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February 19, 2015 Canning 101, Crafts, For the Home, Gifting, News, Storage

Can I re-use my Baby Food Jars?

Can I re-use my Baby Food Jars?

If you want to reuse old baby food jars, ask yourself these three questions first.

  1. Do you plan to use old baby food jars for a vase or craft project where you’re not expecting the lid to do anything important?
  2. Do you want to preserve food in old baby food jars?
  3. Do you want to use old baby food jars for anything that you don’t want leaking or spilling?

If you answered YES to #2 & #3 you’ll want to consider finding different jars for your project. Baby food jars are fine for a vase or craft project, but if you want to store something, or preserve food in these jars please read this post first!

Here’s what you need to know about reusing baby food jars:

Most baby food manufacturers utilize Press-on/Twist-off (PT) closures on their glass jars. In this application, the sealing compound (plastisol) covers more of the lid (which contains no threading) and is pressed into the threads of the jar through a high-speed Vapour-Vacuum System. During that process, the plastisol takes on the shape of the threads on the finish of the glass.Thread on jar and lid - FillmoreNotice there are multiple threads on the finish of the jar. While this allows for easy lid removal, and claims of easy re-application, it does not allow you to place the lid back on in its original position, and why many a parent has had a leaking or spilling of that partially used jar placed back into your baby bag. It’s almost impossible to get those multiple threads lined up perfectly. See the crooked lid in the image below.Baby Food Jar Crooked Lid

In speaking with a representative from Beechnut, the choice to use this type of closure was purely a safety measure to ensure the safety of the food.  Beechnut’s site (as other sites) recommend that opened baby food be refrigerated and eaten within 2 – 3 days.

Even if you are not concerned about the contents “going bad” because they won’t be consumed, it is unwise to attempt to use the lids with the jars. They will not provide a reliable seal because you are unable to replicate the process initially used to apply them.

Because the proper application of the lids requires an automated capper system, the replacement caps are not readily available.

If you have a project in mind that just uses the jar – no problem! We encourage the re-purposing and up-cycling of packaging whenever it’s safely possible. There are many creative and useful ways to just use the jars. But, if your project involves the lid, please consider using a safer option.

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