Special care must be taken with Passover foods. If a mistake is made while preparing foods throughout the year, the law provides several remedies. These remedies do not apply to the laws of hametz. The laws of annulment (one part in sixty) do not apply whatsoever regarding hametz. Chemicals permitted during the year might be prohibited on Passover.

Non-Passover dishes, pots and hametz, which have been sold, should be separated, locked up and marked “Hametz” in order to prevent accidental use.

All utensils, pots dishes, counters and anything used for food preparation should be kashered for Passover. If it is not possible to kasher them, they should be replaced with utensils used exclusively on Passover. All areas of the house should be thoroughly cleaned and examined for hametz. A person renting a room from a non-Jew (e.g. a student in a dormitory) is responsible only for the space he or she occupies.


The process of kashering utensils depends on how the utensils are used. According to Halacha, leaven can be purged from a utensil by the same process in which it was absorbed into the utensil. There are two basic methods of kashering.

Purging - Most cooking utensils can be made kosher by immersion in boiling water. This includes metal pots, most baking pans and flatware and most other kitchenware.

The procedure is as follows:

1) The article to be kashered is thoroughly scoured.

2) The article is set aside and not used for 24 hours.

3) The article is completely immersed in a pot of actively boiling water.

4) If a pot is too large to fit into another pot, the pot to be kashered is filled to the brim with water, and that water is brought to a boil. While the water is still boiling, a hot stone or piece of metal is dropped into the pot in order to keep the water at its peak heat and also so that the water boils over the side of the pot. (If it looks like Vesuvius is erupting in your kitchen, you’re doing fine.)

5) The articles are then rinsed immediately under cold water.

6) The pot in which the articles were kashered is then itself kashered (see 4).

Open Flame - Any utensils which come in direct contact with fire, such as a barbecue spit, a barbecue grill, a broiling pan or rack, is kashered by open flame.

The procedure is as follows:

1) The article to be kashered is thoroughly scoured.

2) The article is set aside and not used for 24 hours.

3) The article is then put under an open flame and thoroughly heated until the metal glows red-hot or is so hot that paper is singed when it is touched to the metal.

Ovens and Ranges

Every part that comes in contact with food must be thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned. Then, the oven and range should be heated as hot as possible for half an hour. If there is a broil setting, use it. Self-cleaning ovens should be scrubbed and cleaned and then put through the Self-cleaning cycle. Continuous cleaning ovens must be kashered in the same manner as regular ovens.

Stove Top

Clean thoroughly and cover with tin foil. Grates can be kashered in a self-cleaning oven or by burning them by running the gas jets. Electric coils should be cleaned and then heated red-hot.

Microwave Ovens

A microwave oven should be cleaned and then a cup of water should be placed in it. Then the oven should be turned on until the water evaporates.

A microwave oven that has a browning element cannot be kashered for Pesach.

Refrigerators and Freezers

Freezers must be defrosted and thoroughly cleaned. Refrigerators must be thoroughly cleaned.


Authorities disagree as to whether dishwashers can be kashered for Passover. Those who permit it require that the dishwasher be thoroughly cleaned (especially the strainer around the drainage area where food may be trapped). After not using the dishwasher for a 24-hour period, a full cycle with detergent should be run. Dishwasher racks should be replaced.


Stainless steel sinks should be thoroughly cleaned and then boiling water should be poured over all exposed areas. Enamel sinks cannot be kashered and must be lined. If, however, dishes are to be soaked in a porcelain sink, a dish basin must be used.

Food Processors

A new container, cover and blades are needed. The motor housing should be thoroughly cleaned.

Electrical Appliances

If the parts that come into contact with hametz can be removed, they may be kashered in the appropriate manner. If those parts cannot be removed, the appliance cannot be kashered.



Empty and wipe clean with a damp cloth. Line with shelf paper.

Counters, Table Tops and Cupboards

Clean thoroughly. Pour boiling water over them. (Watch your toes!) Cover with plastic sheeting. Plastic works well since it can be washed during Passover.


Fabric tablecloths should be machine washed twice prior to Passover. Plastic and vinyl cloths used during the year may not be used on Passover.


* Utensils with plastic or wooden handles cannot be kashered.

* Melmac and other plastics cannot be kashered.

* Non-stick surfaces such as Teflon can be kashered as long as the finish is not scratched.

* Pyrex, Corning ware, Corelle and other modern ceramics are considered as earthenware.


China, pottery and similar items generally cannot be kashered.
Pyrex, Corning ware, Corelle and other modern ceramics are considered as earthenware vessels.


Glassware must be soaked in cold water fro three consecutive days changing the water every twenty-four hours.

Definition of Hametz

In Exodus 12:15 the Bible tells us, “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the very first day you shall remove leaven from your houses...” The Rabbis specified five grains that can become hametz: wheat, barley, spelt, rye, and oats. Ashkenazic authorities added to this list rice and kitniyot. Kitniyot are usually defined as legumes (including beans, peas, lentils, corn, maize, millet and mustard seed). Sephardic authorities prohibit only the five specified grains, and thus Sephardic Jews are allowed to eat legumes and rice during Passover. Jewish law requires that matzah be baked only from one of the five grains, although traditionally it is made from wheat.

General Statement

Prohibited Foods: Leavened bread, cakes, biscuits crackers, cereal, coffee with grain derivatives, anything made with wheat, barley, oats, rye, spelt (except products certified for Pesach), beer, all liquids which contain ingredients or flavors made from alcohol. Ashkenazic authorities have added the following foods to the list: rice, corn millet, legumes, (peas, beans, peanuts, soybeans). String beans ARE permitted.

There is a split amongst authorities on the use of legumes in a form other than its natural stale, for example, corn sweeteners, corn oil, soy oil, peanut oil.

???Is It Kosher For Passover???

Most foods for Passover require a special “Kosher L’Pesach” label.


  1. If purchased before Passover, the following foods DO NOT NEED a Kosher for Passover label:
Unopened packages or containers of sugar, pure tea, salt (not iodized), pepper, pure spices, natural caffeinated coffee without cereal additives (General Foods coffees are not kosher for Passover unless specifically marked), frozen vegetables and fruits (they must be uncooked and without additives), frozen legumes are still prohibited, frozen fruit juices with no additives, fresh milk, tuna (in water).
  2. The following foods DO NOT REQUIRE a kosher for Passover label if purchased before or during Passover:
Fresh fruits and vegetables (except legumes), eggs, fresh kosher fish/meat.
  3. The following foods ALWAYS REQUIRE a kosher for Passover label, whether purchased before or during Passover:
All baked products (matzah, cakes, matzah flour, farfel, matzah meal, or any product containing matzah), wine, vinegar, liquor, oils, nuts, dried fruits, candy, flavored milks, canned or bottled fruit juices, ice cream, yogurt, cheeses, dairy products, sodas, processed foods.

Baby Food

Baby food for Passover use is available. If Passover baby food cannot be obtained, or goes flying across the room, baby food made with kitniyot may be used but should be prepared in a separate part of the house so that this food is not mixed with food for other members of the family.

Several brands of formula may be used without Passover Certification. Items should be in new, unopened containers and kept separate from the rest of the Passover utensils. The list includes Isomil, Similac, Enfamil and Prosobee.

Pet Food

Most pet foods contain hametz and should be kept in a separate part of the house.

Household Products

Most household products, which have proper supervision the rest of the year, may be used on Passover without Passover Certification. New packages of foils and wraps, bottles of soap, sponges, etc. should be used for Passover.


Many of the toiletries (such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, perfumes), which we commonly use during the course of the year, may be used on Passover without the special certification. Items should be in a new unopened container.

Medicine and Related Products

Several hametz binders are used in many products. However, medicine required for life sustaining therapy (such as insulin, high blood pressure, heart medication) may and should be used on Pesach. If it is not for life sustaining therapy, some authorities permit them while others prohibit them. In all cases, capsules are preferable.

Many medicines and related products are permitted for use on Pesach without special certification. Such items should be in a new, unopened container. A rather lengthy list is available from the synagogue office or by contacting Rabbi Eligberg.