Rewashing Jars

sue_ct(z6 CT)August 16, 2012

I ran a dishwasher full of canning jars last week when I put in a batch of tomatoes. I have lots that were cleaned but not used that I lined up on the counter waiting for more tomatoes. Now I need to can another batch of tomatoes. Do I need to run the jars I am going to use through another full dishwasher cycle again?

Also, how important is it that jars are still hot when the raw packed tomatoes are put in them? I once lost track of whether I had put in the citric acid and ended up putting in more just to be safe, so I find it helpful to line up a batch full of jars, put in the citric acid and then fill but I find by the time I fill them most have cooled. My process has been to line up the jars, blanch and peel tomatoes, fill and put lid on one jar and put it into the canner, then go on to the next jar. I have a smaller stove with limited overhead room due to an over the stove microwave, so keeping the canner and blanching water going and trying to keep jars in a pot of boiling water as well is difficult. If I do HAVE to keep the jars hot, I do have an instant hot water faucet with water at 190 degrees that I could fill, or partially fill the jars with, but I would have to empty each one before using it and try not to lose track of whether I put the citric acid in, lol.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Hot jars are important to prevent thermal shock breakage. And that is a mess you never want to have to clean up. :)

That doesn't mean you have to run them through the D/W but that is the easiest IMO. If not then a sink full of hot soapy water works and so does a pot of 180 degree water for them to sit in while waiting to be filled.

but I would have to empty each one before using it and try not to lose track of whether I put the citric acid in, lol.

That is the way to go. Just make the citric acid the last thing you do before setting on the lid. It just means a minor change in your assembly line.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:28PM
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I wonder if it would be ok to put them in the oven, set at say 200 degrees, on a cookie sheet? This being after they were washed thoroughly. You could pull out one or two at a time while keeping the rest in the oven. Anything wrong with this idea? Seems to me it would be pretty good. Gene

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:52PM
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sue_ct(z6 CT)

OK, as long as its not a safety issue with the safety of the finished product. The oven is a nice idea, would not have thought of that.

Why the hot "Soapy" water? The jars have already been run through a full DW cycle. Do they need to be cleaned again from sitting on the counter? Also, most instructions specify a full DW cycle, but if it is just to heat up the glass, couldn't I use the light wash cycle as long as I use the heated dry? IF they really do need to be washed again, I am NOT washing them all by hand and so the oven is out, I would definitely use the DW. If they only need to be cleaned the one time, and I just need to heat them up before using them, then the oven would be faster.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:03PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

The jars should not go dry into the oven. You can put a roaster with water in it and sit in the oven on low, but dry jars will often shatter.
You don't need to rewash the jars.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 12:50AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

As long as they are hot, that's the important issue. I only mention soapy water because unless you live in a sterile lab, anything sitting around on a counter for a day or so, much less a week, will have collected dust and other airborne bacteria and molds. So re-washing something I'm going to pack food into is no big deal IMO.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 8:06AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I always heat dry jars in the oven and have never had them shatter. But they need to go into the cold oven which you then heat up slowly. I put them through the dish washer first to physically clean them but the oven gets them much hotter and sterilizes them. They take 150c easily.... and bearing in mind my slovenly Euro ways these are recycled jars of all shapes and sizes.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 10:18AM
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sue_ct(z6 CT)

Your right, Dave, in the DW, no big deal. There are quite a few jars, though, so its a little more effort to hand wash. Anyway, thanks everyone. I wasn't clear on the reason for the hot jars, so this helps a lot.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:17AM
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When you wash a jar, let it dry, pop on a new lid, a piece of saran or other wrap, and apply the ring loosely.
Several things happen:
1. You have the ring with the jar and it will protect the top of the jar. Chips will be 100% eliminated.
2. You have a new lid and ring for your next canning project.
3. Covering your jar opening immediately reduces almost completely air contamination and physical contamination (flies, spiders, children, mice, etc.)

No more rewashing jars for a second time. A big box of plastic wrap from Costco or such costs so little money for a sheet/piece large enough to cover the top of a jar and keep it clean.
Also saves you energy from not having to fill another sink of hot water and detergent, and more clear water for the second rinse when you rewash the jars. The same applies even if you use a dishwasher.
Just my thoughts and observations.
Jim in So Calif

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 9:15AM
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All I do is put the jars in the boiling water bath canner to heat them - you've already got to heat the canner water anyway.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 9:46AM
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sue_ct(z6 CT)

I was pressure canning for the first time this year. I did two different processing times and now I would like to go back to BWB again. Then I can compare them. I had to reprocess a jar so I used the BWB and added one more jar to it to use a few more tomatoes. I am keeping the jars on the counters in the kitchen so they are handy when ever I have enough tomatoes.

I love the saran idea, I might do that next time I wash them. Great idea!

I also did use the BWB to heat them when I did the reprocess, but I was afraid of breakage if I put cold jars directly into boiling water. No worries?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 10:29AM
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Put the jars in the canner before you turn on the heat. I put a basket (from the Discovery kit - not good for much else b/c it's so small) on top of the jars to heat the lids too. Keep everything at a simmer while filling jars. A bit messy pulling it out and putting it back in every time I get a jar out (and putting it back in), but saves having another small pan on the stove. Once all the jars are filled, I pull the basket out, put the lid on, and turn the heat up to get boiling.

I use either Saran, used lids, or Classico/PB lids when I store my used (washed) jars. I prefer the commercial lids, I don't have enough rings for all my jars, but it's also handy to have the rings right on the jars. It would be nice to have a new lid for each jar too, that sounds like it would certainly be convenient, but I'd have to buy (and keep buying!) an awful lot of lids to have enough to keep on each one of my yard-sale jars. Maybe just buy enough for the jars I (you) use frequently - for me it's jelly jars. I don't use the quarts much at all, but I'm a hoarder ;-) so Saran or used lids are fine for those, when I do go to use some I can pull new lids from a box and wash them quick (I always wash the rings each time anyway).

I keep my jars in the original boxes (when I have them) or liquor-store boxes, whatever kind of box they will fit into and fit on the shelves, helps reduce breakage/chipping (another reason I like lids or at least Saran and rings if I had enough).

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 12:43PM
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sue_ct(z6 CT)

Do you know if the lids can be boiled more than once? I kept the lids simmering while I filled the jars, and not knowing exactly how many jars I could fill, I erred on the side of having one or two extra lids ready. I didn't use them, but could I heat the same one again during another canning session and use it? I don't want to risk having a jar not seal correctly since they aren't that expensive, I just hate to waste them.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 11:28PM
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Yes, you can just dry off the lids you've simmered, and use them next time. Try not to boil them - just a simmer to soften the sealing compound.

I always prep more lids and more jars than I think I'm going to need.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 5:27AM
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sue_ct(z6 CT)

Great, thank you!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 10:15AM
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Like Flora, I put my jars in a cold oven, on a cold cookie sheet. I find it's much easier to grab each jar from the oven then to fish them from simmering water. In twenty-five years I've never had a jar break in the oven, but I've had two crack in simmering water. I must have done something wrong...
I'm sold on the oven method.

Flora, have you posted any of your recipes anywhere?


    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 10:36PM
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