Recycling jars is a great way to save money if you make preserves regularly. It is good for the environment and you will always have a good selection of jam jar shapes and sizes to choose from. It is important, however, to inspect carefully any jars you wish to reuse to ensure they have no signs of damage, such as cracks or chips. Such flaws in a jam jar can encourage the growth of bacteria, which should be avoided at all costs. If you are in doubt about used jam jars, they can be easily and cheaply replaced.
After you have decided wihch jars are suitable for reusing, any remaining labels should be removed. An easy way to do this is to place the jars in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Then the jars should be taken out and allowed to cool slightly so they're not too hot to hold. Using a scouring pad or a knife, the remaining jam jar labels can now be easily scraped off, along with any sticky residue, leaving you with recycled jars ready to be used again. Jam jar lids can be recycled in the same way, however it is best to buy new lids as the seals in the lids can become tainted by the contents of the jar they are used with.
So remember, recycled glass jars are a great way to save money when making preserves for your own use, but it's better to buy jam jars anew if you plan on giving your preserves as gifts.