the dish washer is a great start and so easy to get the bottle clean but after that we have to steralise them which we can do on the day we want to fill them by using heat we can pop them into a oven and heat them up and then as they coll fill them ( wait till the jars are hand hot rather than melting skin off hot) or we can use chemicals, now some are used by personal tastes some are listed because they could be used but i am unsure what everone uses
being a wine maker we use a lot of steralisers the many one being sodium metasulfide, its the standard wine makers clear solution and is very good , but i am sure a millons mums would shout "milton" at me for cleaning babies equipment , or how about steaming them instead water in a sauce pan and jars inside on a trivite
New jars should have no need to sterilize, but there can occasionally be a need to wash them, for example when the box has been opened and the uncovered jars allowed to get dusty, in which case clean hot soapy (wash-up liquid is fine) water followed by a hot rinse with clean water and left to drain. Or rinse setting on a dishwasher. Drying with a tea towel is not recommended or if absolutely necessary then a clean tea towel, changed when it has become damp. There will be more bacteria on a dirty tea towel than on the insides of dusty new jars
Using second-hand jars is not recommended. But life being what it is and the cost of jars being what they are............wash thoroughly using whatever method you would use for normal household food containers, removing any label debris at the same time. Then do the above, washing for a second time in clean hot soapy water that has no particles floating in it, then rinse.
There would be no need to sterilize either new or second hand jars. Sterilizing wine making equipment is a different ball game and very necessary, so Pete's method is right.
Warm jars are easier to fill.I use a standard washing m/c detergent in ours then keep the jars in a VERY low oven before filling. let everything get quite cool before fitting the lids otherwise they will draw the lids down too tightly and you will struggle to get them open again.
I have always washed , drained and heat treated my jars in a domestic oven, new or used .
I fill whilst still hot (stops air bubbles clinging to the sides), using throw away gloves to handle them . Maybe I go over the top but that's the way I am.
Sterilise - Why? The honey you are putting into them isn't anywhere close to sterile, the main reason for it "going off" in storage is fermentation, that is down to high water content, coupled with natural yeasts in the honey, no amount of sterilisation is going to help in that situation.
New jars can be contaminated whilst in store, probably rodent urine (not very nice).
Honey Shows are a show case for the way a good wholesome product should be presented !
Yes I am well aware that honey is a living organic substance , but that can never be the reason to neglect basic hygiene ?.
People with the "is it worth the effort attitude" are usually the ones who neglect other aspects of the hobby ie ,swarm control, integrated pest management , personal and apiary hygiene !!.
The pallets are shrink wrapped and it is taken that the jars are clean and probably sterile by virtue of being err.. shrink wrapped to keep dust out and sterile by virtue of being new and as they were molten glass pre being jars...