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How to Use Reusable Canning Lids: The Differences Made Clear

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

I grew up knowing that you don’t reuse canning lids. I have always considered buying canning lids in bulk whenever I could find them as a yearly unavoidable expense. That is until I found reusable canning lids. At first, I struggled with the idea of reusable lids, unsure how they would perform. Even my mother and my good friend, Joy, who have been canning for years, had never used them. In fact, I found out both of them had the lids in their cupboard for multiple seasons but had never used them.

Emmaline had never even heard of reusable canning lids and she loves to can. We decided to do this post and video as a way to help others to know and understand there are some other options available. We also want you to have the most success using these lids as there are a few slight differences.

Marie and Emmaline displaying regular and wide-mouthed reusable canning lids and gaskets.

Resealable Canning Lids.

Differences Between Regular Canning Lids and Reusable Canning Lids

There are some differences between reusable and regular canning lids. Those differences can make a difference in how well your processed jars seal and I believe are responsible for most people’s reluctance to try them. Here is a list of the things to do differently if using reusable lids for a successful seal.

  1. Heat up the gasket in simmering water to increase its pliability and ability to seal.

  2. Leave a 1 1/2″ headspace. This allows more room for the vacuum to form since the lid depresses into the jar more than the regular metal disposable canning lids.

  3. Do not overtighten the rings. It should be truly fingertip tight so that the air can escape during canning. Place a left-hand (nondominant) finger on the lid to hold the jar in place. Use your right-hand (dominant) fingertips to tighten the ring. When the jar moves when you tighten it, you know that is tight enough.

  4. After removing your jars from the canner, allow them to cool for 3 minutes, and then tighten the ring.

  5. Let your canned goods sit a full 24 hours before removing rings and storing your preserved foods.

A canned jar of colored water showing how to properly use reusable canning lids.

Resealable Canning Lids and Gaskets

The difference between using regular versus reusable lids isn’t really that much of a difference in workflow. It just requires a little getting used to. I feel like using these lids is so worth it, I not only save on my annual canning expenses but I keep more out of our landfills.

Do you want to buy some reusable canning lids? Check out the following links:

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