Canning food is very popular in many households, which can lead to accumulating a large collection of metal canning lids.
Is it safe to reuse these canning lids or is better to recycle them or throw them away? We find out in this article.
What is a Canning Lid?
Canning lids are glass jar lids that can be bought from a variety of stores. Just like the lids you find on store bought food, these lids are designed so you can prepare and can your own food at home.
Canning jar lids are also sometimes known as mason jar lids and come in two pieces, the lid and the rim or metal screw band.
What are Canning Lids Made From?
Canning lids are mostly made from metal, specifically aluminum (aluminium).
There is also a plastic seal known as plastisol on the inside of the lid which forms a seal around the top of the glass jar.
Can You Reuse Lids for Canning?
No, canning lids are single use only.
Using these lids more than once will result in a poor seal which means your jars will not be airtight. This is because these lids have a special sealing compound around the rim which will only work once.
If for example your jars failed to seal properly the first time, you would then have to use a new lid before reprocessing them. Don’t be tempted to reuse your lids from year to year either.
A failed jar seal is a risk to your health as the food inside the jar will be exposed to air and susceptible to bacteria growth and will spoil and go bad quickly.
The other problem with reusing caning lids as that many of them contain bisphenol A (BPA) which has been found to be carcinogenic. Reused canning lids are more likely to leach BPAs into your canned food.
Can Old Canning Lids Be Used for Other Food Storage?
Yes, they can.
You can use old lids to top jars of food you will freeze as well as dried goods such as nuts, seeds and trail mix. You could even use them to store homemade sauces and salad dressing as long as they are refrigerated properly and consumed within days.
As long as your lids aren’t rusty, they can be used again and again for any purpose that doesn’t involve canning.
Are There Reusable Canning Lids?
Yes, there are several brands (such as Tattler) selling reusable canning lids.
They are usually made from glass and can safely be reused over and over again as long as they are undamaged.
Canning lids cannot be reused for canning but this does not mean they need to be thrown away after use.
Consider using yours for storing food that doesn’t need to be canned.
When they are eventually past their best, try and recycle them by finding a recycling centre that will accept them.
If that fails, simply throw them away in your trash with the rest of your household waste.
The better option for the environment is using reusable glass canning lids. They cost a little more but will reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill.