The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

August 27, 2007

Uh oh! Rethinking Jar Lids

newmans_ownAfter all my hoopla about using hydrogen peroxide to clean the inside of tomato sauce jar lids, I’m now having second thoughts. Sorry to get prematurely excited.

A few days ago, after “bleaching” the tomato stains out of a couple of lids with hydrogen peroxide, I noticed that the smell was not completely gone. So I added another round of hydrogen peroxide and left them in the sun some more. Well, this time, not only did the tomato break down, but so did the coating on the inside of the lid! And that got me thinking…

Could the coating on the inside of prepared foods jar lids be the same stuff (polycarbonate) that lines the insides of aluminum cans these days? And if so, does using hydrogen peroxide on it cause it to leach Bisphenol-A?

I’ve been trying to find information on the web about what that coating is, but I’m having a hard time finding a definitive answer. So I sent e-mails to several companies (Classico, Newman’s Own, Francesco Rinaldi) asking for information about the inside coating. I also e-mailed Jarden, the company that makes Ball canning jars and lids, to find out what their lids are made of.

Scott at Least Footprint wrote that he reuses spaghetti sauce jars and buys new lids for them. Maybe this is the better option, if the original lids are lined with something we don’t want to reuse.

Other options I have found online are to line the inside of the lid with beeswax or to put a layer of parchment paper between the lid and the jar.

I will continue to update as I get further information. If anyone else has information about the coating inside the lids of glass jars, please share with the class. We are all here to learn.

You might also enjoy...

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

The glass jars I ordered from uline indicate that the jar lids are lined with Plastisol in the steel caps they sell. I found your website when looking up how to wash these before use. Cheers.

5 years ago

I always buy replacement lids from . They have wide variety lids in different colors. If I have specific jars they check it for you.

6 years ago

I boil my jar lids! Just in water. Usually for about 20 min but some (like salsa lids) take longer. I usually pull them out with tongs at the 20 min mark, run them under cold water, give them a sniff and put them back in if necessary. This works for about 95% of all my lids. However there is always one that just won’t come clean. I’m not sure if this is unsafe in any way but it’s how I’ve always done it. Hope this helps!

15 years ago

I had the audacity to believe I was one of a kind with my views on plastic and what not…but I am so glad I found your blog.

Regarding this problem…I soak the lids in borax solution (borax+water and it works well) or a soap water solution for a few days. Since I use it to store dry goods or homemade tomato sauce, the smell (if any) doesn’t both me.

I usually make my own tomato sauce since I want to eliminate bring in all sorts of containers into the household – including glass . So I reuse the tomato jars to hold homemade tomato sauce. The basic pasta/pizza sauce I make is very simple, and I make big batches.

Clutter Organizers
15 years ago

This peaked my interest. It appears that much of the can coatings are coated with Bisphenol-A as descrbed in the following article by a manufacturer. Also they have known about this leaching for a while.
Take a read. INDEX

The Green Professional Organizers

15 years ago

Beth, thank you for thinking about this and looking into it. I reuse a *lot* of spaghetti jar lids – in fact, I buy the brand that uses lids that work on Mason jars so I can use them when I’m storing things in mason jars (like dry goods & leftovers). I never thought about what that coating is.

The best way to get rid of the smells, I think, is to just wash the jar & lid with soapy water and then leave them to dry for about a week. When you close up the jar before it’s really, really dry, the smell seems to intensify (or worse it can smell musty.) It also gets better after 2 or 3 uses.

Britt Bravo
15 years ago

Hi Beth,

We’ve never “met” before, but I like your blog and have tagged you for the 8 Random Facts About Me meme.

Least Footprint
15 years ago


I should point out that some spaghetti sauces come with the screw-on lid and some have the twist-off lids. The screw lid type take the regular mason jar lids you can buy at the store. The twist-off type can be refitted with a new lid available from Kitchen Krafts. I have in my assortment of jars some of the screw lid spaghetti sauce jars, and a few from preserves as well, but have not yet found the need to retrofit the twist-off jars. But, if you want, Kitchen Krafts is the only one I know of with the twist-off lids in small quantities. They are $3.00 a dozen but if that is all you want to order the shipping will get you.