How To Sterilize Glass Jars And Bottles

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
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  • 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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122 thoughts on “How To Sterilize Glass Jars And Bottles

  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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.
    ‘Meanderings through my Cookbook’

      1. 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!)

      2. 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 …!

      3. 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 🙂

    1. 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.

  3. 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..

  4. What a helpful post for new mums this is! Never thought beyond making soups and reheating food in microwave. Thank you!

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