Preserving Lids 101

Ball Products

There are two important things to know. First, we recommend using only Ball® brand lids. They are BPA free, and offer the safest, most reliable results of any lid on the market. The second most important thing you need to know is never use a lid twice. After the first use, the lid will no longer seal effectively, so a fresh lid must be used every time.

While those are the two most important things to know, they just scratch the surface! Here’s everything you need to know about lids.

Preserving lid:

A one or two piece lid that seals onto a jar for preserving fresh food. The lid is airtight and keeps food shelf stable for up to a year if processed correctly. Lids come in two varieties, metal coated and plastic.

Metal Coated Lids: (one time use, only) are the only USDA recommended type of lid for home preserving. We recommend Ball® brands. They’re Made in the USA, BPA-free and phthalate-free and the standard for use in testing with at the USDA and universities for developing home preserving guidelines Other brands are Made in China or other countries, and may contain BPA and phthalates, known to buckle easily, and experience frequent seal failures

Plastic (reusable): Not within USDA preserving guidelines, solid rubber gasket does not vent well which means less of a vacuum seal, requires extra caution when tightening bands on hot jars (outside of normal preserving process), expensive for gifting, more difficult to get a seal than conventional lids. Once used, they do not flex like normal preserving lids. Testing has shown that these lids may lose half their vacuum over the course of a year, often within six months.

Tip: Ball® Plastic Storage Caps can be used for storing foods in the fridge or freezer.

Preserving Terms

Access our handy glossary to learn the ins and outs of preserving technology.

View Glossary