June 24, 2010

Why I Have Dishpan Hands



I hand wash all our blue jars. And some are pretty gross! I've found all sorts of barn refuse inside our jars. But I scrub and dry, then look closely, scrub some more, dry some more, and try to determine if our buyer will be happy or not when they pull this particular jar out of the box.

I'd say for every jar we send off to a new home, at least four are rejected. It can be very frustrating, especially when I'm trying to work quickly to fill orders. It can be quite disheartening to clean 20 jars (or more!) only to get five usable ones. In the jars pictured above, the pints were good, but the quart had a ding in the heel and had to be rejected.

The tools of the trade? A nice and strong Scotch-Brite Pad, a toothbrush, dishwashing soap, and vinegar. If you have any sticky residue on a jar (like tar or old jar rubber), soak it in pure vinegar awhile (maybe even overnight) and the stuff just falls off.

When all the frenzy hit last week, I started to complain a little. Melissa, our 16-year-old told me firmly, "I don't want to hear it. You brought this on yourself." Teenagers. Gotta love 'em.


  1. Hi Jena,

    Yeah, kids can be helpful that way! :) Thanks for showing before and after pictures. It is so cool to see how something so dirty can became a beautiful, decorative, and useful creation.

    I've got a question for you. Some of my jars have been washed in a dishwasher and have a kind of squeaky feel to them. Made especially known by the new ones you sent me which feel silky smooth; and the fact that I have added a quart to my water regimen. I am up to 88 oz of water a day now. Any way, It too is a freezer jar, and while I've been able to get the lime off of it so that it no longer has a film; it is still has a very dry squeaky feel. Is there a way to get the soft silky smooth feel back? If so, please educate me.

    FYI: We have a couple lime plants down in my neck of the woods, so all ball jars are now being washed my hands. My kids cheered and cheered...NOT!

    Thanks so much!

    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Valerie C

    PS: Keep the pictures coming! :)

  2. SIlly me! I meant to say "washed by hand" not "washed my hands" LOL!!

  3. Hi Valerie,

    You could try nail polish remover and a toothbrush or Scotch Brite pad to remove lime. It helps sometimes. Great question!

  4. Came here from the Country Living soap jar idea. Have you tried Bon Ami cleanser on your jars? It does not scratch glass. I use it on my glass block shower walls and it really works well. It's a natural cleanser made from feldspar. Hope this idea can give your hands a little rest.
    Another homeschool mom,

    :o) Diana in Seattle


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