The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

October 3, 2007

Glass jars & lids: The Final Word (I hope!)

You may recall the glass jar lid saga in which I recommended cleaning the tomato stains from pasta sauce jar lids with hydrogen peroxide, only to reverse that recommendation a week later after discovering that the peroxide ate away at the coating inside the lids. (And yes, as you will recall, I tried other options such as vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda…)

Used pasta sauce jars are great for storing all kinds of wet and dry foods (as an alternative to plastic containers) except for the tomato smell which is impossible to remove from the lids. Since I can’t clean them out without wreaking all kinds of havoc, I’ve resorted to recycling the lids (yes, my recycling company confirms that they will be processed) and replacing them with new ones. With information provided by Scott at Least Footprint, I’ve been able to find lids for the two main types of pasta sauce jars on the market.

The jar on the left side of the top photo is a regular mason jar. So far, I’ve only found three brands packed in these types of jars: Classico, Safeway Select Verdi, and 1849 Pasta Sauce. There may be others, including other store brands, but Safeway is the only big chain store that I checked. These types of lids are the easiest to find, as they are regular canning jar lids sold in most supermarkets.

The more common type of pasta sauce jar (like the one on the right in the top photo) has a 63mm twist-off lid. Per Scott’s suggestion, I was able to purchase a box of them from Kitchen Krafts two weeks ago. However, when I check the web site tonight, I can no longer find them. I’ve sent an e-mail to the company. Hopefully, they will get more. I have found something that looks similar on another web site, Wholesale Supplies Plus. These are advertised as having plastisol liners. The rep at Kitchen Krafts assured me that their lids were lined with rubber, not plastic. But I’m skeptical about that claim. The inside of these lids seems pretty plasticky to me.

Brands that use the 63mm twist off lid include:

I’m using these jars to store sugar, flour, couscous, baking soda, chocolate chips, and many other dry goods as well as leftovers in the fridge and freezer. Yes, you can freeze glass containers. Just make sure you allow hot jars to cool before putting in freezer and vice versa.

Because I’m not sure about the coating inside the twist off lids, I’m using these types of jars to hold dry foods that will not actually touch the lid. I’ll save the mason jars for wet foods.

This post updated 10/07/2007.

You might also enjoy...


Etsy handmade and vintage

I only post ads for companies I patronize myself. Your support helps to fund my plastic-free mission.

Leave a Reply

19 Comment threads
5 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

@Beth Terry I believe Nalgene bottles (the standard “Tritan” ones) are actually BPA-free, for what it’s worth…

Sharon V

I am not sure this is the answer, because I have gone through a similar transformation only to find the tin lids have BPA in them. So now I am searching for glass lid inserts. Check it out.

Beth Terry

Sharon V, Thanks for this information! I Googled “glass lid insert” and found this article, which could be really helpful for anyone else looking for glass jar lid inserts.

jam jar

I didn’t try to make preserve food yet, but my mom does and she’s using kilner jar for her food preserving.


Hey I found this article and blog when doing a quick search through your website. I am aware of the danger of all plastics including PETE water bottles. I unfortunately am still using them for my spring water and can often actually taste the leached pthalate. I know, that’s horrible and I plan to get onto a different water system soon; actually set up a water filter that I have. For those lucky reader who find this post who are in the same boat, I’ll give away a couple goodies. You can neutralize fluoride from tap water, with eggshell cocktail… Read more »


I can’t thank you enough for your discussion, I was beginning to think i was the only one who could smell the inside of glass jar lids. So it’s Plastisol, plus some newer compounds by now, still stink the same. I also find it in all kinds of containers that i like to reuse, like jelly jars and juice jars. I use the juice jars for hummingbird solution. I also use saran wrap between the lid and the jar, don’t want my hummers exposed to it. Sometimes I use the jars as cold water bottles in the fridge, especially in… Read more »


I was discouraged when I learned that the metal lids I use for my ball jars contain bpa (even thought they don’t seem to have any kind of coating).
If you need bpa-free lids for storage with your mason jars, jarden makes bpa-free plastic lids for regular and wide-mouth jars (for more information, see

These lids are sold on and elsewhere, I’m sure
Also, weck makes glass canning jars with glass lids and rubber rings. They are attractive but pricey.

Beth Terry

Hi Amelia. I haven’t found a plastic-free travel mug myself. The one I use is stainless steel with a polypropylene lid, which does not contain BPA.

Let us know if you find one!



Hi there.. .

I’m wondering if you can help me find a lidded coffee cup without plastic. The BPA scare has forced us to swear off plastics, but even the stainless steel or ceramic coffee cups have plastic lids… which then come in contact with the hot liquid as you drink. Any suggestions?? thanks,


it not only comes into the contact with the plastic lid, but the hot beverage evaporates, and then the condensation on the lid is dripping back into your coffee with chemicals from the plastic. I tried to put waxed paper inside, but ended up with a waxy coating inside the mug. Now I am trying parchment paper. Hope it would work better.


Thank you so much for your information Beth. This site is so helpful. Some industries (like the plastic industry), and the government have only recently started publisizing the dangers regarding things that we use every day. I find that it so deeply disturbing. On the flip side of that, there are people like you who offer their knowledge and expertise for all of us. Thank you so very much for this blog, I’ve learned so much, and I think we are all going to be healthier because of you =-)I wish you the best in health and love Bethy =-)

Beth Terry

Hi Bethy. It’s fine to put boiling water in a glass jar. Just don’t put the lid on it. Because we have found that the inside of the lid contains BPA, the same chemical in Nalgene bottles and inside cans. But the glass itself is perfectly safe.

Using a glass jar with lid that contains a tiny bit of BPA is way better than using a can lined with it or plastic bottle containing it because it’s only in the top and probably won’t touch your water.


Hi Beth, I’m Bethy! haha. So, I have a question.I’ve been using a glass Ragu jar to store my water in (when I am at work and on the go).I love tea, so I decided to put some boiling water in the glass Ragu jar and make tea. Now I’m paraoid though because I’m worried that somehow the glass jar will release toxins or something like that (like my Nalgene bottle did when I faithfully carried it around for two years thinking it was safe). So, if Beth or anyone knows if it’s safe or unsafe to put boiling water… Read more »

Beth Terry

Wow, Alyssia. That’s a bummer. I forwarded the info to Amanda at Enviroblog.

I guess I’ll just make sure my food doesn’t touch the lid. I can’t imagine it would hurt to store grains and beans in them, which is what I do. And for wet food, I guess I just won’t fill them all the way up to the top.


i just wanted to say that after reading your blog on jar lids, i looked and looked for information about what the mason jar lid liner is made of and right on the ball/kerr website under their faqs it says that the lid liner contains BPA: big bummer. have you been able to find mason jar lids without the lining? also, i looked into buying waxed paper discs/circles to protect food from the plastic lining, but can only find them in the u.k. does anyone know where you can buy these? they are traditionally used for jam making, but i… Read more »


Hey, I just found your blog doing a search for tips on freezing with glass jars, as my last experiment didn’t go very well. It’s good to find someone else who understands and won’t just give me a blank look when I say, “Yes, I know, but I don’t *want* to use plastic containers.” You rock.


Thank you sooo much for this info! With me trying not to buy plastic-packaged products anymore, this is exactly the type of stuff I need to know. And now I don’t have to figure this out on my own, which is great. Thanks again!

Beth Terry

Hi, Rob. Yes, vinegar is one of the first things I tried. You can read about everything that I tried here:

Rob O.

Have you tried white vinegar for removing the tomato stains and odor from pasta jar lids? White vinegar works wonders on a multitude of challenging household situations.


perfect! thanks for posting! i’m hoping to stop buying foods that are canned (due to the plastic inside the cans: . now i’m going to start getting jars and then just reusing them – filling them with my own homemade sauces and such. so smart! i never thought about freezing jars, too! yay!

and Beth – this blog is such a wealth of information – and it’s so inspiring! thanks again for all that you research, write about – and update us on! :)

Radical Garbage Man

Ditto on the cooling before freezing. The really cool thing about getting sauce in Mason jars is that, if you are sufficiently ambitious, you can can your own (although with the larger jars, I like to freeze because it’s easier to use just some of your sauce instead of all of it). Another great freezer/jar storage tip: When you make broth, sauce, pesto, tomato paste, vegetable purees, you name it, freeze the liquid in ice cube trays before transferring it to your airtight container. Then you’ve got very convenient amounts of homemade goodness for other recipes (you know the ones… Read more »


That was my question–how to get the lids for the ‘more common’ jars.

I am finding my 4 oz canning jars most delightful for small quantities :-)

PS-Make sure your food is cooled completely before freezing in a glass jar…or it will break!