Q&A Collection: Pesach Shorts

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Q: Can I use normal fairy liquid or do I need to buy kosher for Pesach fairy liquid or surface cleaners?
A: Fairy Liquid–Regular is OK. Surface cleaners too.

Q: Can I use vegetables that have been in a fruit and vegetable basket for Pesach or should I not?
A: Produce for Pesach: Yes you may. Some are careful not to use vegetables that cannot be peeled but that is a minhag only and an extra level of strictness. Wash them and use them. (Check for insects)

Q: Can I use my tea cloths and table cloths that I use all year round after cleaning them?
A: Yes. Don’t starch.

Q: Do I need to cover sink with silver foil?
A: No, just purge it by pouring boiling water over it.

Q: Do I need to cover fridge/freezer/cupboard shelves?
A: Not essential. Some like to do so. Be sure to allow the air to circulate. IMO after cleaning, covering is not necessary.

Q: How do I kasher my cooker and stove top? They are both gas (I am having a professional oven cleaner so PG will be spotless)? Can I use my cooker over Pesach or just beforehand?
A: After cleaning, turn on the oven for 45 min at the highest heat. Cooker: turn on all burners for 10 minutes. It is best to cover with aluminium foil after that. You may use the appliances on Pesach.

Q: Can I use my urn (which is plastic)? If so how do I kasher it?
A: Better not to kasher plastic which has been used as a keli rishon. However if it is a hardship to replace for Pesach or to do without, and if you are not aware of any chametz ever falling in to the urn, you may kasher it by filling to the top and allowing the water to boil over. Also pour boiling water over the spigot (tap) from the outside as well.

Q: Can I use my hot plate? If so how do I kasher and how do I cover it?
A: Clean it, cover it with aluminium foil and turn it on for 20 minutes. It is best to use it on Pesach with the foil in place.

Q: I am having guests for the Seder and have just been informed that one of them is bringing along a relative who may or may not be Jewish. How do I proceed?
A: Under the circumstances, I suggest you adopt a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach, in which you do not seek to verify in advance (which may be very difficult to do in a gracious and non-invasive way) whether she is in fact Jewish or not. If your guest asks what she can bring, tell her some quality Mevushal wine would do nicely.
Better not to ask (in advance) exactly where they live as well, in the (likely vain) hope that they can reach you without vehicular assistance.
Enjoy the Seder secure in the knowledge that your hospitality is a great mitzvah all the same.

Q: I have tried to obtain spare racks for my dishwasher but they are currently out of stock for the next 2-4 weeks.  I will order in time for next Pesach but in the meantime can I use my existing ones?
A: Yes you may, but order racks for next year! Also, you should run the dishwasher through two complete cycles, with detergent, before using for Pesach. Do not use it for dishes for 24 hours before that.

Q: Can I keep things like salt, pepper etc. which have been opened and used during the year or do I need to throw them out? If I can keep them do I just seal the cupboard they are in?
A: Keep them. Just seal the cupboard, and be sure to arrange for the sale of your chametz.

Q: Medication like Nurofen etc what do I do with these?
A: Nurofen is OK for Pesach. LBD Kashruth has a list.

Q: Our oven has a self-clean programme, do I just give it a clean with the self-clean or do I need to clean it before?
A: If it is a true self-clean (ie pyrolytic=intense heat setting) that is great. All you need.

Q: Our hob is electric (it’s attached to the top with electric rings). How do I clean so as to be able to use? Someone told me we have to cover it with that really heavy foil and leave holes for the ring is that the case?
A: That is correct. As long as it is essentially clean first, just cover with foil and you’re all set.

Q: Tamara has some vitamin tablets she’s been taking during pregnancy that the consultant recommended due to being vegetarian and general good health for the baby. Would she still be able to take them during Pesach? There not a life or death consideration but obviously we want to do the best for baby and for Tamara during her pregnancy.
A: If Tamara can find the vitamins with a Pesach hechsher that is to be preferred. In the past, Warman Freed (45 GG Rd NW11) and other local (GG) pharmacies have supplied vitamin tablets and other nutritional supplements with Passover supervision. That would be the way to go. She can always take them after Pesach too so they don’t go to waste!

Q: I have previously ascertained that unflavoured Nespresso coffee pods are Kosher le-Pesach and I seem to recall that even though kashering the coffee machine is probably unnecessary, it is worth putting the machine on a self-clean/descale cycle so a whole reservoir of hot water is flushed through the device. I wanted to check that this recollection is accurate and also to ask regarding our separate milk frother. We have a Nespresso device that froths milk (exclusively). It is kept clean. Can this appliance be kashered – does it even need kashering?
A: Your strategy for koshering the Nespresso machine should do the job. Your spiffy Nespresso milk frother should be koshered by ‘iruy keli rishon=pouring boiling water (eg from a Pesach electric kettle) into the interior. My amateur research reveals that the plastic components should not be washed at higher than 70 C. Those pieces can be simply cleaned in hot (rather than boiling) water.

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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