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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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Little rust no issue
by: Anonymous

My family always removed the ring for the reasons above. I disagree about a LITTLE rust on the rings. If there is just a few lines of rust or better yet a dot or two I reuse them. Growing up my parents used things till they were shot. Discolored and people toss them!!! That's crazy if you ask me. What a waist of money. After all part of the perks of glass jars is you can keep using them and save money. More than a half a dime sized rust yeah toss it but other wise it's still good.

Remove Rings after Canning?
by: Anonymous

100% agree that with prior comment. Taken 'em off after the jar has cooled. Reuse even if discolored. If rust appears, replace. Grama, Mom, and I have been doing it for ages.

Discolored rings
by: SandraB

Heck no, I wouldn't throw my rings away just because they are discolored. The rings still do their job of holding the lids in place until the jar seals. I throw away the rusted ones but the discolored ones will work just fine.

Canning rings
by: June

I just watched a canning video where the woman said her canning rings were now discolored and she was going to throw them away. That was new to me. I understand throwing away rusted or bent rings but discolored....? What are your thoughts?

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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:


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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