Canning water is a simple process and an important way for you to be prepared in case of power outages or emergencies.
Why can water?
I know what you are thinking. This woman has lost her mind. It is true. You can buy bottled water just about everywhere now. The thing is, have you ever tried to buy water when the weather man announces that you have a big storm coming and they are predicting power outages?
Then it is not so easy to find. Is it? Or at the beginning of 2020 when there were shortages of just about everything. You couldn’t find much water then either.
The other thing that you may not think about is that the bottled water in plastic degrades over time. If you look at the date on a bottle of water, it is usually only year before the date is expired.
Another huge plus that’s a result of you bottling your own water is that you are eliminating all of the plastic waste that is literally choking our planet. Win-win situation!
Lastly, canning water is ridiculously easy. Instead of just canning a large batch of water, which is of course doable, you can can a few jars at a time when your canning pot is not full of other canned goodies.
That way, you can build up your stores a few jars at a time. This water is perfect for home storage. It will last for a very long time.
If you were to just fill jars or plastic containers with water, within a few months the water would taste “off” and flat.
New to canning? Start with our comprehensive article on “How to Can Everything“. It will walk you through all of the dos and don’ts related to canning.
How much water you need
FEMA suggests that you should have a gallon of clean, potable water, per person, per day, for drinking and sanitation. They suggest that you have enough on hand for several days.
What you need
- pressure canner or water bath canning pot
- quart or half gallon jars
- lids and bands
How to can water in a water bath canning pot
Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water. Get your water bath canning pot heated up. Place jars in the water to heat up before adding hot water.
- Fill a separate pot with water. Heat over high heat. Boil water for 10 minutes. Maintain a full rolling boil.
- Fill jars using a glass measuring cup or something similar or ladle hot water into hot jars with the aid of a canning funnel
- Remove air bubbles if necessary using a plastic spatula or a wooden or plastic chopstick. Run it around the inside edge of the jar. Wipe jar rims.
- Center lids. Screw on bands fingertip tight.
- Let water in your boiling water canner come to a boil. Process jars of water for 20 minutes. Set a timer so that you can keep track of the time. Remove from heat. Allow jars to cool in pot for 5-10 minutes.
Remove jars from canning pot. Let cool. After 12 hours, check seal. Any jars that have not sealed can be used right away.
How long will canned water last?
Canned water will last at least a year. The water is probably safe after that period but the taste may go downhill and it may taste flat or tinny.
Some sites are advocating shaking up the water before drinking which will aerate it a bit.
I have also seen sites advocating using previously used lids. I have done this and have seen no problem with the water even after a year. Use lids that do not have any rust and the seals look good and are intact. Don’t use any lids that the seals are showing signs of wear or nicks. If the jars don’t seal with the previously used lids, it is no great loss.
You can also use new lids
Recycle your water after it is past date by watering plants, shrubs or pets, instead of throwing it down the drain.
What if you have hard water or don’t like your water?
If you have really hard water, or you do not like the taste of your water, try boiling the water for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool. Then try drinking the boiled water.
Do you like the flavor of your water now? Boiling will remove lots of minerals and may result in a better tasting water.
Try adding a water filtration system to your home.
If you have sulfur flavor in your water, it can be more difficult to remove. Aerators can be effective but may not always make a a marked difference.
Activated carbon filters may help with the removing the sulfur taste as well.
If you have tried the above methods and still your water is unpalatable, it’s probably best to find another source of water for canning. A friend or relative may help.
Pro- Tip: When canning, choose a reputable source for your recipe. The National Center for Home Food Preservation is one and the other is the USDA Complete Guide to Canning.
All of the recipes on this site are based on one or both of these trusted sources. We just do a more thorough job showing you how to do it, step by step.
Tools you need
- Water bath canning pot or pressure canning pot
- half gallon, quart or pint jars
- canning tool set
Other canning recipes
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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today!
Enjoy. And have fun cooking!
Canning Water | How to Can Water
- 28 cups water
- Add the rack to your boiling water bath canning pot. Place the pot on the stove on your largest burner after filling with water. Start the water heating in your canning pot. Water level should be 1-2" over the tops of the jars
- Start another large pot with fresh tap water boiling. Once boiling, reduce heat slightly and boil for 10 minutes.28 cups water
- Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water. Check jars for any nicks or cracks. Check canning lids for imperfections in the sealing compound or nicks, rust, etc. Rinse well.
- Heat jars. I usually heat them in the canning pot since that has to heated anyway.
- Once the water in the second pot has boiled for 10 minutes, Fill jars, one at a time with a glass measuring cup, or the like. Leave ½" headspace (the space between the water and the rim of the jar).
- Center lids on jars. Screw bands on bands fingertip tight.
- Add filled jars to canning pot with jar lifter.
- Process jars for 10 minutes for pint or quart jars, below 1000 ft above sea level. See notes below.
- After letting the jars sit in the canner, with the lid off for 5 minutes, using a jar lifter to carefully lift them from your canning pot. Place the hot jars on a kitchen towel, on the counter in an area where they will be undisturbed for at least 12 hours.
- Check seals. Press down in the middle of lid. If it flexes the jar isn't sealed and should be used first.
Thanks so much for sharing this idea!!! My husband dislikes bottled water; however, I need to have drinking water on hand due to power outages. There have been times that we are without power for a week because we live in a rural location. Also, I am new to pressure canning; today I am canning my first bach ever; I only did 4 pints this time to see if I like a recipe. If I had read this a few hours earlier, I would have tried this today!!!
Pam in Texas
I’m so glad it was helpful Pam. We are in upstate NY so we’re no strangers to power outages! I hate bottled water too. It tastes like plastic!
We have hard water and I usually add a splash of vinegar to the water when water bath canning anything to avoid mineral buildup on the outside of the jars. If I can water, can I add a little vinegar to the drinking water so I don’t have mineral buildup inside the jars?
I have really hard water too. I always add white vinegar to my canning pot when I can too but I have never added it to canned water. We love the flavor of our water, it just forms the build-up. If you like the taste of your water, I wouldn’t bother. I think the flavor of the water will be “off” if you add it to the water that you can. does that make sense?
This is such a great idea. I always have the canning pot half full of stuff. Now I can fill it up with water. We live in the Adirondacks and are always losing power so our well pump doesn’t work. Thanks!
I’m glad the article was of use to you Mary Alice! I always fill my pot too! Thanks for your comment.