When you sterilize mason jars, you are killing any bacteria that could make your food spoil. This is an important step in canning since it helps to ensure that the foods you make will be safe to eat and free of harmful pathogens. You should never boil your jars just because they are dirty; instead, sterilizing is done before they are used in the canning process so that they will not become contaminated once filled with food.
To sterilize mason jars:
Here are the supplies you'll need:
First, wash your jars and lids in hot soapy water. Then boil them for 10 minutes, along with the lids. This will remove any bacteria and leave them sterile for canning.
After boiling, rinse your jars and lids thoroughly with hot water. You can use a clean dish towel or paper towels to dry them off as you go along if you'd like to avoid using more dish soap on your hands than necessary—but this isn't necessary!
Now fill each jar up about half full of water (the amount depends on what type of jam or jelly you're making), place it back into its respective rack in the canner—with no lid yet—and cover it with water again until there's about an inch left above the rim of each jar; this keeps steam circulating inside so that everything gets sterilized effectively enough that nothing could grow inside once sealed properly later after cooling down completely first
When you're canning, it's important that your equipment is clean. You should always make sure that you're using clean equipment when you're canning.
To begin, wash the jars in hot soapy water and rinse them in hot water. Then dry them with a clean towel, making sure to wipe down their insides thoroughly as well. The lids and rings should also be washed in hot soapy water and rinsed before they are placed on the jars (but not inside). Do not use soap on the lids or rings—this could cause them to become unusable over time because soap residue builds up on them over time from washing or pouring into other containers in which they've come into contact with food products. Bleach should also never be used for sanitizing mason jars for canning because it will leach out of plastic seals into whatever food product is being canned, causing spoilage later on down the line when eating those foods stored within said containers!