How to clean canning jars

Going to bed after a day of canning is so rewarding, but the job really isn’t done.


Your jars should really be cleaned before heading into storage.  At our house, we have hard water so our jars always have mineral deposits on them.



Plus there is always the possibility of food or liquid residue from fluid loss.  I have more of a problem with this when it comes to pressure canning.  I rarely lose fluid while water bath canning.



If you don’t take the time to remove your lids and wash the lids and jars your likely to have a moldy mess in no time!

To clean the jars we find it is easiest to fill a sink of soapy water and put on some music.  This might take a while!


We wash the lids first, paying attention to each and every one.  All the ridges are perfect for holding sticky stuff that will get moldy!



We air dry the kids for a short time.




Air drying isn’t enough though.  Our lids usually rust before they dry thoroughly so we towel dry each lid.  The rust makes it much harder to use the screw top next time.  They just don’t spin on as easily after they rust!



Next up we wash the jars.  This water isn’t too hot and as long as all your jars were properly sealed this shouldn’t cause any problems.




The jars are air dried for a bit and then towel dried and after labeling, they are ready to be stored!



The feeling of all the sealed jars on the counter after a day of canning is wonderful, but it’s even better when the counters are cleared and the jars are stored away.  Then the job is really complete! :)

4 thoughts on “How to clean canning jars

  1. I was having trouble with losing liquid from my pressure canned jars as well, until I left them in the canner for a few minutes longer.

    My canner’s directions say that once the pressure returns to zero, to take off the weight, wait 2 minutes, then remove the lid, wait 10 minutes, and remove jars from the canner. I found that I could see and hear the liquid boiling out…I now wait 15 minutes after removing the weight then 15 minutes before taking jars out, and I rarely lose any liquid from the jars. I know this because the jars themselves are cleaner. I think the 2 minutes just wasn’t enough time for the pressure to equalize between the inside of the canner and the atmosphere around it.

    The bonus is, since I started leaving the lid on without the weight longer, I have had less seal failure…as in, I had no seal failure this year, whereas last year I lost 12 jars(out of 275, but still, 12 jars!) to seal failure.

    • WOW! I’m going to have to try that! I usually lose 1 jar per canner load in the pressure canner to seal failure. Maybe I’m rushing the process at the end there! Thanks for the tips.

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