 8 oz. of water. This is not very tasty, though, and can cause nausea, so I add some flavored syrup and sometimes a packet of sweetener as well as several ice cubes as it tastes best cold. I drink the entire amount and get relief within a few minutes.

Dublin, California
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31,658 posts
49 reviews
17 helpful votes
8. Re: Taking Baking Soda on a plane
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I once took a box of powdered coffee creamer through security (unintentionally). It did set off alarm and questions. The security person said no problem, they can just test it. But it turned out to be a big production. Finally I said just toss it I don't want it anymore (nor did I need it anyway).

So yes a box of white powder can possibly set off alarm.

kentucky
Level Contributor
5,896 posts
40 reviews
104 helpful votes
9. Re: Taking Baking Soda on a plane
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If your trip is extended and you have this situation often, just buy a full box. It can't show up any different than my mother's ashes did when I ran them thru the scanner in my carry-on! Security can quickly spot the box of soda if you place it in a prime place--after all, the common brand here is packaged in bright yellow!. I do recommend putting it in a ziploc bag for tidiness in the checked bag!

Cornwall, United...
Level Contributor
6,647 posts
75 reviews
60 helpful votes
10. Re: Taking Baking Soda on a plane
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Haha! Years ago a friend was travelling back to Oz from NZ and was stopped at customers and had his bag searched, when they found sand in the bottom. They then tested it for cocaine...

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