Canning 101: Using Good Water

February 16, 2011(updated on March 31, 2022)

Using filtered water, like that you can get from a Mavea water filter, improves and taste and experience of your jams, pickles, and jellies.

mavea elemaris

As many of you have come to know, water is often a primary player in canning. Most pickling recipes call to dilute vinegar by half. We can whole fruit by making a syrup of sugar and water. When I want to include an intense flavor (like ginger) in a preserve, I blend it with some water before squeezing it through some cheesecloth to get a potent little brew.

In all of these recipes, I make a point of using filtered water. Preparing fruits and vegetables for canning is often a process of cooking down and concentrating your ingredients. I really don’t want to concentrate any extra crud or crap in my finished product. I live in an older apartment building, so who knows what kinds of funky particulate matter is in the H2O that comes out of my tap? It’s just one of those steps I like to take to ensure that the quality of my product is as good as I can make it when I go to open those jars six or eight months later.

Edited to add: There’s been a little confusion in the comments. I don’t use filtered water in my processing pot. I only use it IN the canning recipes. Regular tap water is fine for the outside of the jars.

elemaris box

For most of my adult life, I’ve been a Brita water filter user. Recently, I had an opportunity to try the new Elemaris filter and I really like it. It’s made by Mavea (which is part of Brita), is entirely BPA-free and the filters are recyclable. It has a meter on top that tells you when the filter is due for a refill and the lid is designed so that you can simply position it under the tap and fill, no need to remove a piece or flip open a flap. They’ve even created a nifty blog called Inspired Water to help spread the word about this product.

Disclosure: Mavea gave me that black Mavea water filter you see above. I’ve also filmed a series of canning videos with them that will be appearing in the next few weeks. No money has changed hands and I wouldn’t say nice things about their pitcher if I’d didn’t genuinely like it.

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583 thoughts on "Canning 101: Using Good Water"

  • I like my dihydrogen oxide (H20) straight up, either in a glass or reusable metal or otherwise nonBPA container. Oh, and filtered is my preference unless it is NYC water, mainly because I dislike the chlorine taste and smell in most tap waters.

  • My favorite way is from the tap, here in Portland OR our water tastes great! otherwise from the water dispenser at work – so cold!

  • The best way to drink water is in herbal tea of course!
    Second best would be with some lemon and basil on a hot summer day.

  • I’ve been using brita for a couple of decades and boy oh boy what a difference. You can’t drink the tap water where I live, It’s nasty. I used to go through about 10 gallons of filtered water and I don’t miss lugging heavy water jugs. I’d LOVE a new pitcher, as my is OLD. I use my filtered water to drink as is, in my tea, when I make coffee, rice, ice cubes, etc, etc.

  • I keep a glass of filtered water on the kitchen counter all day, to sip on as I go by. But it’s so much better with a little flavor. I’ve been putting 2 T of home-canned blueberry or blackberry juice (unsweetened) in the water, and it gives me a bit of the good stuff from dark-colored fruits.

  • Mmm…water. I normally drink mine plain with a mug or a reusable bottle. Periodically I’ll go for some warm water.

  • I love to drink my water at room temperature so I can drink it fast. Usually drink it out of a reusable bottle but sometimes in a glass.

  • My favorite way to drink water is over ice in a tall glass with a sprig of field mint! Perfect refresher on a hot summer day!

  • I have a beautiful cut crystal pitcher I keep on my desk at work that holds about 40 oz of water that I drink through out the workday.

  • My husband and I were just discussing purchasing a Brita. Before we moved last summer, I was never without a glass of ice water at my side. Unfortunately, moving to a different water district means different water and I don’t like it. I don’t consider bottled water an option so I’ve been making tea (hot and cold) to try to mask the taste of our water. Whether I win or not, there’s definitely a purifying pitcher in my future!

  • I like my water crisp and cold from my stainless steel bottle. It just tastes better somehow. When I’m sick and congested, warm water with a couple of teaspoons of wildflower honey mixed in does wonders.

  • I try to drink as much plain water as I can remember every day, usually straight from the tap. The most water I consume every day is definitely in the form of tea!

  • All of the above. Only Yorkshire tea, though, it’s the best kind. I ADORE adding lemon juice to my water as well, it tastes just a little brighter and the Vitamin C is very helpful. 🙂

  • In the summer, it’s hard to beat a slice of cool cucumber. Maybe a bit of lemon and ginger if I’m feeling fancy.

  • I had never thought about the importance of the water in a canning recipe. Definitely food for thought.
    I love a very cold drink of water. no ice, just cold tap. Delicious.
    I would like to win and get a purple pitcher, please. 😉

  • My favorite way to drink water is with a few slices of cucumber. I used to use lemon, but i found it so tiring! Cucumber gives the water this fresh crisp taste without distracting from the water the way lemon can. If you haven’t tried it yet it is a must, everyone scoffed at my cucumber water but after trying it, all my friends now drink it too. Simply the best way to drink water.

  • Have to go with my most frequent way of drinking water- in my banged up metal bottle with a squeeze of fresh red grapefruit or fresh lemon juice- at least 6 of these per day!

  • My favorite way to drink water is probably in a large glass, with plenty of ice and a bit of lime or lemon. Usually, though, it’s out of my giant lidded cup from the hospital or from a metal reusable water bottle.

  • I’ve been home for 2 weeks with 3 out of 4 sick kiddos. So for my sweeties I make an infuson of Buckwheat honey, fresh sage sprigs, fresh meyer lemon slices and some juice in water and warm it. I love giving a bit of cookie to make it tea time too..hehe they get that liquid in them with out thinking about it they love water too. I found you from reading the urban homestead blog your a favortite there. I zoomed over and will continue to visit!


  • I like to drink tap water from a glass {either plastic or the real thing}. But I also have a Sigg with the special cap that is leak-proof, and pressure sensitive.
    But I am discovering lately that I really enjoy drinking through the straw on my reusable iced coffee cups.

  • We used to have a triple osmosis filter under our sink but my plumber yanked it out. According to him, unless you are compounding medications, you have no need for it. I’d like to filter a little out, but our well water is yummy.

    I love water – drink it out of the tap room temperature, and I really try to remember to bring my bottle with me.

  • I’m pretty happy with plain water. I’m lucky enough to live in an area where the water is pretty darned good. Lately I’ve been taking diluted tea to work – just enough flavor to change things up a little bit, at least to start the day. Then when the weak tea is gone, I fill the bottle back up with plain water.

    I’m also excited to find out that Britta recycles their filters! I can take the filters from the pot at work to Whole Foods or mail them straight back to Britta, and they become stuff like backyard benches and toothbrush handles!

  • I like my water at room temperature, straight from a BPA-free Intak bottle by Thermos- I can drink out of it all day and the water never takes on any funky plastic taste. My 4 y.o. daughter is a water hound, and she likes hers ice cold. We keep a pitcher of Pur faucet-filtered water in the fridge for her and my husband.

  • I love to use filtered water in my morning smoothie – water, spinach, flax, frozen blueberries, strawberries, banana, pineapple, and a little stevia for sweetner…YUM! This is my “red bull” of choice! I also only drink water all day – never soda or caffeine drinks!

  • My favorite way to drink water is the same way as my Grandmother–who lived to a feisty 93 and Aunt Irma–an elegant 97 at her death last year. They each started their morning with a mug of hot, steaming water. Sure, you can add lemon or a shot of Bragg’s vinegar, but I like to go classic and I often give a little toast to this healthy, stalwart women,

  • I just like it in a big white mug. I don’t like carrying flasks around, and I don’t buy bottled water so I have mugs at home and at work.

    Once in a while, if I’m feeling fancy and I have some extra lemons, I’ll pop a lemon slice in it.

  • I drink my water in my homemade kombucha! I’ve noticed a change in the flavor since I moved into a new place with different water, too.

  • I just found this delightful blog recently and have already made the ginger syrup (delicious, btw!) I look forward to making many more things!

    My favorite way to drink water? There isn’t one. I despise drinking water, even though I know I should!

  • Iced tea and lots of it. I also enjoy water with a bit of cranberry juice added. I also use water for coffee and my husband likes it straight up on the rocks :). We would truly love to have a water filter unit. Thanks for the giveaway

  • I love my water in a large red wine glass, ice-cold with fresh lemon and lime wedges squeezed in it. It’s such a delicious way to enjoy a class of water. It feels decadent during dinner!

    Also, I love a raspberry Emergen-C in my trusty stainless steel water bottle when I’m at work. It’s a great afternoon pick me up.

    I love your site!!!

  • I drink a lot of water since I quit drinking sodas. I prefer ice cold filtered water with ice. At times I like Crystal Light Peach Tea or hot green tea also. My old Brita gets quite a workout.