Preparing the kitchen for Pesach: Invisable chamets
Expressed here is the mainstream Sephardic tradition. Many other rabbis, Ashkenazi and some Sephardic, hold different views. Consult your community rabbi.
Chag Sameach all the way from Buenos Aires, Argentina
Preparing sinks and counter-tops
The sink, counter-tops and kitchen-tables should be thoroughly cleaned before Pesah from any possible Chamets residue. Since we usually don’t place hot food on these surfaces, and these surfaces are not porous, cleaning them thoroughly would be sufficient. Still, following Rabbi Ovadia Yosef z”l opinion, it is recommended to pour boiling water on them as an extra precaution.
Image credit: The Kosher Point
A regular dining table, wood or glass, should be just thoroughly cleaned. It is customary to cover it with a new tablecloth for Pesach.
Cleaning the dishwasher
Before Pesach, the dishwasher should be thoroughly clean of any visible food’s residue. Then run it on an empty cycle with detergent and without dishes. Thus, the dishwasher becomes ready for Pesach use. Rabbi Eliyahu Ben-Hayim Shelita recommends to replace the dishwasher’s racks or to use some added base to cover the racks.
The oven should not be used for 24 hours. Thoroughly clean it before Pescah to remove any possible Chamets residue. Then
1. if it is a self-cleaning oven, one self-clean cycle will be enough to make it Pesach ready.
2. if it is not a self-cleaning oven, after it has been thoroughly cleaned, run the oven on the highest temperature-setting for about an hour, including the racks. Then the oven is Kosher for Pesach.
Cleaning the Microwave
Thoroughly clean the microwave before Pesach to remove any possible Chamets residue. Then, take a bowl of water with some detergent or soap in it and let it boil inside the microwave for a few minutes, until the microwave walls are filled with steam. If the microwave walls are porous this vapor would expel all absorbed Chamets residues, rendering the microwave Kosher for Pesach (If they are not, then the walls will not reabsorb any Chamets anyway). If you can’t do this and you need to use a year-round microwave during Pesach, you should cover the food in a container, Ziploc or any other airtight microwavable cover.
Extra Pesach Resources