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Old 11-29-2006, 12:25 PM   #1
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White dust on my jars

Question, I've just started canning occasionally in the last couple of months. First few batches have come out fine (yay!). But I find that after sterilizing my jars, or after the final water bath, there's a very fine white dust all over the jars and the rack. I'm assuming this is mineral deposits from the water, or perhaps something from the pot (just using a large stainless steel pot).

Is there a way to prevent this? I've seen comments about putting vinegar in the water, does that work on this problem? If so, how much vinegar?

Thanks for your help!

Valerie

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Old 11-29-2006, 01:14 PM   #2
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You likely have hard water. The whitish film on your jars is probably mineral scale. Don't worry about it. I get it all the time. The harder the water, the more stuff on your jars. Take a peek in your kettle, likely you will see the same sort of stuff on the inside of it.

Vinegar removes hard water scale, but I have never heard of putting it in the water bath portion. You can just wipe the outside of your jars with a vinegar solution. That and a little elbow grease should fix the issue.
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Old 11-29-2006, 02:05 PM   #3
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Oh, it wipes right off, no problem. No elbow grease even required. I was just hoping to prevent it altogether. Although I can't see it in my finished product, I know it is there and it bugs me. ;) Oh well, I guess I won't worry about it!
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Old 11-29-2006, 03:37 PM   #4
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A couple tablespoons of white vinegar in the water bath will take care of the problem.

My water is so hard I practically have to chew it to get it down. Vinegar is my friend. I rinse my hair with it.
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:05 PM   #5
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Don't worry about it - as everyone said: Hard water.
Wipe it off with a cloth.
I have exactly the same problem.
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:14 AM   #6
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I agree with everybody else that has posted. I also understand that it bug,s you knowing it is there. sometimes that nagging feeling drives you nuts. The only real way of dealing with the problem (if it is a real issue with you ) is to fit a water softener.
I know it is not related (cooking issues that is ) but spam email has the same affect on me.
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Old 11-30-2006, 04:50 AM   #7
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I just started canning this past year too (guided by Sparrowgrass and Clive, two real experts!) and had the very same experience. In the latter batches I just added a glug of vinegar (lemon juice would be fine too I'm sure) and the jars came out crystal clear and ... just beautiful, aren't they?!

(Don't fuss on the amount you add, just eyeball it. You'll be fine. Should it not be enough, proceed to wipe with vinegar thereafter.)
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:41 PM   #8
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I definitely agree with Alix because I have hard water and whenever I go to boil water for tea there is a a strange looking scum at the botton of my kettle. I immediately wash it out with viniger and it takes the hard water scum right away.
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