In a large, deep skillet, stir the baking soda into 2 quarts of water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium. Using 2 slotted spoons, carefully transfer 6 pretzel sticks at a time to the simmering water for a total of 30 seconds. Turning once after 15 seconds. Add about 1 cup of hot water before cooking the second batch of pretzels. Transfer the pretzel sticks to paper towels to drain, then return them to the baking sheets
, spacing them evenly. Add another cup of hot water before the second batch.