How to Can Water for Long Term Storage

Water is one of the essentials of disaster preparedness, but if you don’t store it properly, bacteria can grow in your containers, the containers can deteriorate and leech plastic into the water, or it will mold.

Now, canning water might sound kind of silly, but given it’s a natural substance that’s subject to a sort of spoilage, canning it is actually an awesome way to store it, because you can seal the water off in a sterile environment, and, if done correctly, it can keep indefinitely.

You pretty much just need proper canning jars to do it. Half-gallon jars are probably best but you can do quart. Keep in mind that this manner of storing water might end up being rather expensive for you, if you do buy all the canning jars, but it is also an incredibly safe way to store water so it’s worth knowing about for sure.

What you need:

  • Quart or half-gallon canning jars and lids (make sure you have real canning jars with lids that seal, not just canning-style decorative jars)
  • A large container to boil water, like a stock pot or dutch oven
  • Clean drinking water
  • Towel and flat surface for jars to cool


  1. Fill your pot with water and bring to a boil
  2. Boil the water for five minutes
  3. Meanwhile, sterilize your canning jars (without the lids) in an oven preheated to 175, or wash in the dishwasher so that they will still be hot from the wash when you plan to fill them with the boiled water.
  4. So, to be clear, once you’re ready to fill the jars, they should still be hot and the water should have just finished at least five minutes of boiling.
  5. Dip a heat-safe measuring cup or stainless steel ladle into the boiled water and fill the jars up, leaving about 1/2 ” of space below the rim.
  6. Spread out your towel on the surface you plan on cooling the jars.
  7. Each time you fill a jar, tighten it to finger tip tightness and turn over onto the towel.
  8. As they cool like this, the seals will tighten. Leave overnight to cool and seal, and in the morning, when you turn them right side up, check to make sure the lids have properly sealed. If you can bend the lid at all, they’re not properly sealed.
  9. Mark them with the date and store in a dry, cool place.

It’s that simple! A very easy and safe way to store water. You might try doing a batch of a dozen every month, and in no time, you’ll have a good stash of safe drinking water for emergencies.

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