Last Minute Passover Foods Cleaning, Shopping and Use Guide

I'm preparing my shopping list for Passover, so I went to the Rabbinicinal Assembly Website for information.

Disclaimer: This is in no may intended to be the final answers. Please consult with your rabbi for clarification.


A. The following foods require no kosher le-Pesah label if purchased before or during Pesah: Fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, fresh fish, and fresh meat.

B. The following foods require a kosher le-Pesah label if purchased before or during Pesah: All baked products (matzah, cakes, matzah flour, farfel, matzah meal, and any products containing matzah); canned or bottled fruit juices; canned tuna; wine; vinegar; liquor; oils; dried fruits; candy; chocolate flavored milk; ice cream; yogurt and soda.

DETERGENTS: If permitted during the year, powdered and liquid detergents do not require a kosher le-Pesah label.

L'Hayyim Scrabble Tile Pendant

1) All pill medications (with our without hametz binders) that one swallows are permitted without special rabbinic certification as being kosher for Passover.

2) All chewable pills that have kitniyot are permitted. If the chewable pills have hametz and no substitute is available, ask your rabbi.

3) All liquid medications that have hametz should not be used. If they contain no hametz but do contain kitniyot, they are permissible.

Before discontinuing any medication, consult with your rabbi and physician.

1) All varieties of body soaps, shampoos, and stick deodorants are permitted for use on Pesah regardless of their ingredients.

2) All types of ointments, creams, nail polish, hand lotions, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, blush, foot and face powders, and ink and paint may be used regardless of their ingredients.

3) Colognes, perfumes, hairspray, shaving lotions, and deodorants that have restorable, denatured alcohol should not be used. This applies only to products in a pure liquid state.

4) Lipstick that contains hametz should not be used.

KASHERING OF UTENSILS: The process of kashering utensils depends on how the utensils are used. According to halakhah, leaven can be purged from a utensil by the same process in which it was absorbed in the utensil (ke-voleo kakh poleto). Therefore, utensils used in cooking are kashered by boiling, those used in broiling are kashered by fire and heat, and those used only for cold food are kashered by rinsing.

A. EARTHENWARE (china, pottery, etc.) may not be kashered. However, fine translucent chinaware which has not been used for over a year may be used if scoured and cleaned in hot water.

Fruit Bowl

B. METAL (wholly made of metal) UTENSILS USED IN FIRE (spit, broiler) must first be thoroughly scrubbed and cleansed and then made hot until it glows. Those used for cooking or eating (silverware, pots) ust be thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned and not used for 24 hours. Then they are completely immersed in boiling water. Metal baking utensils cannot be kashered.

1. Drinking and serving utensils (plates, serving platters, etc.). Authorities disagree as to the method for koshering glass utensils used for drinking and eating. One opinion requires soaking in water for three days, changing the water every 24 hours. The other opinion requires only that one thoroughly scrub them or put them through a dishwasher.

Matzah Plate
2. Glass cookware. This category includes cookware made of modern materials that are as non-porous as glass, such as pyrex. There is a difference of opinion as to whether glass cookware needs to be koshered or can be. One opinion is that it must be kashered.

After thoroughly cleaning it, wait 24 hours. Then, boil water in it that overflows the rim, or immerse it into boiling water. The other opinion is that, only a thorough cleansing is required. Others believe that glass cookware cannot be kashered.

3. Glass bakeware, like metal bakeware, cannot be koshered for Passover.

1. The Oven Itself.
• Remove all oven racks.
• Remove fan housing/covering from the back of the oven.
• Spray abrasive cleaner (e.g., Dow Easy Off) on the entire oven, including its walls, oven floor, and fan assembly, and all parts of the door and the door crease if there is any dirt there.
• Spray the doors, including the glass.
• If the back plate cannot be removed, then thoroughly spray the cleaner over and inside the entire fan assembly.
• After all the areas are covered with cleaner; heat the oven to 300 degrees for about 20 minutes.
• Wash the oven with a long handled brush, using cold water and soap, removing all the loose dirt. Take care not to short electrical parts of the oven.
• Reapply cleaner to areas that have a great build up of dirt. Steel wool and scrapers may be required. Baked on dirt and grease must be removed before you can begin to make everything kosher
• After you have examined the oven and have determined that all dirt has been removed, the oven should be turned up to the highest possible setting for one and a half hours with the fan blowing.

2 Oven Racks and Grates:  There are two ways to kasher:
Stove top method: Take the grates or racks and place them on the stove top. This can only be done if the oven top can handle the heat, so in all likelihood it is only a gas stove top that can be used for koshering racks and grates this way. Otherwise the racks and grates need to be heated with a blow torch.

To use the stove top method:
• Wrap the entire stove top with a double layer of foil wrap, covering over the entire stove top with the foil. The shiny side should be facing down in the direction of the stove top. This causes maximum heat.
• Set the burners to a low heat.
• Tightly seal the foil wrap around all the racks and grates, and place them on the stove top.
• Raise the burners to highest setting.
• With long metal pliers, carefully check if libun (white-hot heat) has been accomplished. If the metal of the racks and grates is glowing with a red color, then it has been accomplished.
• After half an hour, carefully and from a distance, remove the foil and allow the racks and grates to cool down, and then return them to the oven that is now kosher for Passover.

Inside the oven method: Clean the oven racks very carefully to ensure all food residue and stains are moved. Then put them in the bottom of the oven (not on the tracks) as it is being kashered as per the instructions below.

D. Regular Ovens. Thoroughly clean all surfaces of the oven. This must be followed by libun kal. The required heating would be kash nisraf mebachutz. Closing the oven and heating it up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour and a half will suffice.

E. Microwave ovens. Microwave ovens, which do not cook food by means of heat, should be cleaned, and then a cup of water should be placed inside. Then the oven should be turned on until most of the water is boiled. A microwave oven that has a browning element cannot be kashered for Pesah.

F. Dishwasher. A full cycle with detergent should be run, then the machine should not be used for a period of 24 hours, after which, it should be run with only water set at the highest temperature.

G. Other Electrical Appliances: If the parts that come into contact with hametz are removable, they can be kashered in the appropriate way (if metal, follow the rules for metal utensils). If the parts are not removable, the appliance cannot be kashered. (All exposed parts should be thoroughly cleaned.)

COUNTERTOPS: There are many types of surface used for countertops. Some can be kashered by cleaning and then pouring boiling water over the surface; others need to be cleaned and then covered.

Below is a list of materials for countertops that the Chicago Rabbinical Council affirms may be kashered for Passover. It is important to note that these materials are kasherable, only as long as they are not stained, scratched, or cracked. Surfaces with a synthetic finish also must be cleaned and covered as they may not be kasherable.

Common Brands: Avonite, Buddy Rhodes, Caesar Stone, Cheng Design, Corian, Craftart, Formica, Gibraltar, John Boos, Nevamar, Omega, Pionite, Silestone, Spekva, Staron, Surrell, Swanstone, Wilsonarat,

Common Materials: Acrylic, Granite, Marble, Metals (stainless steel, copper), Plastic laminate, Polyester Base, Quartz resin, Slate, Soapstone, Wood, butcher block

TABLES, CLOSETS If used with hametz, they should be thoroughly cleaned and covered, and then they may be used.

KITCHEN SINK A metal sink can be kashered by thoroughly cleaning it, then leaving it unused for 24 hours, and then pouring boiling water over it. A porcelain sink should be cleaned and a sink rack used. If, however, dishes are to be soaked in a porcelain sink, a dish basin must be used.

HAMETZ AND NON-PASSOVER UTENSILS: Non-Passover dishes, pots and hametz whose ownership has been transferred to a non-Jew should be separated, locked up or covered, and marked in order to prevent accidental use.

Again, please check with your rabbi; this is only a guide.

Matzah Earrings

Do you get any new clothes or items for Passover?

Linda B.


Handmade in Israel said...

Wow! What a detailed post. Thanks for that. Busy cleaning and preparing over here... Chag Sameach everyone!

Higher Ground said...

Thanks for writing up this important info!

barneyp510 said...

Whoa - can't think of anything that doesn't cover!