How to Sterilize Glass Jars

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Things You'll Need

  • Large stockpot or canner

  • Rack

  • Water

  • Tongs

  • Cooling rack

When you use glass jars for canning fruits and vegetables, you must sterilize the jars prior to filling them. You also should sterilize jars before filling them with homemade personal care products such as lotions and liquid soap scrubs. Sterilize glass jars immediately before filling the jars with the ingredients by boiling the jars in a large pot of water. While the jars are sterilizing, you can prepare the ingredients you will place in the sterile jars.


Step 1

Place the rack into the stockpot or canner. The rack will keep the jars from sitting directly onto the bottom of the stockpot.

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Step 2

Set the empty jars onto the rack in the stockpot or canner.

Step 3

Fill the stockpot or canner with hot tap water to 1 inch above the jar tops.

Step 4

Place the stockpot or canner on the stove top and bring the water to a rapid boil. Boil the jars for 10 minutes if your elevation is 1,000 ft. or less. Boil for one extra minute for each 1,000 ft. of elevation above 1,000. For example, if your elevation is 5,000 ft. boil the jars for 15 minutes.

Step 5

Turn the burner off and remove the jars with the tongs. Place the hot jars onto the cooling rack and fill with ingredients.


Use the hot water in the stockpot or canner to process the jars once you have filled them.


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