White film on your jar? It could be your water.

Water FaucetWhen it comes to canning, everyone focuses on food, mixes, cans, equipment – and ignores the water.  But not all water is the same, as evidenced by this latest reader question.

And, of course, if you have a question, let me know through my website or post it on my Facebook page.  I’ll email an answer to you (if possible) and post my answers here and on Facebook.

Now, about that water problem …

Q. Why do some of my canning jars after a water bath process have a hard white water film on them?  The jars seal and I have a good product but it looks bad.

A. You may have hard water. Try adding a small amount of vinegar (about a ¼ cup) to the boiling water in the water bath.

4 thoughts on “White film on your jar? It could be your water.

  1. I have purchased packages of Dill Pickle mix. Followed directions and pickles are soft and strong tasting. What did I do wrong?

    • If you made sure to cut 1/16 inch from the BLOSSOM end of the cucumber, that helps with the softness. If you did that, it could be the variety of cucumbers or any of a number of other factors but I will tell you that home preserved pickles will be somewhat softer than those you buy that are under refrigeration commercially. Overprocessing can also be a factor so make sure that the boiling water bath canner is at a simmer before you add the prepared jars and quickly bring it to a boil to keep the time in the hot water bath the least amount of time possible.

      As for the strong taste – if you used cider vinegar, that will make the taste a little different. White vinegar at 5% acetic acid only in the amounts in the recipe are needed. Vinegar is one of the ingredients that make the product good – but for some of us the aroma and taste may be a little strong!

      I hope this helps…let us know if you have other problems. Happy canning!

  2. I just canned salsa. and a few of my jar lids and bands came out with a light/golosh, yellowish film on them. Mu Mom suggested vinegar in the water bath and the last batch came out shiny . She says it is minerals or something in the water…is this something u have ever heard of?

    I had such bad water in Modesto, CA that the Garlic in my pickles would turn Green or Blue-Green.. The County had some resources for me that said it was because of a lot of naturally occurring COPPER in the wells. I also found several sources that said it was not a health or safety problem, just cosmetic. I solved it mostly by using distilled water for my brine, however I found that the cucumbers raised in some areas near there already had copper too.
    I gave away a lot of something I called “Green Garlic Pickles.”

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