Learn Why Canning Lids are Designed to Be Used One Time Only

Not for canning, but these lids have many other uses

••• Canning Lids. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

If you have canning lids that you've used before, can you reuse them? The simple answer is no: Canning lids are designed for one-time use only—anything more than that and the jars may not seal properly. These lids have a special sealing compound around the rim that is only good for one use. But that doesn't mean you have to throw them away. Read on to find out how you can reuse canning lids—just not for canning.

Atop Jars

You probably hate the idea of throwing out your old canning lids. So, don't toss them: Use canning lids atop jars of freezer jamhomemade mixes, made-from-scratch salad dressings, and other non-canned foods. As long as they aren’t rusty, they’re fine to use again and again for any purpose that doesn’t involve canning.

Switch to Reusable Canning Lids

If it pains you to buy new canning lids each year, switch to reusable canning lids. These are glass lids that are designed to be used over and over again, and they're safe for both water bath and pressure canning. They cost more than regular canning lids, but if you do a lot of canning, they could save you money over time.

Order a couple sets to try. Then, make the switch if you like them. You can always buy them a bit at a time until you have enough to use them exclusively.

Save on Canning Lids

Cut the cost of replacing your canning lids by stocking up when they go on clearance at the end of the season. If you buy a year’s worth at a time, you’ll never get stuck paying retail for them again. Just be careful not to buy too many. Those rubber seals dry out over time. Canning companies usually offer coupons at the beginning of the season. If they don’t expire for a while, hang on to them and use them at the end of the season.

If you do a lot of canning, look into ​buying your canning lids in bulk. Many online retailers sell them in big sleeves. Do you have an Amish dry goods store near you? It’s another source to explore. Buying canning lids in bulk may not get you the name brand lids, but if it saves you enough, who cares?

Canning Supplies You Can Reuse

While you can’t reuse canning lids, you can reuse the jars and bands, as long as they’re in good condition. Rusted or chipped canning supplies need to be tossed, though. Safety should always come ahead of savings.

Tips and Ideas

Since you looked up this article about uses for old canning lids, you probably have many questions about home canning, such as:

  • Can you use grocery store jars for canning?
  • Who can teach me how to can?
  • How do you sterilize jars?
  • Which canning methods are considered unsafe?

The Department of Agriculture says that all high-acid foods can be water bath canned, including fruits, pickles, sauerkraut, jam, jelly, marmalade, fruit butter, and even tomatoes (with the addition of lemon juice or citric acid). So, take the time to learn about proper canning, and you'll be saving money—and preserving out-of-season foods—in no time.