Canning lids and/or rings... does it matter?

by Denise
(Forestville, CA)

My mother-in-law recently gave me preserves she canned with the ring tops removed. I always leave them on. Which way is best? I've seen them stored both ways. Thanks!


This is a matter of personal choice. I prefer (and the USDA recommends) to store my jars without the rings. If there is any moisture on the rings they are likely to rust and may be difficult to remove. I reuse the rings on future loads of canning.

There are folks who like to store the jars with the rings on. I've heard the reasoning that they feel safer that the rings will hold the seal on the jar better.

My feeling on this is: If the jar is going to loose it's seal... I'd just as soon have the lid come off. If the ring is not there the lid should be noticeably loose. That way there is no doubt whether the seal is solidly in place when I go to open it.

I'd love to hear from others on this topic. How about an informal poll. Leave a comment, do you leave the rings on? Or off? And why?

Comments for Canning lids and/or rings... does it matter?

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Mar 12, 2015
good NEW
by: Vannesea

Well this is going to be an entirely new experience for you people. I hope it would not rupture anything that has been said and done in the past. I hope everyone would keep a hold of that whatever happens. windows 8 versions

Jan 02, 2015
Are you kidding me? NEW
by: bsilano

I go to Italy and stay with friends that have a farm and they grow everything. One day I helped my friend can tomatoes for her father. We used jars that were only washed quickly and we filled them with tomatoes one piece of garlic. Her father boiled them for one hour. They do this year after year and and are healthier than anyone I've seen in the US. These jars weren't Ball jars they were leftover from whatever they bought and used. I think this is all crap!

Feb 11, 2014
New ball jars
by: Dee

Hello, Can anyone answer this question. I have seen in the 99C store new ball jars, blue, green and purple. Are they safe to use for canning? they do not have the lids, just the rings. I know the lids are for sealing the product. How do they work with the canning process.

Oct 15, 2012
Remove Rings / Hint for preventing moldy jars
by: Sandra B

I take my rings off as soon as the seal has popped and the jars are cool enough to handle. I wash the rings in the dishwasher and dry them totally before storing for the next use.

Helpful Hint: Wash your jars in warm water with a splash of white vinegar before storing them. This gets the sticky off of the outside and prevents mold. I like to use a Sharpie pen and write contents and date on the lid. It's always fun to know that I'm eating green beans that my Mama grew in her garden.

Oct 09, 2012
used rims anyone?
by: Anonymous

I would love a load of used rims for a craft project. I know people don't can like they used to-so what happened to all of the rims? Can anyone offer any solutions?

Sep 17, 2012
Lids on or off
by: Lynn

In our family we would leave the rings on everything except jelly and jam. I don't know why but it is a 70 year long tradition that I know of so far.

Aug 02, 2012
Jar Rings
by: Anonymous

Can you re-use the rings from last year or do you buy new rings like the lids????

Yes the rings are reusable as long as they remain unbent and no rust. Mine will get bent after awhile in storage. But they last many many years.

Aug 02, 2012
Rings Off
by: Larry

I like to store my canned goods with the rings off. I like to wash off the jars while ringless before storage. I think the confusion comes from all the photos of canned goods. The ring is always on in the photos. Why is this? There needs to be some photos of stored goods on the shelf without rings maybe.

Jul 31, 2012
Another Lid/Ring question
by: Lore

Can I process my jars without the rings?

No Lore, you need the ring to hold the lids on. Take the rings off after the jars have completely cooled.

Jan 03, 2012
I take them off
by: fay

I have been canning a little over 2 years now, and I always take the rings off. If the lid is loose, I certainly don't want to eat it's contents!

Jun 23, 2011
Canning Lids or Rings
by: Sassy

I only started canning 2 years ago, but I did much research and with canning well over 200 jars I've learned alot by trial and error. I have caught loosened lids before storing and reprocessed or used it right away. I've had only 1 jar that started mold after being on the shelf. Not bad odds at all.

Always wipe clean the rim after filling you jar. It's helpful to have flat lids set in warm water before placing them on your jars. This softens the rubber and will help it seal most effectively.

When screwing on your rings or band, they should be "fingertip tight"; not too loose, and not too tight. The job of the ring is to hold the lid in place while the jar is being processed. Once your jars are processed, and have cooled for 24 hours, you can remove the rings and clean jars for storage. At this point you should be able to tell if you have a failed seal. You will notice that as jars cool the ring loosens more and should be easy to remove.

Do not retighten lids after processing jars. As jars cool, the contents in the jar contract, pulling the self-sealing lid firmly against the jar to form a high vacuum. Do not rely on a tightened ring to do the job, you may have more problems later down the road.

Screw bands are not needed on stored jars. Screw bands may be used many times. If left on stored jars, they become difficult to remove, often rust and may not work properly again.

There are many sites to read on the process here is just one:


Jun 23, 2011
no rings~
by: daisha

i take the rings off. i want to reuse then and you can not reuse a rusty ring.

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