Ordinary jars that you buy at the supermarket for products as diverse as olives to sauces to pickles, from brands such as IXL, HomeBrand and Raguletto can be recycled for preserving use..
Safe preserving requires new lids for a more reliable seal, and for a vacuum to be achieved when processing and you will often read that normal jars are not suitable for the purpose. This is because the seal on the bottom of the lid can deteriorate through acids in the food or just due to being stored for a period of time.
This problem is overcome by using new lids.
The button on the "Pop Top" lids acts as a vacuum guide, if the "pop top" does not stay down straight after cooling you do not have a safe seal, and you should refrigerate the product and eat it soon.
Some lids do not have a "Pop Top", but there is a clear indication of the vacuum, with a slight concave appearance of the lid when the seal has been successful. If the bottle has not sealed successfully it will have a flat appearance. A useful way to test is to put the straight edge of a ruler on top of the lid: with a good seal it will not sit flush on the lid.
NOTE: whilst new lids assist in giving a better seal, note that the jars are still not heavy duty preserving bottles made of tempered glass. Therefore, we only recommend using twist top lids for jams, sauces, pickles and chutneys that only requiring processing times of 10 -15 minutes. Longer processing times and more exposure to heat risk bottle breakages.
The best way to measure what size lid you will need is to measure your old lids. Turn the lid over, and measure from the inside edge across the widest point of the lid to the inside edge on the other side.
Hand wash only. Do not put in dishwasher. Dry thoroughly immediately after use to avoid corrosion.