Variety glass jars of homemade pickled or fermented vegetables and jams in row with old dark blue wooden plank background. Seasonal preserves. (Photo by: Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
Why You Should Take The Bands Off When Storing Home-Canned Foods
When canning foods, the metal rings that go around the lid of the jar help to keep the lid in place and stop the food from turning discolored. However, once you've gone through all the canning steps and heard the signature “pop” of air that signals that the jar is fully sealed, there’s a good reason to remove the rings from the jars.
Leaving ring bands on jars can lead to corrosion, making the bands incredibly hard to unscrew, and you might have to try all kinds of tricks like pouring slippery oil on the lid just to get to your food. Leaving the ring bands on also risks hiding a broken seal, so you won't notice your jars are compromised until the food has spoiled.
Once your freshly-sealed jars are cool, you should remove the ring bands, then wash and sanitize the bands before allowing them to dry, which ensures that no material will transfer onto future jars. It’s also a good idea to wipe down the exterior of the jar, especially near where the rings were in place, to minimize bacterial growth.