How to recycle those used canning jar lids.

I've been teaching home canning for a long time.  I'd love to share what I've learned with you.   Simply Canning School's online video based classes .

Recycle canning jar lids (not for canning!) in many other ways with all the great ideas listed in this article at Garden markers, made into magnets, keep jars clean, and more!

How do you recycle canning jar lids?  

 If you are a canning you likely have a zillion lids laying around or you feel like surely there is something you can do with these instead of tossing them in the landfill.   

First read about why you should not be using your canning jar lids more than once.  Click here for details.... 

Then take a look below, a lot of good ideas from Simply Canning readers.  

We've been know to use them for target practice on occasion.  :)

My favorite suggestion so far is to use them for garden markers.  This is probably because I've been busy planting in my garden and this is pertinent right now.  I just used a sharpie marker, but I have a suspicion that the marker wont stay.  The suggestion to engrave them... is much better.

Karen says:

I have tin punched designs in used lids, glued them back to back, put decorate trim and hangers on them and used them as Christmas ornaments. I’ve had mine at least 20 years. You need plain lids with no writing.

Lisa says:

I use them to mark my veggies in the garden, too. And you’re right, the sun bleaches the sharpie ink until it disappears! Usually, by then, I know what it is I planted, though. I also use them to cover the hole in the bottom of flower pots and reuse them on jars that have chips in the rim that can’t be used for canning anymore to store dry goods in the pantry. I use my Dremel to sand the chip to make sure no slivers come off in the stored food. I just can’t bear to throw them away!

Michelle @ Sustainable Blessings says:

We poke holes in the lids and make bug jars for my daughters to catch fireflies.

Joyce says:


Cheryl says:

After I wash the jar n lid I turn lid upside down on jar to keep the jar clean until I use it again.

Marcia says:

Me too Cheryl, as I store my jars in the garage and we have a few spiders in there. They stay nice and clean on the inside. I don’t turn them upside down though, I put them right back on the jar the way they came off originally.

Karen says:

I also use the old lids and rings to keep jars cleaner in my garage. Marked on top with Permanent ink, there no mistake when I get them ready to reuse the jars. After removing from jar, I punch a hole in them, add some twine and use to keep birds out of my fruit trees, and veggie garden.

Lynn says:

That is a very good idea. Think I will try to use them to keep the deer away from my trees and shrubs. I do keep a few to put on Jars that I am using to store dry goods in.

Carin says:

I used them with my jaw sealer attachment for my Food Saver. I seal my dehydrated foods in jaws with used lids.

Dejah says:

I use my canning jars (I have a lot of them!) to store dry goods as well, such as nuts, sugars, oats, beans, tea bags, baking materials, etc and I use the lids that have already given plenty of service and aren’t appropriate for canning anymore. I write on the lids that don’t pass inspect, “Dry Goods Only,” and that way if my husband or kids are helping, they know right away. I DO love the idea of using them in the garden as markers! I think I’ll try that this year, too!! Thanks for posting!

Andrea says:

I take the 3 hole puncher for paper, slide the edge of a used lid in and punch a hole in it. Then a small drinking straw fits in the hole. Use the lid and band and you have a travel type glass made with a canning jar. I use the jars that may have a small chip and can not be used for canning. Kids love them Use different color straws to identify whose glass it is.

Ezmoe says:

A beekeeping homesteader, I buy new canning jars for honey sales, but replace the new canning lid with one that’s been used.

Annaluise says:

My mother in law gets quite upset with me that I buy new canning lids each season. She thinks I am very wasteful and well – it gets to be a bit of a sore point. She is a nurse and I would think she would understand. Any suggestions on how to get family to stop re-using the old lids? Thanks!

Susan says:

Great ideas! I use my jars to freeze foods in as well as canning so I reuse used lids for freezing.

Sara says:

Great ideas here. I use mine for storing dried goods as well but I love the idea about putting a hole in them for the drinking jar. Also, great idea for the garden. It got me thinking we have tons of woodpeckers around our house and we live in a log cabin. The shininess of metal usually will keep them away. I think I should make a bunch into hangers that could blow in the wind to ward off the woodpecker. Thanks for the brainstorm!

Sam says:

Sorry I guess I should use them for something more meaningful. But the different sizes with a few tops from #10 cans spread out make something shiny to shoot at.

I didn’t think I could reuse them even for flavor seal use til I read it here.

David says:

I fill chipped jars with wax and wick to make candles and used lids and rings to cover them

Rose says:

I reuse them once washed when I have some jars of something to pressure can and my canners not full, I fill a jar with clean water and put in canner along with what I am canning. They have ALL sealed every time and IF they didn’t it wouldn’t matter because all it is water. This way I always have water on hand if I need it for hurricanes or whatever because it’s been pressure canned and sealed up.

Other pages you might like...

Learn about using non mason jars for canning.

Where do you find the space for your jars??

Love me some antiques!

The Legal Stuff

by Sharon Peterson, Copyright © 2009-2020

 Advertising Policies

Privacy Policy

Join The Community

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites."

Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

See my Full Disclaimer here.