Re-using glass jars - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 06-18-2010, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can I re-use glass jars from baby food and pasta sauce? I want them for food storage. Can I freeze them? I can clean the jars easily enough, but the lids always look nasty. Can I buy new lids?

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#2 of 17 Old 06-18-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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I reuse mine for dry storage in my pantry mostly. I've never had trouble getting the lids cleaned with just a soak and scrub. I would doubt you would be able to find new lids for them. I've never tried freezing in them either.

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#3 of 17 Old 06-18-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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I run jars and their lids through the dishwasher. If they're stained, they're stained. At least I know they're clean. All my tuperrware/rubbermaid stuff is stained orange from pasta sauce, too, but it's still usable.

Plus, esp if you use them for freezing, you won't have food touching the lid b/c you need to leave plenty of head room for expansion.
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#4 of 17 Old 06-19-2010, 01:20 AM
 
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Plus, esp if you use them for freezing, you won't have food touching the lid b/c you need to leave plenty of head room for expansion.
Yes! Remember to leave head space (room at the top). Things expand when they freeze. This may not be necessary, but I leave the lid off of whatever I'm freezing until it's frozen, then take it out, put the lid on tight, then put it back in the freezer. It can be tricky to do it this way in a packed freezer though

If you really feel you can't get the lids clean enough for your liking, a case (12) of canning jars might work out well for you. They're pretty inexpensive, they last forever, and you can buy new lids and bands when they get worn (or if you ever decide to can with them). We use them regularly for the vast majority of our food storage, and it keeps us from having to look for "that one" lid in a sea, as all of our Ball/Kerr jars use the same 2 lids (either wide mouth or regular).

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#5 of 17 Old 06-21-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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I use glass jars for some dry storage.

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#6 of 17 Old 06-22-2010, 11:42 AM
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I was just coming here to ask the same question! I have an overabundance of jars happening right now. I have some storing grains and beans in the pantry, one on the counter storing loose change.

My MIL uses a jar to bring some soapy water and a washcloth with us on picnics to clean everyone up at the end. That works pretty well.

I bet you could use babyfood jars to store things like paper clips and thumb tacks and such.
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#7 of 17 Old 07-08-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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We keep 90% of our glass jars - I love them! I actually need to come up with a place to store them. The pasta sauce jars make a decent container for making sun tea. We store dry goods in the pantry, freeze soup or whatever homemade sauce in them. Probably other things I can't think of. The smaller ones we use the same way you would use rubbermaid/ziplock, store leftovers in the fridge. When DP or DSD make some type of sauce and there's just a little left it goes in the smallest jars. I don't say we always use it up but often enough to be worth it. If there are leftover onions/tomatoes after chopping for hot dogs - small container there too! Oh, when I'm planning a crock pot dinner and setting up the night before I throw all the spices into one of the small jars so I can just dump it in the next am. Bulk spices can go in those small jars too.

DSD keeps loose beads in one, change in another. There's one on the desk to hold pens/pencils/scissors. Really, any time I need "something" to contain "something" I look there first. We don't have a dishwasher, but I just soak/scrub the lids and don't worry about it.

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#8 of 17 Old 07-08-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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We use glass jars for cups. We use canning jars for food storage so I can make sure the lids fit.

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#9 of 17 Old 07-09-2010, 08:41 PM
 
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I just emptied a great pickle jar that I thought would be good for food storage. But it still smells like pickles even after a couple of washings and a good long soak. Any suggestion to get the smell out.

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#10 of 17 Old 07-10-2010, 11:32 AM
 
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I just emptied a great pickle jar that I thought would be good for food storage. But it still smells like pickles even after a couple of washings and a good long soak. Any suggestion to get the smell out.
Put baking soda in the bottom and put the lid on overnight. Then wash it with the baking soda and soap the next day. That usually works for me.
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#11 of 17 Old 07-12-2010, 01:27 AM
 
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I save my glass pasta/pickle//etc jars to use as vases. If I need a small hostess gift-or just want to leave something nice for the neighbors, I fill the jar with cut flowers and use a fabric scrap as a bow (and to hide the threaded top of the jar). Frayed denim strips from old jeans look pretty nice. I love having this no-cost option in summer!!
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#12 of 17 Old 07-12-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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I keep all of my jars...I run them through the dishwasher. Usually I'll put chicken stock in them and keep it in the fridge (we go through it rather quickly) Sometimes DH will take one full of milk to work or something. They also double as quick water glasses when everything else is dirty!

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#13 of 17 Old 07-12-2010, 09:51 PM
 
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I use mine to store home-made cleaners, such as a baking soda soft scrub.

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They also double as quick water glasses when everything else is dirty!
Yup. This.

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#14 of 17 Old 07-13-2010, 11:03 AM
 
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Oh, I also use them to collect grease and whatnot after frying. I just put on a lid and throw the whole mess away when it gets full (or starts to smell)

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#15 of 17 Old 07-13-2010, 11:23 AM
 
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Oh, I also use them to collect grease and whatnot after frying. I just put on a lid and throw the whole mess away when it gets full (or starts to smell)
Why on earth would you throw it away? thats free cooking fat. I use an old pb jar to collect bacon grease. When its full I render it to remove impurities. I use small cups to hold other types of grease (1 for pork, 1 for chicken, etc.). If you're talking something like old frying oil that can no longer be reused, i use an old milk carton, so the whole thing can go into city compost.

Baby food jars are great in places where you jave lots of little things - a craft room, a work bench, etc. If you're contemplating buying a case of canning jars though, i recommend getting the plastic lids for them. That way you can put away the metal ones in case you want to use them at some point for canning.

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#16 of 17 Old 07-13-2010, 11:35 AM
 
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Why on earth would you throw it away? thats free cooking fat. I use an old pb jar to collect bacon grease. When its full I render it to remove impurities. I use small cups to hold other types of grease (1 for pork, 1 for chicken, etc.). If you're talking something like old frying oil that can no longer be reused, i use an old milk carton, so the whole thing can go into city compost.
I reuse bacon grease...but the sludge and whatnot that comes after frying chicken is useless because it ruins that taste of whatever I'm making next. We don't fry often enough for it to get used before it takes on that "old grease" flavor.

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#17 of 17 Old 07-20-2010, 02:48 AM
 
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Yes, you can reuse baby food jars and jars from pasta sauces, especially the glass ones. There's even a pasta sauce brand out there that uses Mason jars that I keep because you can use them in canning. All you would have to do is buy the replacement tops, which are easy to find.

Baby food jars I use for left over chicken stock when you just need a 1/2 C. or so, or for leftover buttermilk (to use in pancake batters), or whipping cream (to add to soups, I wouldn't use them to make whip cream).

Craft-wise, I use the baby jars for kid's paints, loose button storage, storage for loose beads etc.

The glass jars get used for dry food storage in the pantry, or if they're Mason jars, for canning.

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