Do you reuse your glass Jars?

by (1478)
Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 10, 2012 at 3:13 AM

I save all of the glass jars from any products I buy from the store, like sauces and almond butter..etc

I usually wash them really well and run the m through the dishwasher and re-use them to store things like rendered duck fat, ghee or home made sauces.

Does anyone else do this?

Is it safe? BPA, mold, etc?

How do clean them for re-use and how do you store them?

10480 · July 10, 2012 at 5:00 AM

I'd like to add onto the freezing part - use only straight sided jars to freeze! If you use a jar with a shoulder to freeze, the expansion can sometimes break the jar at the shoulder when it pushes up on it.

1178 · July 10, 2012 at 4:21 AM

Oops, that was meant to be an answer, not a comment.

1178 · July 10, 2012 at 4:21 AM

Yes! I use them for all sorts of stuff! Storing things like nuts and seeds. Drinking vessels. Ice water. Transporting things to work. One of the wine makers I've gotten samples from brought me syrah in a tiny one, I think I was more excited about the small jar. I'd say as bpa free as possible. I just use soap and water to clean mine. If I find one randomly with mold, I use a dash of bleach in them. Best reusable thing ever! Took my favorite one camping, no looking a solo cup or coffee cup for me! Sadly, my favorite one also got broken by some other drunk girl while we were camping.

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11 Answers

5140 · July 10, 2012 at 3:27 AM

Glass is one of the most inert materials we know of. Yes, you should reuse your glass containers.

18977 · July 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Yup. Recycling is always a good thing to do, but reusing is so much better. Jars that have lids with white coatings inside of them are likely to have BPA, those that are just metal are what you're after, though they can rust.

I tend to keep a few of each size, if I find too many unused ones of the same size build up, I put some of them in the recycle bin.

I've used them for all sorts of thing: fermenting cabbage, rendered fats, bone broth, sauce, brewing tea faster (the hot steam builds pressure), growing cuttings from herbs I bought at the supermarket in water (sage and rosemary worked, but others were refrigerated for too long and didn't take off), storing coconut oil + baking soda in the bathroom for both a toothpaste and deodorant replacement, etc. A classic lifehacker trick is the salad in a jar thing.

1567 · July 10, 2012 at 4:20 AM

All of my drinking glasses used to be peanut butter jars (Smuckers, before I switched to paleo) and salsa jars. My previous ghee jar is now full of tallow, and a mason jar that used to have spaghetti sauce is now holding my bacon grease.

I used to have a collection of baby food jars, but I gave them to someone who actually wanted to use them before I figured out a good use for them - beads and craft supply storage :D

I treat my jars like I would any glassware. Pop 'em in the dishwasher!

11058 · July 10, 2012 at 5:10 AM

I run mine through the dishwasher for everyday use and boil them when using them to can. I put homemade mayonnaise in them and use them to store leftovers. I'm trying to rid the house of all plastic ware, but haven't broken that habit yet. When at home, I can put the jar in a pan of water (without the lid) and heat up whatever is in it. I rarely use the microwave anymore!

21415 · July 10, 2012 at 3:56 AM

I currently have 3 large bubbies sauerkraut jars full of bacon grease in my fridge, with another 6 full of homemade chicken stock. Smaller salsa jars in the fridge door, full of homemade ketchup, sriracha, and chili paste.

Yes I use them. I just wash them normally and make sure the lids are dried well as some corrosion can occur on them when stored wet.

424 · July 10, 2012 at 8:58 AM

I reuse glass jars like this all the time. I've got several empty ghee jars saved up at the moment, waiting for me to have a go at filling them with homemade ghee.

Glass is pretty inert so you're less likely to get BPA and other nasties leaching into your food, especially if you're storing fatty or acidic foodstuffs. I make sure I wash my jars well between uses and sterilise them in boiling water beforehand if I'm keeping anything in them for more than a few days. That keeps any mould in check.

I'm gradually replacing all my plastic containers with glass ones and I've stopped using cling film too. I've still got a few plasitic sandwich boxes left as they're useful if I need to take food with me when travelling. I tend to line them with greaseproof paper if I'm transporting anything fatty or acidic in them.

24553 · July 10, 2012 at 4:53 AM

The lids on almost all jars have a plastic lining with BPA, but as long as you aren't storing something acidic that will be touching the lid you will be fine.

I have a whole cupboard of jars waiting to be used. They are much safer for you to use than standard plastic tupperware, and a hell of a lot cheaper than the Pyrex version. Just don't microwave in them, pour boiling water into a cold jar, or try to freeze stuff in them if the jar is full and sealed (2/3 full, and freezing for the first few hours without the lid works though).

10480 · July 10, 2012 at 5:00 AM

I'd like to add onto the freezing part - use only straight sided jars to freeze! If you use a jar with a shoulder to freeze, the expansion can sometimes break the jar at the shoulder when it pushes up on it.

645 · July 10, 2012 at 3:44 AM

Started making homemade Almond-Butter recently and guess what I use to store it? Old jars.

I honestly thought of it after buying apple sauce jars, and feeling like throwing away those big glass jars was a waste. Now I just use them to store my homemade nut-butter. After washing them of course.

If you were wondering if it's safe just go to walmart. They sell glass mason jars by the case.

10480 · July 10, 2012 at 3:24 AM

I sure do! I have a ton of mason jars, as I love canning and fermenting, but I also keep glass lemonade jars, old pickle jars, and all that. I put my bacon grease in them, ferment in them, homemade sauces, scraps that I am saving to give to my dog, general storage of all types.

So far as I know, BPA is only used in aluminum cans, not in glass jars. As far as mold... well, it's glass! Very easy to sanitize, compared to more porous pottery or nasty plastic. If in doubt, give it a while in boiling water. 10 minutes in boiling water kill definitely kill any germs, probably less, but that's up to you. (When I hot water bath can properly acidic foods, 10 minutes is all it takes to sterilize the jars, the food, and seal the lid.)

I see no reason why it would not be safe, so long as you clean them the same as you'd clean your plates, flatware, and all that.

1453 · July 10, 2012 at 6:58 AM

Yes, even use ones from roommate's

10 · July 10, 2012 at 6:51 AM

Glass is natural so I prefer to reuse it many times.

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