Are Ball Mason Jars Dishwasher Safe? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ball mason jars are ideal for storage but they also make for an excellent alternative to standard drinking glasses. Luckily, it is perfectly fine to run your Ball mason jars through the dishwasher without fear of damaging them. Whether it be a new or vintage Ball mason jar, let’s take a look at what you should consider when you wash one.

Ball mason jars are basically hipster candy. They are perfect for canning your own applesauce, pickling things, and of course, adding a rugged form to drink your craft cocktails in your home. It’s no secret that a lot of the uses for Ball mason jars can get dirty, but the way that you can clean them isn’t as clear. If you have a dishwasher, you might be curious about the jar’s ability to withstand that safely.

Ball mason jars are dishwasher safe, and so are the lids. However, you might want to wash the lids by hand as they do wear down over time from detergents. Also, if you have a vintage mason jar, you may want to wash this by hand as well to avoid any possible etching.

It’s hard to imagine having to clean all those mason jars on your own. Thankfully, you don’t have to freak out about doing this alone. When you have a guide like ours, you know you’ll get to enjoy sparkling jars in no time.

How Dishwasher-Safe Are Ball Mason Jars?

The dishwasher safety levels of Ball jars all depend on how old they are. Modern jars made from the Ball company are designed to be dishwasher safe, even if the jets are pretty abrasive. Older mason jars can still withstand the high heat often used by dishwashers, but may not be able to handle the jets or scrubbing actions.

Note: If you can remove the wire bail entirely from the mason jar, then the jar is dishwasher-safe. Some of the older models do offer this feature, though not all do.

How Can You Tell If A Ball Mason Jar Isn’t Dishwasher Safe?

You can tell whether or not the jar is safe to wash by the inclusion of a wire bail in the build of the jar. Older models will have a wire bail, which is a small mechanism that’s meant to help lock or seal the jar. Newer models tend to be built without any type of wiring involved on the actual jar, which makes them more dishwasher-friendly.

How To Wash Ball Mason Jars In The Dishwasher

Now that we’ve gone over which types of jars are safe to put in the dishwasher, let’s talk about how to make sure that yours come out clean. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Before you put them in, wash the jars lightly. This is especially true if you have gunk clinging to the inside of the jar. Dishwashers aren’t meant to wash stuff that is literally glued to the plates.
  • Place the jars on the top shelf. This is ideal, but if you have to fit them on the bottom, it’s okay. Try to give them space.
  • Add dishwasher detergent. While you can use any detergent that you want, we strongly suggest going with a gentle cleaner. After all, mason jars are a little more delicate than they look. Glass-specific detergents are ideal.
  • Turn on the dishwasher and let the machine do its thing. Most settings will be fine with mason jars. They are heat-proof and heat shock-proof, ya know!

Why Do Wire Bails Make It Hard To Put Mason Jars In The Washer?

Wire bails were originally used to help seal the mason jars closed and were a staple among older Ball mason jar models. The problem is, they’re made of metal and not of metal that’s pretty good for the dishwasher, either. There are several reasons why jars with bails shouldn’t be put in the dishwasher. These include the following issues below:

  • Dishwashing detergent can be a little too caustic. Back in the olden days, manufacturers didn’t make mason jars with the concern of powerful detergents being used. This means that older mason jars had wire bails that were made with metals that don’t react well to caustic detergents like the ones used in dishwashers. If you put them in the wash, there’s a good chance the bail will rust.
  • The bails could shift around, causing etching. The glass might seem sturdy, but it’s still glass. Considering how much stuff gets jostled around in the dishwasher, it’s easy to see why the metal could scratch and scrape away the glass.
  • In extreme cases, the metal could whack the jar. If the force of the dishwasher’s jets are too much, it could actually make the metal crack the side of the glass.

Can You Put Ball Mason Jar Lids In The Dishwasher?

Believe it or not, Ball mason jar lids are perfectly alright in the dishwasher. This is because they are made to handle water well. The old way of canning actually required them to be boiled. Most people tend to put them in the top rack or in the utensil rack, if space allows for it. With that said, most people genuinely prefer to wash or boil these by hand.

The reason why handwashing them is preferred is due to the risk it comes with. While you can wash them, doing so runs the risk of causing the lids to rust. It’s up to you to decide whether or not it’s worth the risk.

How Do You Sterilize Mason Jars In The Dishwasher?

Before you can safely can and preserve any food in your mason jars, you will need to sterilize them. Thankfully, dishwashers make it easier than it once was. If you want to sterilize mason jars in the dishwasher, clean them using the instructions that we listed above. Then, run them through a heat dry cycle,

What To Do If A Dishwasher Damaged Your Mason Jar

Let’s say that you had a mason jar that was a little off-spec. Or maybe, your dishwasher was a wee bit too rough with the jar. You now have a crack or a chip in your jar. What can you do? Well, the truth is, not much. This is what you need to know about mason jar use post-chip:

  • You can use them as decorative holders. However, you probably should never put them in the dishwasher. If your mason jar was chipped, we don’t suggest using them as drinkware since you might accidentally swallow glass.
  • Do not attempt to use them for canning again. Like ever. A hairline crack makes the glass a liability for an explosion, since air in the crack will expand. Unless you want to deal with flying glass, do not try this.
  • Glass mason jars are recyclable. If you have no use for a new vase or anything like that, the best thing you can do is bring them to your local recycling center.

Related Questions

What happens if you don’t sterilize mason jars before you use them for canning?

Sterilizing mason jars is a must, simply because it gets rid of any mold and bacteria that could be in the jar. If you can foods without sterilizing the jar first, you will most likely end up with fungus or bacteria growing inside the jar. This renders the food inedible, or at the very least, a major health hazard.The good news is that sterilizing mason jars isn’t that hard to do. You can sterilize them in the dishwasher, or just boil them for five minutes or so. It’s just that simple!

Is rust on mason jar lids toxic?

Rust isn’t really toxic per se, it’s just iron oxide. However, that doesn’t mean that you should use rusty can lids when you’re trying to preserve food. The acid in your food runs the risk of eating through the jar’s lid. Should the rust end up getting eaten away, the seal in your canning might end up being broken. This can turn your can into a food safety hazard.

Why did my mason jars rust?

In most cases, the reason why your mason jars rusted is due to storage in a humid environment. The more humid the environment, the more likely it is that you will have your jars rust. Long-term storage, regular washing in a dishwasher, and using caustic substances to clean your lids can all cause a buildup of rust as time passes.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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