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Can You Reuse Canning Lids?

by | Jun 30, 2021 | Canning, Preserve, Pressure Canning

You may be wondering if you can reuse canning lids, especially with the shortage and availability of canning lids. But is it safe to reuse old canning lids, or should you not even take the risk?

Canning supplies sitting on a wooden counter top.

Can You Reuse Canning Lids?

Reusing Lids is generally a no-no, but if you can’t find canning lids and are risking your harvest going bad, what do you do?

Ball tells you NOT to reuse lids, however, Ball also stands to profit every time you need to can.

A master-canner friend and I put our heads together to discuss the practicality of reusing lids. What are the dangers, what are the benefits, and what is the true concern?

Home canned veggies on a shelf.

The Danger of Reusing Canning Lids

The real danger of reusing lids is that they may not reseal. That may seem like a big deal, but the reality is if your jar doesn’t seal you’ll know it right away and can transfer those jars straight to the refrigerator to be consumed quickly!

So the only real worry is that you’ll need to use up a few jars of food if they don’t seal.

The danger of not putting up your harvest is that it will all spoil, wasting all of your time, energy, money, and that great produce! In my opinion, I’d rather give old canning lids a try and risk losing a few seals rather than risk potentially losing a year’s worth of green beans because I didn’t have new lids.

A jar of tomato soup being lifted out of a water bath canner.

How to Reuse Canning Lids

In order to reuse a canning lid:

  1. Make sure the lid is completely free of dents and nicks.
  2. Inspect the sealing compound on the bottom of the lid and make sure it’s all still there and that none has peeled away. You need a complete ring of sealing compound in order to reuse the lid.
  3. It’s probably best to keep reused lids to water-bath canning. The reason for this is that the higher temperature of pressure canning is going to break down the sealing compound even faster.
  4. You can try to reuse a lid in a pressure canner, but you’ll just want to make sure your lids have a proper seal after the jars have fully cooled.
Photo of an all American pressure canner sitting on a gas stove.

Be sure to check out our other posts filled with canning tips and tricks right here:

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