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.
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
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, boil water for 10 minutes.
- Fill jars using a glass measuring cup or something similar.
- Center lids. Screw on bands fingertip tight.
- Let water in canning pot come to a boil. Process jars of water for 20 minutes. 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.
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.
Tools you need
Other recipes for water bath canning
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Canning Water | How to Can Water
- 28 cups water
- Start the water heating in your canning pot.
- Start another large pot with fresh water boiling. Once boiling, reduce heat slightly and boil for 10 minutes.
- Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water. 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.
- Center lids on jars. Tighten 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.