What is the Problem with Harvest Guard Reusable Canning Lids?

I've often recommended Harvest Guard reusable canning lids in the past (for example, in this post about how to use them), but today there is a big problem with this product that you need to know about.

Last week, Harvest Guard emailed certain influencers, myself included, about a production situation they'd recently discovered. I spoke about this on Facebook and Instagram, but now that I have more information, I want to make sure those of you on YouTube and the blog know about it, too.

Watch the video below for the details, or keep reading.

During the shutdowns, Harvest Guard was hit hard, as were so many other small businesses. Once they were able to reopen their factory, the people who manufactured the rubber gaskets for their lids could not find enough workers to produce the quantities Harvest Guard required. So Harvest Guard started searching for someone else to produce their gaskets. At last, they found someone who could, but it meant buying a huge quantity of stock - much more than they were used to buying at once. Still, wanting to keep their customers stocked with reusable canning lids, they made the deal.

Some time later, however, Harvest Guard learned that these new gaskets were not truly reusable; they were one-time use only. This means that after one use, the gaskets (like the rubber on standard canning lids made by the likes of Ball) get a big indentation in them where they seal against a canning jar. These indentations don't go away, so getting a second (or third or fourth) seal from them is iffy, at best. And if you do get a seal, there's no guarantee it won't come lose in the pantry.

So, Harvest Guard announced they were reducing the price of their gaskets and offering three instead of just one with every lid. They also said that going forward, they would only sell one-time use gaskets.

Of course, the first question most people had was: "Did I buy reusable gaskets from Harvest Guard that are really only one-time use?" Immediately, I emailed Harvest Guard about this. Just yesterday, they gave an answer. Yes, it is possible you got one-time se gaskets when you were attempting to by reusable ones.

The good news is, Harvest Guard is promising to give customers who erroneously ended up with one-time use gaskets replacement reusable gaskets free of charge. All you have to do is email them at info@canninglids.com. (In your email, I recommend including a photo of your one-time use gaskets; I'd hate to see scammers get free product.)

Harvest Guard has also decided to continue selling reusable gaskets, even if just in limited quantities. Their website now clearly labels their reusable and one-time use gasket offerings.

But how do you know if you got one-time use gaskets when you bought reusable ones? Fortunately, it's easy to tell. The one-time use gaskets are bright red. The reusable ones are duller - a sort of brownish red.

The bright red gaskets on the bottom are one-time use. The duller gaskets on top are reusable.

Reusable gaskets (left) vs. one-time use gaskets (right), from the Harvest Guard website.

Now, I understand that many people are unhappy about this situation. I wasn't thrilled to learn that some of the gaskets I'd purchased were not reusable. HOWEVER, I have high praise for Harvest Guard. Many companies would have swept this problem under the rug. Harvest Guard, on the other hand, was open and honest with their customers. They are doing the right thing: Not only are they being transparent about their error, but they are compensating customers who mistakenly received the wrong product.

I hope you will continue to support Harvest Guard, as I will. We only have two companies making reusable canning lids; both are small businesses and I want both to stay in business because they provide a valuable homesteading product.

Can on!

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