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Passover Kitchen Cleaning for Sephardim

March 23, 2010 | by Sephardic Fellowships

A two minute video guide for Sefardi Jews.

This document is intended as a guide. One should consult a competent Rabbi for any questions or clarifications. All of these halachot are in accordance with Rav Ovadia Yoseph shelita, the leading authority on Sephardic Halacha.


The Torah states that no Chamets is to be seen by a Jew during Pesach, and no Chamets is to remain in a Jew's possession during the festival. Parshat Shemot 12:1 it says: "...for seven days leaven shall not be found in your houses," and in Shemot 13:7: " Chamets shall not be seen with you...." These sources refer to the topic of cleaning ones utensils before Pesach. If one does not properly clean his utensils and uses them on Pesach, the food is rendered uneatable, and he possibly has committed a transgression. We are looking to rid ourselves of two things:Chamets is food made of fermented grain. Se'or is non-edible sourdough, which has the power to ferment other dough. The process of cleansing is called Hachshara or L'Hachshir.

There are numerous ways to Kasher utensils [they are listed below by their level of effectiveness. If a utensil necessitated only pouring hot water and one proceeded to do "more" and immerse it in boiling hot water the utensil is Kasher. The source of koshering Dishes comes from the following pasuk Bemidbar 31:23 Any utensil that is used through fire , pass it through the fire , and that which does not go through fire , pass it through water." It is from here that our sages learn the topic Ke'boloh Kach Polto,"The way that Chamets/non kosher enters into the pot is the way that it goes out".

I. Libun- Burning with fire until sparks come out of the utensil
II . Hagalah -Immersing in bubbling water that is on the fire
III. Earuy – Pouring boiling water on the utensil
V. Wiping clean
VI. Soaking in water



(Chazon Ovadia Pesach Laws of Hagala :1)
If the oven has the self cleaning feature, that is sufficient to clean the oven.
If not one should clean it thoroughly and abstain from usage for a 24 hour period after which they turn it on the highest setting for 1-2 hours.In this instance , if one placed Chamets directly on the trays one needs to replace them , or place perform "Self Clean" on them


Clean it thoroughly
Place a cup inside with water and with bleach/soap
Turn the microwave on for enough time that it will become filled with steam, (usually 20 minutes) and wipe it clean

If the glass tray inside is made of glass Minhag bnei Sepharad is that it needs only to be wiped clean

Stove top

(Torat HaMoadim pg 236)
Make sure to clean thoroughly under the tray where edible Chamets lurks unnoticed

The element and burners should be immersed in boiling water (One may pour boiling water on them, as mentiond ,however ,Hagalah is more thorough and recommended)

Pour boiling water on the surface of the stove to cleanse


(Torat HaMoadim pg 246)
Clean thoroughly from Chamets
Abstain from usage for a period of 24 hours
Turn on dishwasher with hot water (without the dishes inside)

Points to Ponder

Utensils made of Clay and Porcelain may not be kashered (Chazon Ovadia Pesach Laws of Hagala :7)

According to the mihag of the Sepharadim, glass, pyrex, duralex does not need to be kashered, but rather wiped clean (Chazon Ovadia Pesach Laws of Hagala :10)

The hot water urn may be rinsed clean, unless Chamets was placed on it then it needs Hagalah (Torat HaMoadim pg 245)


Libun – Burning directly with fire

If items are used with Chamets and come into direct contact with fire without any intermediary, such as water or oil, the only way to remove the Chamets is through fire

Skewers, that Chamets is placed on them, bread trays, dough or the like are placed directly on them and placed in the oven

A tray that is used merely for storage is in a different category

This method of Kashering is generally not used on Pesach, and one is encouraged to use alternate utensils (Chazon Ovadia Pesach Laws of Hagala :1)

Hagalah – Immerse in boiling hot water

INSTRUCTIONS: First, make sure the items are completely clean. Then, fill up a big pot with water, (make sure to use a pot that is Kosher for Pesach). The water should reach a boil. Completely immerse the utensil to be kashered in the water. Since the item slightly affects the water temperature somewhat, the utensil needs to remain submerged long enough so that the water reaches a boil again. Thirty seconds is the optimum time for the submerged item to remain in the boiling water. However, if one leaves the utensil it in the boiling water any longer, there is a problem of re-absorbing some of the Chamets. Thirty seconds is ideal. It is our Minhag (custom) to immerse the cleansed utensils in cold water immediately after kashering them. Utensils that are kashered in this fashion are:

  • metal bowls (used to make spaghetti etc.)
  • pots and pans that are used to cook sauces and water
  • frying pan
  • serving utensils that are placed into the pot to take out food

It is recommended that any moveable objects that are in need of Kashering, such as silverware, blenders, burners etc. should be immersed as well. (Even though one can use a more lenient approach, many times this is easier and is able to assure a more effective koshering process.) (Chazon Ovadia Pesach Laws of Hagala :2)


(Chazon Ovadia Pesach Laws of Hagala :5)
Pouring boiling water from a kettle onto the utensil. One should make sure that the bubbling water reaches every point of the item.
The utensils include:

  • Serving bowls
  • [that do not come into direct contact with fire rather, the food is placed into them from the pot], counter tops, plastic baby bottle kitchen sink, and silverware.
  • Shabbat Plata
  • The stovetop burners

Wiping clean

(Chazon Ovadia Pesach Laws of Hagala :6)
The following items necessitate only wiping/rinsing to assure that they are rid of Chamets:

  • Refrigerator and the trays inside
  • garbage can
  • utensils made of glass or pyrex
  • kiddush cups
  • chairs
  • toothbrushes (although it is better to acquire a new one)
  • hot water urn (provided that no Chamets was placed on it)
  • salt shaker
  • dentures

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