How to sterilize BB jars at home?

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WildIris

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I bought a body butter base to make a quick gift, but I've not done this before so I want to test out how to do this before gift giving. The last thing I want to to do is give someone a gift of bacteria.

I was wondering if I could stick the mason jars I bought for this test in the oven at over boiling temp. of 212 degrees for 20 min. to sterilize. I can put the lids and ring into the oven also. I can clean my work space, tools, bowls, etc. with 5% bleach solution. An alternative to cleaning tools and work space?

Am I missing anything? Thanks.
 

Guspuppy

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'cooking' jars in the oven won't really do anything to sterilize. Better to submerge the jars in water and bring to a boil for several minutes. If you don't have a large canning pot you can do one or two at a time in a soup pot. I've even sterilized jars in a roasting pan with them lying on their sides being turned through the boiling water. Just make sure not to put cold jars into boiling water as they may shatter. If you need to rotate out several jars you can preheat the next batch with hot water from the faucet before submerging in boiling water. Boil the lids too, but you don't really need to sterilize the rings as they don't touch the product. (At least, I don't sterilize the rings when canning food, just jars and lids.)
 

Navaria

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You an also use a dishwasher as long as you heat dry them, or you could liberally spray with 91% rubbing alcohol. Or even give them the same bleach bath you give the rest of your tools. Just make sure you rinse them well and let them air dry.
 

newbie

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If you have a pressure cooker, that works best and you'd boil the jars for a minimum of 20 min at 15 pounds of pressure. The bleach solution should work but I would soak them. Apparently 70% rubbing alcohol is better for getting rid of fungal spores than 91%, but both concentrations work for bacteria.
 

TeresaT

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This is interesting. What I'd like to know (as a home canner) how would the jars and lids maintain their sterility once they've been sterilized? If WildIris does the boiling or pressure canning method, the jars and lids are going to have to be placed somewhere to (1) dry before being filled and (2) to "wait their turn" before being filled. So where will that be and how will s/he prevent bacteria and/or mold spores from contaminating the sterilized items? I would guess (based on my own canning experience) putting the sterilized jars into a warm oven to dry and remain at a hot (therefore "sterilizing") temperature would prevent the unwanted nasties from inhabiting them; however, what will it do to the product's stability? (I don't make that stuff, I'm just curious.) Will the lotions, balms and butters have to be put into the jars at a heated temperature so the jar doesn't shatter? (My applesauce does. Big mess if not.) If the jars and lids don't get put into a hot oven to maintain their sterility, say they're turned onto a clean (but not sterile) towel to dry/store until filled, what's the point in sterilizing in the first place? (I guess you would only have four germs instead of four thousand, but that's still four germs that will multiply in the product...) Once the product is placed in the jar and the lid screwed on tight, is that it? Are you done or do you have to "process" the product (like I do with my applesauce even though it is cooked and the jars have already been sterilized) to seal the lids or do they seal themselves? The whole process seems fascinating. I never really thought about it.
 

WildIris

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TeresaT~
After some research I concluded that I am going to put jars, rings, and lids in the oven to kill bacteria. The same process I use when preparing jars for canning. When canning, the jars and their contents are heated to boiling and maintained for a prescribed amount of time to kill bacteria inside the canning jar. For body butter I am only going to be able to kill bacteria in the jar for the initial body butter pour. From what I've read, the body butter must cool uncovered. I can only spray the lid and ring with alcohol in hopes than no bacteria finds its way into the jars. So long as no water is introduced into the body butter production, this should not be an issue. Once the jar is open and used it is fair game.
 

Susie

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Several of the lid manufacturers changed their seal material a few years back. You may want to read the directions for the temperature range before putting those into the oven or boiling them. I don't remember the exact info, just remember that I messed a whole batch up by over heating them.
 

Barbsbreakingbath

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Sanitizing

You an also use a dishwasher as long as you heat dry them, or you could liberally spray with 91% rubbing alcohol. Or even give them the same bleach bath you give the rest of your tools. Just make sure you rinse them well and let them air dry.
Actually most people recommend the 70% alcohol, as the 90% dries too quickly to inflict maximum damage damage on the beasties. Another case where more isn't necessarily better.
 

IrishLass

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This is interesting. What I'd like to know (as a home canner) how would the jars and lids maintain their sterility once they've been sterilized?
Unless you use an autoclave and/or work in what is known as a 'clean room', all the boiling and bleaching, etc.. that we do is only 'sanitizing' at best, not sterilizing. And as soon as a sanitized (or even a truly sterilized) jar or lid, etc.. hits the air in our home kitchens, or when they are set down on what we 'think' is a clean paper towel on our washed counter, they are no longer as clean as they were just a few seconds previous, because germs/bacteria are everywhere. lol When we clean or sanitize our jars, we're just making sure things are as clean as we possibly can get them in order to reduce germs and give our products a fighting chance at having longer shelf-life than they would otherwise.

I use StarSan to sanitize all my B&B stuff. It's a very effective (and quickly-working) sanitizer that is used by many of those who brew their own beer at home for sanitizing their beer bottles and equipment. As a personal testimony to how well it works, I've lately started to also use it to sanitize any jars or containers I use for food storage, i.e., leftovers or homemade food items I make. Anyway, one of the things I love to make is clotted cream (to go with my scones), and although I store it in a clean (normally washed/dried) jar in the fridge, it doesn't have a very long shelf-life...just 2 weeks at the very uttermost. But, if I sanitize my jar with StarSan right before I put the clotted cream into it, it lasts for at least 6 weeks or more. The last batch I made was March 26, and believe it or not, it's still good. Leftover meals lasts longer, too, if I sanitize the leftovers container with StarSan first.


IrishLass :)
 

TeresaT

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Unless you use an autoclave and/or work in what is known as a 'clean room', all the boiling and bleaching, etc.. that we do is only 'sanitizing' at best, not sterilizing. And as soon as a sanitized (or even a truly sterilized) jar or lid, etc.. hits the air in our home kitchens, or when they are set down on what we 'think' is a clean paper towel on our washed counter, they are no longer as clean as they were just a few seconds previous, because germs/bacteria are everywhere. lol When we clean or sanitize our jars, we're just making sure things are as clean as we possibly can get them in order to reduce germs and give our products a fighting chance at having longer shelf-life than they would otherwise.

I use StarSan to sanitize all my B&B stuff. It's a very effective (and quickly-working) sanitizer that is used by many of those who brew their own beer at home for sanitizing their beer bottles and equipment. As a personal testimony to how well it works, I've lately started to also use it to sanitize any jars or containers I use for food storage, i.e., leftovers or homemade food items I make. Anyway, one of the things I love to make is clotted cream (to go with my scones), and although I store it in a clean (normally washed/dried) jar in the fridge, it doesn't have a very long shelf-life...just 2 weeks at the very uttermost. But, if I sanitize my jar with StarSan right before I put the clotted cream into it, it lasts for at least 6 weeks or more. The last batch I made was March 26, and believe it or not, it's still good. Leftover meals lasts longer, too, if I sanitize the leftovers container with StarSan first.


IrishLass :)

Where do you buy this miracle potion and can you clean floors and counters with it?
 

IrishLass

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I buy StarSan at my local home-brewing supply store.

When using it, just be careful to read the dilution directions and be mindful of what kind of surfaces it comes into contact with, and/or how long you let it sit on said surfaces at concentrated strengths..... such as painted surfaces or finished countertops, etc... because of its very low pH (below 3).

For example, I have one or two little rough spots the size of a grain of rice on the surface finish of my kitchen counter where a few small, concentrated drops of it spilled and I didn't see them in time to dilute them/wipe them off before the damage was done.

From what I understand from the manufacturer, it has a buffer in it that helps to delay the onset of any damage taking place to vulnerable surfaces if the spill is diluted in time.

Having said all of that, it works wonderfully on the surfaces of all my soaping, B&B, and food gear made of plastic, silicone, glass, and stainless steel.


IrishLass :)
 

Dahila

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Actually most people recommend the 70% alcohol, as the 90% dries too quickly to inflict maximum damage damage on the beasties. Another case where more isn't necessarily better.
Actually 91% alcohol is not so effective as 71 which stays longer on surface. 91 evaporates to quickly to be effective, When you get it from supplier you just spray it and wipe. when you reuse your jars be careful and wash them well. Dishwasher is changing the shape of them due the high temps. I wash them well , use a lot of ISA and good to go
 

madison

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I love to make is clotted cream (to go with my scones), and although I store it in a clean (normally washed/dried) jar in the fridge, it doesn't have a very long shelf-life...just 2 weeks at the very uttermost. But, if I sanitize my jar with StarSan right before I put the clotted cream into it, it lasts for at least 6 weeks or more. The last batch I made was March 26, and believe it or not, it's still good. Leftover meals lasts longer, too, if I sanitize the leftovers container with StarSan first.


IrishLass :)
Thank you for sharing your brilliant ideas . Do you like to share your scones and clotted cream recipes?
 

TeresaT

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Just curious, why do you want to sanitize your floor?
For me, my cats puke EVERYWHERE. Usually it's because they ate too fast and food comes up too. :(
Yup, what BattleGnome said. I've got three dogs. They drink and drip water and dog slime all over the place. If I spill something, I've got dogs fighting to "clean" it up before I can get a paper towel over there. So, no matter what I use, I never feel like my floors are really clean, even after cleaning them. I can't use bleach because it gives me a migraine. I use Mr Clean on the floors and Mean Green on the counter tops and rinse well. I was thinking of getting one of those steam floor sanitizers, but if there's a easier solution (pun intended) I'd rather go with that. And if it doubles as a sanitizer for my soaping stuffs, wahoo!
 

IrishLass

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Thank you for sharing your brilliant ideas . Do you like to share your scones and clotted cream recipes?
You're in luck- I already have! :) The recipes that I use for both are in this thread here, but make sure to scroll forward to post #13 if you want the recipe and instructions for genuine clotted cream (i.e., as opposed to the recipe/instructions' I posted in post #1 for my faux clotted cream experiment).

And for a really good gluten-free version of my scones, scroll forward to post #33 in the same thread.

Also, if you scroll forward to post #35, you'll see a pic of the quality and yield of clotted cream I'm able to get by using Trader Joe's house brand of Organic Heavy Whipping Cream...stocked in their refrigerated section. I specify that because they also sell an irradiated, non-refrigerated one in their regular aisles (don't use that one for clotted cream).

Anyway, the ingredients listed on the refrigerated one that I like to use are only "Organic Grade A Pasteurized Heavy Cream". There are no other ingredients listed, and it makes the best clotted cream and gives me the most yield out of all the different creams I have tried using.


IrishLass :)
 

Barbsbreakingbath

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Amazon will not ship star San to California, so I'm going to get to know my local brewing supply store. I tried this stuff called EZ CLEAN, which was recommended on Amazon. It's no-rinse, but it left a residue.
 

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