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Removing tomato sauce smell.

Can anyone tell me how to get the smell of tomato sauce out of the lid of a mason jar? I want to reuse my jars for canning but can't put anything else in them because of the overpowering smell of spaghetti sauce in the lid. It's making everything I put in them smell like tomato sauce. I feel like I've tried everything. Vinegar and baking soda are not working.


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 14th, 2008 10:24 am (UTC)
I have no idea if this would work, but have you tried leaving the jars open outside in the sun for a while?
Oct. 14th, 2008 11:03 am (UTC)
coffee grinds. They will eliminate almost all smells. Oh, and cat litter does, too :)
Oct. 14th, 2008 11:53 am (UTC)
honestly, straight vinegar had worked for me. the smell will air out on it's own after a while.
Oct. 14th, 2008 11:55 am (UTC)
Just confirming -- it's the ring part of the lid, right? Because you can't reuse the seal part.
Oct. 14th, 2008 12:04 pm (UTC)
Ditto on this. You really can't reuse the flat part of the lid. I have also heard that putting stuff in the freezer for a while will help remove odors but honestly if it is just the ring, I would just put it out in the sunshine for a while and reuse it. It's not like the ring has contact with the food in the jar anyway.
Oct. 14th, 2008 12:57 pm (UTC)
I was going to say the same thing regarding the lid. I don't can, but my mom is like canning queen and wins state awards for her stuff. Jars and rings can be reused. Lids are a one time thing.
Oct. 14th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
I should have provided more details -- the rubber on the seal is only meant to be used once, and no longer seals perfectly after it's been sealed and reopened. You run the risk of contamination if your jars aren't sealing properly.

You should be able to buy a box of just the seals from a store that sells canning supplies.
Oct. 14th, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'll go look for some.
Oct. 14th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
Furthering this info, you can re-use commercial jars if they say "Mason" on them. No other commercial jars should be reused for canning. Normal commercial jars aren't meant to be processed in a home setting and will break. Only "Mason" style jars made by the Alltrista corporation should be used for home canning. These jars can say "Kerr" or "Ball" or "Atlas" on them but they should also have the word "Mason" on them somewhere to be safe for canning.
Oct. 14th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
There are other brands of mason jars hailing from europe which are also safe for home-canning, but those tend to be very expensive in the US, and in europe they are common as Ball is in the US and widely recognized.
Oct. 14th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
Share the names!
Oct. 14th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
Also, are they threaded/sized the same as the lids & rings in the US? Would it be prudent to inform the OP the brand names of these acceptable jars as well as a reasonable expectation for finding lids & rings that fit?
Oct. 14th, 2008 11:37 pm (UTC)
Some are, some aren't.

The two most common canning jars found overseas aren't compatible with standard US sizes. One has a different type of two-part self-sealing lid situation, and the other has glass lid and gasket.
Oct. 15th, 2008 12:20 am (UTC)
Ah, so a good tidbit of trivia but not really germaine to the situation of someone wanting to reuse spaghetti sauce jars.
Oct. 15th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
I was unclear as to whether she was re-using commercial jars or canning jars which had previously housed spaghetti sauce.
Oct. 15th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
Hmm. Now that you mention it I can see it could go either way. I was presuming commercial jars.
Oct. 14th, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
It's not the 2-part lids, it's a whole lid. I've never had any trouble reusing them before. Where does one even buy new lids? I've never heard of anyone not reusing them.
Oct. 15th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
As someone said above: if you're talking about plain old glass jars that commercial food comes in, they and their lids may not be reusable for proper canning. The lids are probably not resealable, and the jars themselves may not stand up to the heating and vacuum-sealing and pressure-cooking. You could store dry stuff or freeze your own sauces in them, probably, as long as you didn't overfill them (since freezing water-based things makes them expand, and they can break jars), but if you're making jams or pickles or something they aren't the right tool for the job.

True Mason jars for canning are those ones you can buy in a case in the grocery store with two-piece lids. They're heavy-duty jars that are made to be reused, and the inner (seal) part of the lid can only be used once, but the outer (screw-threaded) part of the lid can be used many times.
Oct. 15th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
What I have are Atlas Mason jars with the ounce measurements on the side. The lids are one-piece, though. I like using them to hold tea when I'm going out somewhere since I can just screw the lid on and they won't leak. Spaghetti flavored tea is nasty, though :)
Oct. 14th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
Buy new lids at your grocery store. You're not supposed to reuse lids.
Oct. 14th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
Wow, I've never heard that. I'll look around and see if I can find some.
Oct. 14th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
If you mean the screw part, boiling or setting in the sun a few days should work.

You can't reuse lids for canning -- they're not very safe to use as they can have slight bends, scratches in the rubber, etc., that preclude a perfect seal. (However using them to freeze things is fine. Ditto storing dry herbs, soups in the icebox, etc. I reuse lids when I'm not actually canning things that depend on a perfect seal for safety.)
Oct. 14th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
I've never heard that, thanks! I'll see if I can find new lids somewhere. I've never seen them for sale alone in a store, just with new jars.
Oct. 15th, 2008 01:39 pm (UTC)
I think most people are talking about the type with the metal lid with metal ring, which are used for canning. The ring can be reused, but not the lid. There is also the one piece plastic type that is used for storage and not for canning.

You can try sticking some newspaper in a jar with the lid on it, and letting it sit for a week or two. Maybe sprinkle some baking soda in there.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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