How to sterilize jars: 6 simple and proven ways

Sterilization is needed to clean the jars from microorganisms. If this is not done, the homemade blanks will ferment, and the lids will fly off of them.

How to prepare lids and jars for sterilization

Check jars for chips, cracks, or rust. Containers without damage are suitable for preservation. Covers should be smooth, without scratches and rust.

Wash jars and lids thoroughly with a clean sponge. It is better to do this with soda, mustard powder, laundry soap or natural detergent.

For washing, it is not recommended to use ordinary detergents that can be found on the shelves of any store. Often they contain chemical additives that are poorly cleaned with water.

1. How to Steam Sterilize Jars Over a Pot

Fill a saucepan about halfway with water and bring the liquid to a boil. Place the lids on the pot and place a colander, sieve or wire rack on top. Place dry jars upside down on top.

Frame: @Best Recipes / YouTube

You can use a special sterilizer. This device looks like a flat lid with one or more holes where the jars are inserted.

Can sterilizer. Frame: @Tatiana Novikova LIFE AS IT IS / YouTube

Small jars should stand over the steam for about 6-8 minutes, 1-2 liter jars – 10-15 minutes, and containers of 3 liters and more – 20-25 minutes.

When large drops of water appear on the inner walls of the jars, sterilization can be completed.


Remove jars and place upside down on a clean, dry towel. The lids must be carefully removed and also transferred to the towel with the inside down.

Pictures: @Webspoon Kitchen / YouTube

Jars and lids must be completely dry before canning.

2. How to sterilize jars in the oven

Place the jars on a baking sheet or wire rack in a cold oven . How you install them – neck up or down – does not matter much. Jars can be placed in the oven immediately after washing.

Frame: @Webspoon Kitchen / YouTube

Screw-on lids can be placed in the oven. Do not sterilize lids with rubber bands as the latter may melt. They need to boil in water for 10-15 minutes.

Images: @Marmalade Fox / YouTube

Close the oven and set the temperature to 100-110°C. Keep the jars inside for about 20 minutes. Sterilization time does not depend on their volume.

Turn off the oven and leave the jars in there for a few minutes to cool slightly. Take them out with a dry towel. If it is wet, the jars may burst due to temperature differences.

3. How to steam sterilize jars over a kettle

Fill a regular kettle about halfway with water and boil it. If possible, put the lids in the kettle. If they don’t fit inside, sterilize them in a pot of boiling water.

Place the dry jar upside down in the opening of the teapot.

Frames: @Oksana Valerievna / YouTube

If the jar is small, you can place it on the spout of the kettle. Or put a pusher in the kettle and hang the jar on it.

Frames: @Oksana Valerievna / YouTube

You need to keep the jars over the steam for the same amount as in the previous sterilization method over the pan. Then dry them on a clean towel.

4. How to sterilize steam jars in a slow cooker or double boiler

Fill the multicooker or steamer bowl with water and place the lids in it. Install the steam attachment and place the dry jars upside down on it.

Personnel: @Country of Soviets / YouTube

Turn on the steamer or set the “Steam” mode in the multicooker. If the jars are small, you can close the device with a lid, but this does not play a significant role.

After boiling water, jars should be sterilized for the same amount as over a pot or kettle. Place the jars and lids on a clean, dry towel and wait until they are completely dry.

5. How to sterilize jars in the microwave

Pour 1.5–2 cm of water into jars and put them in the microwave . Select the maximum power and turn on the timer for 3-5 minutes.

Pictures: @Webspoon Kitchen / YouTube

The water should boil, and the inside of the jars should be covered with large drops. Drain the water, place the jars upside down on a clean, dry towel and pat dry.

Lids cannot be sterilized in the microwave.

They need to be lowered into a pot of boiling water for 10-15 minutes.

6. How to sterilize jars in boiling water

Place the jars neck up in a large saucepan. Place lids next to each other. Pour cold water into the pot and jars so that it covers the necks.

If the jars do not fit in the pan, they can not be placed, but placed horizontally.

Personnel: @Allrecipes UK | Ireland/YouTube

Bring the water to a boil and sterilize the jars for 15-20 minutes. Then transfer them upside down to a clean towel to dry completely.

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