Are baby food jars reusable? (+11 different uses for baby food jars)
Reusing jars is a large part of living zero waste. So I got to thinking, are baby food jars reusable? I found the answer to that, as well as some important things to note when using the jars. If you're planning on making your own baby food, here's what you should know about reusing baby food jars.
Are baby food jars reusable? Baby food jars are reusable if you're not planning on freezing, or heating the jars. Unless the baby food jars are labeled as "freezer-safe," they risk cracking with temperature change. If the jar cracks, microscopic shards of glass could contaminate the food.
If you were hoping to freeze your homemade baby food, you can get these 4oz Ball mason jars. They can be in the freezer for up to 1 year, in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, and can be used for canning. The 4oz Ball mason jar is a perfect container for homemade baby food.
Now that we know what you can't use reusable baby food jars for, let's look into the first step of reusing them. Here's how to clean baby food jars (including how to remove the sticky residue from labels).
How to clean glass food jars
To reuse baby food jars, the first thing you'll want to do is clean it well. One of the most common issues with cleaning glass, is getting the label glue off. The following is a fantastic guide to removing label glue from glass jars by Creek House Line.
- Mix 1 tbsp of baking soda and 1 tbsp of cooking oil (per baby food jar)
- Rub the mixture on the label glue on the jar, make sure you completely cover the sticky residue
- Leave the mixture on for 30 minutes.
- Rub with an abrasive scrubber such as steel wool
- Wash well with soap, water, and scrub with a brush if needed
Now that the label glue is off, it's time to clean the jar and lid. To clean a baby food jar in between uses, you can put it on the top rack of your dishwasher with the mouth-side facing down.
But before you do a regular clean, let's go over how to sterilize your baby food jars. Here's a fantastic guide from Nature Code on how to sterilize your glass jars and lids.
- Wash the jars thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinse then dry
- Place the jars into a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. To finish off, drain the water and dry
- Place the glass jars in the dishwasher on a hot cycle
- Sterilize the metal seals in boiling water for 5 minutes then leave to dry
Now that we know how to remove the label glue, sterilize the jars, and how to sterilize the lids, let's look into some different uses for baby food jars.
How to reuse baby food jars (11 ways)
Baby food jars can be used for so much more than storing store bought baby food! After you're done sterilizing the jar, here's 11 ideas for you to reuse your baby food jars.
- Poke holes in the lid, store spices in the jar
- Use it as zero waste play-dough storage
- Could be used as a snack container to hold nuts, grapes, granola, yoghurt, etc.
- Store homemade baby food in your old baby food jars
- Fill your baby food jars with condiments for camping or on-the-go
- Keep homemade zero waste toothpaste in your baby food jar
- Use your jar as a toothbrush holder
- Store reusable cloth face pads in your jar
- Use the jars as small portion cups for hot chocolate
- Use a thumbtack to poke holes in the lid, and use the baby food jar as a salt or pepper shaker
- The jar can be used for a homemade zero waste candle
The list for what you can use baby food jars for is endless. If you want more ideas, here's a list of 50 different ways you can reuse your baby food jars!
Did you learn how to sterilize your jars, or get a new idea on how to reuse your baby food jars from this article? If you did, please consider sharing this blog post on social media! That way, others can learn something new too.