How can I seal the ring-pull can end?

Hi, everyone here. I came all the way here looking for helpful information.

I have a question.

I’m going to buy canned food as an emergency food.

One of the most famous survivalists in Korea says Ring-Pull Can End is vulnerable to corrosion.

So he says that the laser carved part must be additionally sealed in advance to store it for a long time.

He recommended manicure to seal fine gaps.

Cap 2022-02-22 09-24-11-949

(like this)

But I believe there will be a better idea.

Is there anything to replace manicure?

Or is there any other way you can use to store Ring-Pull Can End products for a long time?

(I used a translator, and there may be some awkwardness. I’m sorry 🙂


  • Comments (12)

    • 4

      Not all canned goods have pull tabs.  Those that do not, are said to preserve longer.

      Canned goods do not automatically corrode.  Keep canned goods dry, out of sunlight, and at an even temperature, preferably cool, and any corrosion will be minimized, even absent.

      The dates on the cans are usually “best buy” dates, after which there may be changes in color, smell, etc, but the food may still be edible.  Use good judgement.

      i personally have eaten goods nine years past their date, with no ill effects…

      • 2

        9 years is mu—-ch longer than the deadline they wrote down. I was a little surprised. I also prefer cans of classical design to Pulltab cans, but there are not many options where I live. 😥 Most cans are pulltab. Thank you for the good information.

    • 3

      I never knew about the hack to seal pull tabs cans with nail varnish. Is that supposed to make them last longer than the usual 2-3 years?

      To be honest, I have a few of these cans in storage (some of them are nearing the expiring date) but I rotate them and never noticed any rusting. Is humidity that high in Korea that cans rust this quick?

      • 4

        Korea has extreme seasons. The hottest place is higher than 40C in summer. The coldest places sometimes go below -30C in winter. (Where I live is between 40C and 20C.)

        As for the humidity in Korea, it is very high in summer. On average, it is known to be more than 74%.
        (In other seasons, it’s less than 60 percent.)

        I think I should consider rotation like you rather than keeping it for a long time.

        Thank you.

      • 3

        Rotation is the key. It’d be nice if we could just buy everything and be “done”. But you have to constantly rotate, inspect, test, etc the products we have. 

        Different concept, but even a 1st aid kit requires a somewhat regular inspection. Not because things go bad, but to remind yourself what you have and where it’s located so that in that emergency you’ll know. 

      • 3

        As everyone is pointing out, rotation is the key with canned food. The only exception is for freeze-dried food, like camping food or food that is marketed for prepping like what the prepared writes here. I don’t know if you get those, but maybe camping food? That’s basically the same thing and they last at least 10 years or more. Good luck!

    • 6

      In my experience, pull tab cans only last about 2 years — I avoid them whenever possible because of that. I’ve opened more than one old one (3+ years and had mold inside). I’m not sure what a topical application would do to help, and unless you do a multi year experiment I’m not sure how you’d find out. I suppose you could seal the top with wax…?

      • 5

        Most of the canned foods sold here are Pulltab, so I’ll consider rotating every two years as you said.

        If the time comes when I can’t buy things easily anymore, I’m going to seal them for long-term storage.

        I will consider using wax instead of nail polish.(It seems to be an idea that is less harmful to the body.)

        Thank you.

      • 3

        Sounds like a solid plan. A 2 year rotation plan is very doable and will give you a lot of resilience. If cans are older, don’t automatically throw them away — open them, look, smell, taste, and evaluate them on your own. Conduct your own experiment as to how long the cans in your region will last.

        Wax would be very easy to use (and acquire). Just drizzle a little around the seal and push it in with your fingers would likely do the job. And if some wax happened to get on your food, it doesn’t matter. 

      • 5

        That’s what I was thinking, melt some candle wax and just dip the entire can lid into the wax. The wax will also prevent rusting on the end that it’s dipped in.

        I noticed the increase in ring pull cans and made a post about it a long time ago: What are your thoughts on pull-tab lids on cans?

        In my opinion, they open way too easily for my liking and I can see them easily being punctured and exposed to air. I try and buy cans without the ring pulls when I can, even if it’s more expensive.

    • 4

      We have our canned goods on a four year rotation schedule, meaning we are routinely using them two years past the “best by” date (I already wrote about our reasons in a comment on this other thread:  https://theprepared.com/forum/thread/rotation-in-food-storage/) and have never had a problem with pull-top cans going bad in that time. 

      We live in a very damp climate and don’t have air conditioning or central heat, so the house is usually humid.  It’s never hot here though, so we don’t have huge temperature swings in the pantry.  If you’re only talking about storing them for a few years, I wouldn’t worry about it too much.  Just be careful moving them, because a pull-top can that’s been dropped or dented can unseal later.  I try to always buy ours by the case, to reduce the chance that they’ve been mishandled at the grocery store.  (Which I’m guessing is what happened to the ones Trace found mold in – yikes!)

      I actually think sealing with nail polish is a clever idea for very long term storage, because it would prevent rust from forming at the cut, which is the weakest point.  Wax might just crack and flake off over time.  But again, I’ve never had one rust through in the four years we store them for.

      • 1

        Luckily I haven’t had a pull tab can fail on me either. I will inspect them more closely though when buying for any dents to suggest that it may have been dropped at the store.