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Old 05-14-2011, 11:44 PM
RollinTide RollinTide is offline
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Default Can you reuse canning lids? Worked for me!



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I have wondered for awhile now if you could reuse regular canning lids and would they re-seal correctly. Finally I got around to trying it and indeed they sealed up nicely. I heated the used lids up with some hot water first to soften the seals and every single one of them worked as if they were brand new! I checked them all again this morning and they are definitely sealed tight.

Good info to know if s ever htf and you can't just run down to the store and get new ones.

I do have re-usable Tattler lids, but had been wanting to try reusing a regular metal lid.

I don't suggest everyone start using their old lids, but in a pinch it would probably be okay. You should give it a try just to see if it works for you. Needless to say I will not be throwing out the used lids anymore. I will keep them stockpiled in a box in-case I ever need them.
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RollinTide View Post
I don't suggest everyone start using their old lids, but in a pinch it would probably be okay. You should give it a try just to see if it works for you. Needless to say I will not be throwing out the used lids anymore. I will keep them stockpiled in a box in-case I ever need them.
I have no intention of re-using lids while new ones are available, or while my stock of extra lids lasts when new lids are no longer available in stores, but like you I don't throw them out either. I wash and mark used lids and use them to vacuum seal with my foodsaver and store for future use if necessary.
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:06 AM
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That's nice to know. The little buggers are expensive, saving them for a what-if situation is the same thing people who lived through the depression would do. You never know when you might need them and not be able to get them anymore.

Having Tattler lids is the best security though. I also remember my mom making jellies and sealing them with wax.
Old 05-15-2011, 08:22 AM
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I agree that tattlers are the way to go for re-use. I've started stocking up on them too. The initial cost is more, but they pay for themselves after a few uses. I also reuse my dome lids for dry storage, but since lives are on the line it's pretty silly to reuse them for canning.
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:29 AM
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but since lives are on the line it's pretty silly to reuse them for canning.
Isn't it pretty obvious if they didn't seal? Or can they look sealed but not be? I would think if they didn't seal the lid would be a lot easier getting off.
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:40 AM
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Yes they can. They are designed for single use only.

From the UGA:
Is it all right to reuse jar fittings (lids and bands)?
Lids should not be used a second time since the sealing compound becomes indented by the first use, preventing another airtight seal. Screw bands may be reused unless they are badly rusted or the top edge is pried up which would prevent a proper seal.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:35 AM
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If they didnt seal properly, you will know it, you will not hear them "pop" when they seal and they will be loose after you take the bands off. They will not appear to be sealed and not be. I have also reused lids a time or two just to see and they do work, although not all of the time. They may be designed for one time use, and thats fine, but they can work a second, even a third time.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by SouthernOutdoorsman View Post
Isn't it pretty obvious if they didn't seal? Or can they look sealed but not be? I would think if they didn't seal the lid would be a lot easier getting off.
The ball canadian site recommends lifting the jar by the lid to test the seal. Of course is the seal is weak, things'll get a little messy.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:42 AM
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If they didnt seal properly, you will know it, you will not hear them "pop" when they seal and they will be loose after you take the bands off. They will not appear to be sealed and not be. I have also reused lids a time or two just to see and they do work, although not all of the time. They may be designed for one time use, and thats fine, but they can work a second, even a third time.
A lot of times when I take mine out of the canner they are already sealed and there is no pop.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:48 AM
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Wow, never had them sealed before I take them out, ever. They have always finished sealing while cooling down on the counter, are you water-bathing or pressure canning?
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:54 AM
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Wow, never had them sealed before I take them out, ever. They have always finished sealing while cooling down on the counter, are you water-bathing or pressure canning?
Pressure canning. Usually when I water bath they seal on the counter. Theres a big temp difference between 212 deg and 240 deg so I figured that is what was causing them to seal.
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:04 AM
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All I do is pressure canning.....strange.
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by cranky1950 View Post
The ball canadian site recommends lifting the jar by the lid to test the seal. Of course is the seal is weak, things'll get a little messy.
That is exactly how I checked these. I was water bathing this time. As soon as I pulled one of them out within 10 sec I heard the old familiar pop of the lid. The others took a few minutes to pop.
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vigilant20 View Post
Yes they can. They are designed for single use only.

From the UGA:
Is it all right to reuse jar fittings (lids and bands)?
Lids should not be used a second time since the sealing compound becomes indented by the first use, preventing another airtight seal. Screw bands may be reused unless they are badly rusted or the top edge is pried up which would prevent a proper seal.
I imagine there is not a single Gov entity or a lid manufacturer that would recommend ever reusing a lid. The Gov has to protect themselves and the lid makers want to make money.

Once I heated the lids up in hot water the seals soften up really well. After that I knew before I ever put the lids on that they would seal. I will say these lids were not very old (used them for the first time last season). I'm not sure if you would get the same results if the lid had been on a jar for several years (I'll try that next).
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:37 AM
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Personally I wouldn't reuse for the reason that the time and effort expended processing a batch of food just to have the jars not seal or fail later on is not in my best interest time or cost wise.
Old 05-15-2011, 12:35 PM
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This isn't to advocate, but first hand knowledge is the only thing I trust anymore. First I read what I can and then I do it for myself to see how something works.

For what it's worth, I re-use the metal lids all the time. I have a careful method though and do not take it lightly. I do take them off carefully not to dent them, and I check them for broken or otherwise messed up rubber compound etc first. Then I throw away those and the ones with rust, if the rubber compound has bottomed out completely, or if they are dented in any way. I even find the dented rubber to be a better seal than new lids. I have actually re-used the metal lids in pressure canning 5 times just to see what would happen, they have NEVER failed to seal and have never lost their seal.
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:05 PM
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You can boil them in baking soda water to rejuvenate the rubber seal. So, they can be reused several times.
Old 05-15-2011, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
You can boil them in baking soda water to rejuvenate the rubber seal. So, they can be reused several times.
Good info Mike and XS. I'm thinking about trying to use one of my Tattler lid seals on a regular metal lid to see if I can get a seal that way. You can buy the tattler seals for $2.50 per dozen without the lids.
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:17 PM
Ruth Prepper Ruth Prepper is offline
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Default They can come unsealed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernOutdoorsman View Post
Isn't it pretty obvious if they didn't seal? Or can they look sealed but not be? I would think if they didn't seal the lid would be a lot easier getting off.
It is possible to form a weak seal that comes undone later.

This can be due to low-quality sealant, or if the seal even had the tiniest gap (perhaps due to a bit of food or liquid that got trapped). If food starts to spoil due to imperfect seal, gases inside may pop the lid completely, and then you can see it.
Old 08-09-2013, 03:28 PM
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Post Caution about newer-manufactured lids; Spme reuse older lids a couple times

I have no expertise in this area, but I have learned that some people have luck reusing older lids a couple times, as long as they inspect the sealant first.

The newer lids are lower quality. The sealant is thinner. They ALSO ship the jars with the lids and bands ON them (wheras they used to ship with lids off), making it MORE likely the jar edge will make an impression in the sealer. They also shrink-wrap soda-case style boxes. New lids and jars sitting in a warm car may partially seal! Thus, your sealant may not be that great.

One person reuses old lids 3-4 times, prying off carefully with a knife edge and their knuckle, cleaning thoroughly after each use, and checking sealant carefully.

They say they have dozens of brand-new lids (out of 200-300) fail completely , even popping off the jar when it has cooled and they remove the band!

So, apparently, having lids with THINNER sealant pressed onto jars in the package, sometimes under warmth, "uses" and at least impresses this thin sealant, making it potentially inadequate for use. Whereas the older ones have thicker sealants and can sometimes be resused.

Putting food lables on the LIDS instead of the jars makes it easy to track how many times you've used them.

Someone also brought up those special re-usable lids, too. Many people just toss the lids that come on the jars and will only use them straight out of the box.

Here is the (external) forum where I found this discussion:
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/l...250718445.html

Again, I have just started canning myself, I have not tried reusing lids.
Some poeple just reuse them for other stuff (small quanities that will be refrigerated and used up quickly, freezing, general storage for dry snacks, decorative uses).
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