Canning 101: Is Condensation Inside Sealed Jars Safe?

October 29, 2014(updated on October 3, 2018)

plum jam

Like so many Canning 101 posts that have come before, this week’s post is prompted by a handful of emailed questions I’ve gotten recently. People have been writing to ask about the condensation droplets on the undersides of their mason jar lids. Is it safe, they wonder?

It is entirely normal to have a few drops of moisture on the underside of freshly processed mason jar lids. You experience condensation when warm, moist air is cooled. The cooling air doesn’t have the same capacity for water vapor as the warm air, so the water transforms back into its liquid state. It just makes sense to see some drops of liquid inside the jar.

It is not a sign that your jars are spoiling or that some water from the canning pot leaked into the finished product. Typically, the condensation will eventually reintegrate into the product. If it doesn’t, it’s still not a sign that it is spoiling. As long as the seal is still good and the product doesn’t look significantly altered, all is well.

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48 thoughts on "Canning 101: Is Condensation Inside Sealed Jars Safe?"

  • Thanks so much for the timely post! I canned beets over the weekend and there was some condensation and I was wondering if there was an issue! My cans are sealed and have no leaks! This makes me feel much better! Love your blog! Thanks!

  • I just wanted to tell you that I love your Canning 101 posts (and the rest of them, really)! I got into canning a few months ago, and your blog is an excellent resource for all those little things no one remembers to tell a beginner. Your books are both on my Amazon wish list for the holidays!

  • Can you tell me why when I think my soup has sealed bcz of indentation of lids a few days later you hear the ping and it is not sealed at all?? Is the food that has set there for a couple days with the lid indented good? I have been trying to can vegetable beef soup as well as chili. Please could you send an answer to my email please??

    Thank you so much and God Bless you.


    1. Rita, are you pressure canning your soup? Because that’s the only safe way to preserve low acid foods like soup and chili. If the jars are unsealing, then you’ve not processed the jars correctly. I’d suggest you contact your local extension service.

  • Thank you for that I was concerned that the condensation was a sign that it had not sealed properly even though the lids are secure.

  • Is botulism a big concern with habenero pepper jelly. I followed all the steps and my jars are sealed but this is my first time and I’m worried. Please email me.

  • I just made peach jam with just peaches and sugar. I opened one jar today (2 days later) and it took some effort to remove the seal. Now it didn’t have a loud popping sound when I removed it – not sure If it has to. I found some moisture under the lid – water droplets. how much water is ok? I did them with my mom and followed her method of canning which is placing the hot jam into very hot jars from oven. Seal and leave. I am concerned that the jam will go bad, if not already.

    1. It doesn’t have to make a loud sound when the lid is removed. And while your mom’s sealing method isn’t the one most often recommended, it is effective in producing a seal. If your jars spoil, you will be able to see or smell the spoilage immediately. If you don’t see signs of mold or the bubbling of fermentation activity, it is fine.

    1. It’s very unusual for water to leak into jars from the canning pot into mason jars. But if it does happen, you need to discard the contents of the jars.

  • Hello and thank you for the time you take to share all this expertise. I have searched for an answer to my question and not found one yet. I canned several jars of super hot roasted tomatoes and they sealed well. However, a few of them are only half full. Is that a problem? I wonder if all that air at the top of the jar could cause spoilage. Thanks again.

    1. Did they lose liquid during processing or did you can them half full? If they were full to start and lost liquid during the water bath process, they should be okay. If you started them half full, they might have spoilage issues going forward.

  • Thank you Marisa,
    I canned them half full – there wasn’t enough to fill a jar to the top. They sealed well. Would you recommend that I open them all and make full jars out of the half ones and then can them?

  • Hi there. I dry canned hamburger patties with parchment paper in between each pattie. The first time I did it, I could only get three 4 oz patties in, with about 1/ 4 of the jar left unused. Is that okay? The second time I did it, i was better at it and managed four 4 oz patties- Are the pint jars that are 3/4 full going to be okay?

    1. Unfortunately, canning meat is outside my area of expertise. You want to reference the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

  • My freshly canned dry oatmeal has a small amount of condensation inside the top side of the jar. Will this be ok? Or cause problems?

  • Hello,

    I just wanted to know if can I open the (latch) mason jar of blueberry jam that I made for the first time yesterday to wipe off the condensation of the lid? Will it be ok to close it and put it in the fridge?

    1. If you open the jar, you’ll break the seal and it won’t be shelf stable anymore. As long as you’re okay with that, it’s fine to do what you’ve suggested.

  • I canned green beans over a week ago and some of the jars lost water and there is condensation inside the top of the jar. I have 16 pints sitting right next to them that have no condensation in them. Will they be ok?

    1. It’s normal to have some interior liquid loss and condensation. As long as you canned them using the proper process (pressure canner if they were canned in water, boiling water bath if pickled), they are fine.

  • I live in Florida where the humidity is always high I’m trying to dry kidney beans for the first time and after they sit for about five minutes after the top pops down I’m getting moisture on the inside of the jar what do I do please help

    1. I’m not entirely sure what exactly you’re trying to do. You’ve dried your own kidney beans but once you put them in jars, they develop condensation?

  • This is great information! I just canned some cranberry apple jam and I hadn’t seen any condensation before with my previous 2 jams.

    Thank you Miss Marisa.

  • Wife dry canned pinto beans today and followed the instructions to a T used a 32 oz Ball mason jar and had condensation inside afterwards. What did she do wrong? Is this batch compromised?

  • We have dulce de leche processed in pressure cooker, but during cooling process in room temperature we have found some moisture inside.
    What is the beat way to removed it with out opening the jar?
    Is the product safe because we’ve seen some minor change in color of dulce de leche.

    1. There are no safe methods for preserving dulce de leche at home. I cannot comment on the product you made. So sorry!

  • I canned quart jars of spaghetti sauce yesterday. This morning the jars are full of condensation. Lids are sealed. Is this normal. It was hot day and cool evening. Will these spoil sooner ? Also the jars weren’t completely full

    1. I think your bigger issue is that the jars are not completely full. You should never process jars with improper headspace. That has a higher chance of causing spoilage than condensation in your jars.

  • Please help.. I have dry canned rice. After canning, there was condensation in the bottle.. My shook the bottle. Was that wrong? I’m concerned that the rice will now stick to the top and bacteria will start growing?

  • I dry canned 12 mason jars of pinto beans. The first six show no sign of condensation inside the already heated and sealed beans. The second batch a few of them do and I was careful to dry them, etc. Are they ok or should I undo them and store them in pappepr bags! What to do.

    1. I’d wait and see if the condensation goes away in a few days. If it doesn’t, you probably want to open them up to prevent them from getting moldy.

    1. If the condensation doesn’t reabsorb within 24 hours, you need to reopen and recan. Otherwise, the food will become moldy.

  • The water inside my can carrots bottle was clear for the first 3 weeks ,now the water turned foggy,,what going on.
    Thank you in advance

    1. I don’t have enough detail to answer your question. How were the carrots processed? Did you include anything in the liquid?

  • I canned apple butter over the weekend, I did a water bath and adjusted the time for my altitude which ended up being 20 minutes. They are all sealed but have water droplets on the inside of the jar, are these safe or is there an increased risk of botulism? This in my first time canning Apple butter so I’m very concerned that I may have done something wrong. Any insight would be most helpful.