Melting Wax to Cover Jams

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Editor's Note: This practice is not considered safe anymore. ThriftyFun recommends using modern canning techniques instead.

Here's a note about this from an extension site: "Don't seal jelly products with paraffin wax. Over time, paraffin wax begins to pull back from the sides of the jar, creating openings where mold and yeast can enter and contaminate the product. Also, paraffin can catch on fire if overheated. If you detect mold growth, throw out the entire contents. Always seal jars of jelly products with a two-piece canning lid."


Source: NC Cooperative Extension

To melt paraffin neatly and easily while making jam, secure it in a plastic zipper bag and float it in the pot of hot water that's sterilizing your canning jars. When the wax is melted, open the bag about an inch and pour the hot wax right on top of your homemade jam. A real cool way to deal with hot wax.

By Raymonde from North Bay, Ontario

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By Cariboo Lady (Guest Post)
September 23, 20080 found this helpful
Top Comment

This old technique is considered to be NOT FOOD SAFE. It does not keep all impurities from entering the container. For short term use in the frig would be ok. But not to be trusted for long term use. Please be careful.

September 23, 20080 found this helpful

That is one sure fire technique!. Will save me a lot of cleanup.

By Anna (Guest Post)
September 24, 20080 found this helpful

It is no longer considered safe to preserve jelly or jam with just a paraffin wax coating.

September 24, 20080 found this helpful

Around here my jam disappears so fast that spoilage is the last concern. Thank you for a handier way to do things.


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March 2, 20120 found this helpful

I sometimes use paraffin when making a batch of refrigerator jam. Since we can only eat one jar at a time, and I don't want to freeze the rest, I will cover with paraffin before putting the lid on and putting the jar in the fridge.


It adds a little of extra protection to keep the air out (oxidation), keeps bacteria at bay, and makes the extra jars of jam last longer.


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