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How To Sterilize Glass Jars And Bottles

I do not go in for the whole rigmarole of the canning process where you boil bottles and then dry them in the oven. I have been using this method to sterilize glass jars and bottles with great success for over 20 years, and I reckon it works!

How To Sterilize Glass Jars And Bottles

ClemenGold, Lime And Ginger Marmalade

  • wash your jars / bottles in warm soapy water and rinse
  • fill your clean glass jars / bottles with boiling water and leave to stand for one minute
  • empty and place the glass jars / bottles into your microwave
  • heat on full power until dry – this should take about 2 minutes
  • put the lids into boiling water and use straight from there to seal your jars / bottles
How To Sterilize Glass Jars And Bottles

sterilize a glass jar

I have followed other methods for sterilizing and if you have the necessary equipment then boiling the jars in water in a stock pot on the stove beforehand also works well. But it is laborious as you have to dry them in a preheated oven. This is also such a huge waste of energy in my opinion. You can also wash the jars using the hottest setting in your dishwasher. If you are lucky like I am and your dishwasher has a special feature where you can just clean the items on the top shelf then it works a treat. Some dishwashers also have baby bottle sterilization options as mine does, but I have never used this. But, if cannot make use of the top shelf only in your dishwasher, you would be wasting a whole lot of water and electricity for only a few jars or bottles. Another alternative is to top your jars with boiling water, leave to stand for a minute and then tip the water out. You then leave the jars to air dry. But this takes a lot more time than using my method of drying the bottles in your microwave. And the microwave method takes less than 5 minutes from when your water has boiled to when the jars are dry and ready for use. I do not like to waste water and so I pour the water into a jug and use when cool to top up our dogs’ water bowls.

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About Tandy

Tandy is passionate about using regional, seasonable and sustainable produce when she cooks. She lives in Gordons Bay in a cottage with her husband, two dogs, a tortoise and a fish. Tandy and Dave are busy building a house which is an adventure all in itself. Each year they visit a new place to experience the food of the area and you can follow along on their adventures.


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How To Sterilize Glass Jars And Bottles — 35 Comments

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  2. Hi, I am from India. New to your blog. Awesome post. Easy way to sterlize glass bottles. 😀

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    • Thanks for the visit Meera 🙂

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  3. Hi, i want to sterilise spice jars to keep spices in. Is this method good for spices?

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    • This is perfect for your spice jars 🙂

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  8. I sterilizes my bottles in exactly the same way, Tandy!! 🙂

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    • great minds think alike xxxx

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  9. Pingback: Apple Marmalade with Rosemary & Vanilla Infused Vodka « there is a pretty little thing, waiting for The King, down in the jungle room…

  10. Ooo, I’ve never thought of using the microwave before. That IS a great tip.

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    • thanks! I find it really works well for me 🙂

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  11. Wow, love your method! How easy. On my trip I have gathered several family pickling and canning recipes, I’d love to make. The whole boiling sterilizing etc.always seems like such a hassle that I don’t always get to canning. With your method, I think I will now do some canning..

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    • I could not be bothered either to do the whole ‘enchilada’!

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  12. So can I use any empty bottle/jar, for example from a jar of jam I recently finished?

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    • for sure! I save all my jars and reuse them 🙂

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      • A little word of caution… Even though you are sterilising the jars I have read it would be unwise to use pickle jars for jam (so never do it) – jam jars for pickles would be fine. I usually recycle jars that have had something very potent in them: spicy chutneys, spicy cook in sauces for example – better safe than sorry. However, if as I do, you make your own Indian style lime pickle the jars would of course be fine. (I have a great recipe for this on my site!)
        h/e

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      • After I posted my message I realised that perhaps I ought to have said that the problem is that the lids can be tainted which can impair the flavour. Well washed and sterlised glass would of course be fine. Just to clear up any confusion …!
        h/e

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      • Hi HE! I usually save the lids from my honey jars to use for the pickles – and I make sure I wash all the jars and the lids in the dishwasher first. Thanks for the tips 🙂

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    • Thanks! I’ll bottle my tomato sauce next time tomatoes come in cheap here in Thailand. Thais are not big on tomato sauce and what I could get are imported ones from Italy which are really expensive.

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      • I love that you can bottle your own for a rainy day!

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  13. that’s smart, then there isn’t ant leftover moisture to mess up what you are bottling

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    • that is why I tried it this way the first time 🙂

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  14. Thanks for this – sounds so much easier!

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    • I think so too 🙂

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  15. Tandy, that’s a fabulous tip, thank you!

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    • my pleasure Celia 🙂

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  16. This is also my method and I find it works very well. I don’t usually dry the jars in the microwave though…
    I also turn the jars upside down when filled and lidded – if it is tomato ketchup I turn the bottle upside down in a suitable container – inverting again when cool.
    hopeeternal
    ‘Meanderings through my Cookbook’

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    • thanks for the additional tip! It is so great learning new ways to do things. And thanks for the visit 🙂

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  17. My mother used to put the jars and lids in a bowl and cover them with boiling water, until she needed them…works for me too! Thanks for the microwave tip.

    Your site has had a makeover – looks great 🙂

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    • thanks so much for that tip! I may try that next time 🙂 Thanks about the site comment. I have a few more tweaks to do still xxx

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  18. I usually just boil them in the microwave with a little bit of water in them – never thought of doing it your way – great tip, will do that next time around.
    Have a super Sunday.
    🙂 Mandy

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    • your way sounds just as simple and easy! Have a great day Mandy 🙂

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