Whether you found a great sale online, a garage sale with some glorious vintage jars, or need a place to put your jars as they empty, proper storage is imperative. Creating a collection of canning jars that are the right size, shape, or color you want is and investment so you want to keep them in good condition until you are ready to make your ready to can again. To help prevent breakage and damage to your empty canning jars there are some tips to keep in mind.
Tip 1 Clean & Dry
There is nothing like getting all set to can and finding that your empty canning jars have some excess dried food or that your rims have rusted. Start by cleaning your jars in warm soapy water and let them air dry completely. Once your jars and lids are dry, screw the lids on so that all of your jar parts are in one place.
Tip 2 Location
Empty canning jars are heavy so you want to start by finding a sturdy location. Ensure that the location is easy enough to get to when you need them, but is not a location you will need to maneuver around regularly. A good spot to store your boxes of empty canning jars is in a closet with empty shelve space or that has room on the floor. You can even slide boxes under your bed.
If you can’t find room in the main part of your house you can also store your jars in the garage or basement. If you store your jars on the ground make sure they are in a clean dry space. I would even recommend elevating them off of the ground with a pallet or wood just in case.
Once you have your location picked take measurements to see what size box you will need for storage.
Tip 3 The Right Size Box
Finding the right size box for your empty canning jars is very important. Take a jar or two for measurements into a shipping store that has a wide variety of boxes in different shapes and sizes. If you find a box that is the proper width but is too tall you can use a box cutter to shorten your box.
Empty file boxes can also be a good option for storage. Sometimes you can find them in decorative colors if you need to place your jars in a place where they are visible.
Once you find the box you can purchase or make box dividers that will keep your empty canning jars from clinking together.
Tip 4 Packing The Box
Packing your box properly is essential to prevent damage and breakage. Place all of your empty canning jars in-between the slots in the box dividers. If you have any jars that are missing their ring or lids store them upside down so they don’t get dusty. Since most dividers are not the exact fit for the size or shape of your jar, you want to add some extra cushioning. Use crinkled up news paper to pad the gaps in-between your jars. Pay particular attention to the jars on the exterior. If your jars are small it may be best to wrap them each in crinkled newspaper.
If possible try to store jars of relatively similar size and shape in the same box, especially if you plan on stacking you boxes or jars. If you have several boxes of canning jars make sure to properly label the exterior or place a list of contents inside so that you will save time searching for what you need when you are ready to begin canning.
Tip 5 Storage
Now that your empty canning jars are clean and packed it is time for them to be placed in their designated location. Double check that your space is sturdy, particularly if you will be stacking your boxes. Due to the weight and how fragile your jars are it is best not to stack your boxes more than 2-3 boxes high.
Following these tips will help ensure you have a long life from each of your canning jars!
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