March 19, 2003 – Number 6
Preparing for Pesach 2
Cleaning the Kitchen for Pesach is clearly the biggest job in preparing for the holiday. The rest of the house has only incidental crumbs, but the Kitchen is the place where Hametz lives. It needs a through cleaning. The cleaning of the Kitchen is virtually a re-kashering of the entire space. If you are not Kosher and would like to have a Kosher Kitchen, preparing for Pesach can be a good first step to making your Kitchen Kosher. Consult your Rabbi for advise and tips for going Kosher.
In general, you have to clean the space in the way that it is usually used. Cabinets are not a place of food preparation, so they just need to be emptied, wiped clean and new shelf paper installed. If you are not using your dishes for Passover, you can begin to consolidate them into just a few cabinets, freeing up the others for Passover use. Cabinets that contain Hametz need to be emptied, the food stored away in a locked or secured place and the cabinet washed clean. Once the cabinet has been cleaned, it may not be used for Hametz until after the holiday (unless you want to wash it out again!)
The refrigerator is cold which means that the Hametz inside needs to be removed and the entire insides need to be washed thoroughly. If you must return Hamets to the refrigerator, you have to make sure it is in a seal container and it must be used up before the holiday. The Dishwasher can also be made Kosher for Passover. Don’t use the dishwasher for 24 hours then run a cycle with detergent, followed by a hot wash cycle without detergent. Make sure to clean the gasket around the door and the drain at the bottom carefully by hand. The Microwave can be Kashered by cleaning the inside completely, and then putting a microwave safe cup filled with water and bringing it to a boil. Consult your instruction book on how to boil water in your microwave. A toaster can not be made Kosher for Passover. It has to be put away for the holiday. Toaster ovens are a problem and you should consult your Rabbi for information on if your oven can be used or not.
The oven and range need to be cleaned thoroughly. Make sure you clean under the drip pans on the range and the range hood as well. There can be a lot of grease up there and maybe even an air filter for the hood fan. A good grease cutter can make this task easier. If you have a self cleaning oven. Run it at its hottest cleaning setting for at least ½ hour. When it is done, make sure to clean out whatever ashes remain. If permitted, you should also make sure all oven racks and parts are inside during the cleaning. After cleaning the Range top you should turn the burners on their highest setting for ½ hour. IMPORTANT NOTE: the range will get very hot! It is a good idea to keep the hood fan on to disperse the heat. Do not run more than two burners at a time to prevent a fire hazard. The severe heat has been known to set the wall behind the range on fire. Make sure you monitor the range constantly while the burners are on. Keep small children and pets away from the burners. Do not leave the stove unattended while kashering.
Depending on what your countertops are made of, you should clean them carefully, including any grouting, and then cover them with paper or some heavy shelf liners. Some counter tops can be Kashered, some can not, you should consult your Rabbi for advice. In general, ceramic tile can not be kashered, but other, non-porous materials can be made Kosher.
Wash the floor last and the kitchen is ready for Passover. This is only an overview, if you have any questions, consult your Rabbi.
Next week: Making Dishes Kosher for Passover