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  • Writer's pictureCrazy Jar Lady


In my photo yesterday, you could just see the rings had started to rust around the edges. I've got a whole dishpan full of rusted rings now. When you read the canning books it says if they are rusted to pitch them. I disagree; I feel like that is just marketing to sell more stuff. I will pitch a ring when it's so rusted it won't turn onto a jar anymore. Only then. The rings function solely to hold the lid down and nothing more. They don't need to be pretty. And if you're using vinegar in your water because it's hard, they won't be pretty for long. I also wash my rings in the dishwasher. Once I started pressure canning, my rings took a real turn to the ugly. Yours will too! Your main concern is the product inside the jar. The outside doesn't matter.

Top left, new ring washed once. Top right, newer ring used a few times. Bottom left, ring been thru the mill but still good. Bottom middle, ring starting to get a little eh. Bottom right, ring getting a little nasty. Now compare the top photo to the bottom and the bottom middle ring and the bottom right ring. In the top photo, it looks like the ring on the bottom right would be the one to pitch. Nope. Pitch the one in the bottom middle. See how it has bad rust right on the screw line? That is not going to go on a jar easily. Or save it for a craft.

As a side note: Rings tend to reproduce while lids don't. Every time you buy a new pack of jars, there's a dozen rings. It's great, you never have to buy rings again! Even though most of my jars are from the 1940s thru 1980s, I have purchased numerous dozens of new jars. I store the rings several ways, I have some ring organizers I've made from wire hangers, just in an extra dishpan, and I've seen several people use bungee cords hooked into their shelving.

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