Do Mason Jars Need To Be Steralized Before Use?

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robwoodall

Senior Member
Apr 29, 2015
423
0
I've decided to get serious about cellaring, as opposed to just "keepin' it fresh 'til I smoke it."
I bought a 12-pack of quart sized, wide-mouth Mason jars, with the plan of running them through the dishwasher on a hot setting, without any detergent, assuming that the end result would be close enough to sterile for my purpose.
My 7-year-old, in an amazing feat of clumsiness, managed to break the door off the washer, while ripping the mount completely out of the cabinet. Bummer.
Should I hand-wash the jars (with or without detergent), wait until I get around to fixing the washer, or just use them as they are?
How do you all prepare for cellaring?

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
66
When I first got to this forum, someone had just posted a link showing how fresh jars right off the grocer's shelf was more sterile than after they are run through the dish washer. So, yes, a fresh dozen jars just opened are the most sterile they will ever be.

 

aldecaker

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2015
4,413
3
I have always hand-washed new jars with hot water and Dawn dish detergent. I have no doubt brand new jars are sterile; I just don't know if they have residual chemicals (such as mold-release agents) leftover from the manufacturing process. So, I err on the side of caution with a hand wash. Health concerns aside, I would hate to sour the flavor of a jar of tobacco in some way.

 

robwoodall

Senior Member
Apr 29, 2015
423
0
Thanks, Michael.
I kind of assumed that to be the case but I'm glad that at least some others think so, too.

 

ericusrex

Preferred Member
Feb 27, 2015
1,177
0
BUT, the jars have a very nasty antibacterial in them. Smell them and you'll see that you MUST wash them prior to filling. I really don't think sterile matters much. I doubt the tobacco blenders work in sterile environments. Just get out that nasty stuff!

 

cossackjack

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2014
819
0
Evergreen, Colorado
+1 regarding new unopened jars.

Used or re-using jars my be washed in the dishwasher, then replace the lid; the compression ring can be hand or machine washed & reused if not dented or damaged. The replaceable lids should never be re-used & are readily available in grocery, craft, big box, & many hardware stores.

 
Mar 16, 2014
1,584
1
I've never washed new jars before using them and haven't noticed anything weird about the taste of the tobacco. That initial smell fades quickly after opening the jars for the first time.

 

shutterbugg

Preferred Member
Nov 18, 2013
1,453
0
I keep all my tobacco in the sealed tins until I'm ready to smoke it. Then I put it in glass jars with wide mouths and hinged, silicone-sealed tops, which keep it fresh until it's gone. I have put a totally different blend in a jar after only rinsing it out in the sink. If I can't smell the old blend, it's good to go. If I can, then there's something wrong because glass isn't supposed to be porous, it shouldn't need to be autoclaved.

 

jitterbugdude

Preferred Member
Mar 25, 2014
994
0
Well dam.. I half expected this to be a 5 year old thread.. :)
I give my brand new jars a quick rinse in water just to remove the anti-microbial coating. I've stored tobacco in un- rinsed jars and never noticed any ill effects but I rinse new ones anyway just to get rid of the anti- microbial.

 

tennsmoker

Preferred Member
Jul 2, 2010
1,159
0
Never washed, and never had a problem. I open the jars when I'm ready to cellar, use a plastic funnel to drizzle in the tobacco, press with a wooden spoon, place lid and screw on top. Done. I have many jars now since I have been cellaring for years, beginning in the 1990s.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,885
63
Just from stubborn habit, I wash jars by hand before I use them. My only advice would be, if you wash them, dry them off well with a clean towel and let them air dry besides. Whatever the moisture content of the tobacco, I don't want to add moisture unless I intend to.

 

pappymac

Preferred Member
Feb 26, 2015
1,838
6
One thing I have done with clean jars is to put them in the microwave with about a 1/4 cup of water for 1 minute. I then dump the water and quickly dry them out. I immediately fill them with tobacco while the jars are still warm and put the lid on them hand tight. In my experience (yours may differ) when the jars cool down, it creates a tighter seal. I've had to pry some of them open when I decide to smoke what's in it.

 

snowyowl

Preferred Member
Oct 21, 2015
889
0
On another canning jar thread here, the piper was washing and drying. But then capped the jars until bringing them out to open and fill with tobacco. The problem there was... they smelled (possibly the old metal cap and separate liner, and the rubber). Who knows!?
The question here (and with wine/beer glasses) is: Will there be soap residue, especially with today's liquid cleaners? Alcohol will bring these chemicals back out, even the tiniest amounts. Bars have this problem, but still use soap for health code reasons. High end establishments use alot of steaming rinse water and them carefully check each glass. With dry stuffs, tea or tobacco, this is not the same issue. BTW, with today's dishwashing liquids, a fraction of a drop goes a long way.
I have a musty basement full of Ball, Kerr, etc. jars from my mother and grandmother canning plum tomatoes for future pasta sauces (since the Depression, the first one). So washing is necessary, but I've been able to repurpose large and small jars, including some great blue glass jars with air bubbles in the walls!
What I do is wash, rinse well with lots of hot water, and invert to dry, and dry and dry. Then store them upright without a top, open to more air drying. I hold them up to the light and sniff them to double check.
I do not repurpose the boxes of unused two-piece metal tops with red rubber seals (although I did at first). The grocery store has Ball brand white plastic tops that still fit the old standards -- unchanged over the last and present century. I write on the white tops instead of using labels.
The end.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
66
Us old folks that can the old way will hand wash each used jar and then I put them in the water with a cup of Clorox till the final rinse. Everyone I know that cans seriously for survival avoids the machine washes. They just spray soapy water then spray them again. No real cleaning.

But, that is just for used jars.
Why would a company spray on a microbial to new jars? That doesn't make sense to me. I am no good at searching threads, but we had a chemist who posted his findings, and found that new jars were perfectly sterilized, no word on a microbial. Sure, sure, just another forum member posting, (seemed legit to me though), but us old folks have always just used the new jars. At least the ones I know. YMMV take any post with a grain of salt, and do it your way. I would.

 

jakegoodman

Junior Member
Jan 13, 2016
50
0
Charlotte
Has anyones jar full of tobacco gone bad because of washing, not washing or whatever?
I am just dumbing tobacco in to new jars without over thinking it. But then again I am new to the cellaring :puffy:

 

drwatson

Preferred Member
Aug 3, 2010
1,720
0
toledo
I usually take them out and run them under some plain old super hot water,and let them dry overnight. Never had one jar go bad, and also they will seal themselves most of the times.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
66
I've never had a jar of anything go bad. :::knock on wood::: And, I grew up canning and preserving food. We're talking one bad jar and the family is dead sort of thing.

I've also only ever seen mold on tobacco in pictures on this forum.