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Old 07-14-2011, 12:16 AM   #1
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Rust in screw-band - is it dangerous?

Hi!

I'm brand new to canning, and I just bought a bunch of Bernardin canning jars that come with standard screw-bands and lids. The packaging said to wash everything before use, so I washed the jars, lids, and screw rings in soapy water and let them air-dry.

The next day, I noticed that a couple of the screw-bands had some rust spots on them. I was able to wash out most of the rust. Some questions:

1) Would getting some of the rust in food be toxic? Should I be worried about health effects from rust? I re-washed everything but who knows, maybe I missed a spot.

2) I understand that rusty lids may not seal properly, but the lids do not appear to be rusty--only the screw-bands. Should I just use new screw-bands with the existing lids? What about the glass jars? Can I wash and use them? Should I just chuck everything out?

Thanks!

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Old 07-14-2011, 02:30 AM   #2
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I've been canning for a few yrs now but I'm no pro! I would either buy new lids or remove rust with a scouring sponge and warm soapy water. Sometimes this works if the lids are not too far gone. New lids are inexpensive so replacing them is best :) The jars will be fine!
If the bands can be removed soak them in a bleach and hot warm water solution (not hot, this will damage the rubber) then rinse and replace.
I've been using some jars for over 10 yrs and others are new, haven't had a problem so far.
P.S I dry my lids and rubbers with paper toweling to prevent rust. Hope this helps
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:14 AM   #3
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rust is not toxic. it is iron oxide.

just wipe off the bands and you're good to go. my parents used to use a light wipe of vegetable oil "to keep things from sticking"

do not use lids with rust on the interior - canning acid stuff with rust already started will let the acid stuff eat through the steel. lid interiors should have a coating to protect the steel. if a lid is rusting after a light washing, there's something wrong with it - toss it.

never re-use the lids. the seal material deforms on first use and even if a used lid looks pretty, it is very likely to fail.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:34 AM   #4
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No, no, no! Don't throw anything away, the rings will work just fine, a little rust won't hurt anything.

Snip, Tabator has not used the rings yet--she just bought them and washed them.

I have been canning for centuries (oh, my goodness, that is true--some in the last century, some this century!), and I have lots of rings with a little rust on them. Rust won't hurt you--it is iron, and we all need iron, and besides that, the ring never comes into contact with the food.

Those rings rust very easily, especially in the hot, humid summer time. Wash them in hot water, and set them on a rack on the counter to dry, and don't worry about a little rust. If they get rusty enough to feel rough on the inside, toss them.

When you put them on the jars, tighten them down finger tight--don't crank them down too tight. Your seal depends on the rubber sealing compound--if you tighten the rings too much, you might squish that compound out. When your timer dings, take the jars out and set them on the counter, on a towel. Next morning, take those rings off--don't store the jars with the rings on. That is a guarantee that they will rust.

As dc said, don't reuse the flats, but you can reuse the rings. I do put the rings back on when I give my jars away, so folks can store an opened jar in the fridge.

There are lots of experienced canners on this site, and we are all happy to help. Holler if you have any other questions.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:52 AM   #5
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Welcome to DC.

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Old 07-14-2011, 09:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
No, no, no! Don't throw anything away, the rings will work just fine, a little rust won't hurt anything.

Snip, Tabator has not used the rings yet--she just bought them and washed them.

I have been canning for centuries (oh, my goodness, that is true--some in the last century, some this century!), and I have lots of rings with a little rust on them. Rust won't hurt you--it is iron, and we all need iron, and besides that, the ring never comes into contact with the food.

Those rings rust very easily, especially in the hot, humid summer time. Wash them in hot water, and set them on a rack on the counter to dry, and don't worry about a little rust. If they get rusty enough to feel rough on the inside, toss them.

When you put them on the jars, tighten them down finger tight--don't crank them down too tight. Your seal depends on the rubber sealing compound--if you tighten the rings too much, you might squish that compound out. When your timer dings, take the jars out and set them on the counter, on a towel. Next morning, take those rings off--don't store the jars with the rings on. That is a guarantee that they will rust.

As dc said, don't reuse the flats, but you can reuse the rings. I do put the rings back on when I give my jars away, so folks can store an opened jar in the fridge.

There are lots of experienced canners on this site, and we are all happy to help. Holler if you have any other questions.
I didn't say throw them away :( That's the post after mine! I even mentioned my jars are over 10yrs old!!! Just buy new lids if they are too far gone to save :) I would never throw away my jars unless I have to, I even keep regular jam jars etc. I know a trick to make them seal again :)
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:53 AM   #7
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I've been canning for a few yrs now but I'm no pro! I would either buy new lids if they are rusted to the point where you struggle to close them or remove rust with a scouring sponge and warm soapy water. This works if the lids are not too far gone. New lids are inexpensive so replacing them is cheap but not usually needed. The jars will be fine!
If the bands can be removed soak them in a bleach and warm water solution (not hot, this will damage the rubber) then rinse.
I've been using some jars for over 10 yrs and others are new, haven't had a problem so far.
P.S I dry my lids and rubbers with paper toweling to prevent rust. Hope this helps.

P.P.S Sorry sparrowgrass :( read the question wrong the first time I saw the thread then corrected my answer but left part of the first answer on.
Read it like my gat (backside)..lol!
Daniel kept me up all night, don't think I was fully awake when I posted!
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:19 PM   #8
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I wasn't fussin' at ya, Snipster!! Tabator wanted to know if she should chuck everything out--I would hate for someone to do that!

Some of my jars date from the '70's! (Never put a sticky label on the jar, they DON'T come off--put your label on the lid. Ask me how I know. )
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
I wasn't fussin' at ya, Snipster!! Tabator wanted to know if she should chuck everything out--I would hate for someone to do that!

Some of my jars date from the '70's! (Never put a sticky label on the jar, they DON'T come off--put your label on the lid. Ask me how I know. )
I know :) Just a simple misunderstanding, some of my bottles belonged to my gran!
P.S I don't use labels, I write on the jar with permanent marker and then remove with nail varnish remover :)
Just a tip when you have labels that won't come off, soak in hot water to remove label and spray the sticky residue with bug spray like Doom or target. Leave that on for 10 mins and then wash. The bug spray removes glue from clothes too :) I spray it on the glue on the clothes, rub till glue loosens then wash as normal.
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