I'm canning my own cooked jams, and I'm estimating that I'm wasting half gallon (1.9 liter) of water per cup produced, for canning and dishwashing mostly.

Not including the water and energy used to produce the ingredients (fruits, sugar, pectin) how much water woulds a medium or large scale jam cooking/canning operation use?

My guess is that a for a sufficiently large operation, the water cost per cup is virtually zero since you would reuse the same water for canning multiple batches, and industrial sized dishwashing is probably very efficient. But I'm looking to confirm that with actual data, or at least something from someone with knowledge of such medium/large scale operations.

  • I'd be more concerned by the heat used in heating all that water, except in a desert area
    – Chris H
    Jun 19, 2016 at 11:53
  • I'm in California, so that count as a desert area, right :). So drought and all, water has been on my mind, but yes, I'm also concerned about the energy used in the process.
    – Droopycom
    Aug 10, 2016 at 5:20
  • Please define medium or large scale. Why make your question vague if you can give numbers?
    – user2451
    Nov 29, 2016 at 8:44

1 Answer 1


FWIW: I've worked in a kitchen. A Hobart dishwasher uses the same wash water over and over. The rinse cycle runs for 40 seconds at about 5 gpm This replaces some of the wash water. A batch of dishes is whatever fits face down on a 2 foot square tray, or whatever fits in a peg tray, with pegs about every 2.5 inches.

So: If you were using 1/2 pint jars at 3 inch diameter, you could fit 64 on a tray. Your water cost would be about 3 gallons, or 12 quarts, or 24 pints or 48 cups, so not quite a cup per jar.

The unit adds a disinfectant and is running at 180 F. Dishes are close to sterile when they come out.

If you want to reduce water usage look into UV sterilization.

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