There’s no task as time consuming as cleaning your kitchen for Passover! At Holy Schnitzel, we take our Passover cleaning process very seriously. All chametz must be removed from the kitchen (and house), including wheat, barley, spelt, rye, and oaks.
As a result, kosher has a very different meaning during Passover and many Jewish people stick to foods that are explicitly labeled as kosher for Passover. Many people even avoid regular kosher foods that are unlikely to be contaminated with chametz, such as cheese. Why? Because grains could have been present in the cheese processing plant.
In other words, the controls for kosher foods during Passover are very high. We implement the highest kosher controls at Holy Schnitzel and wanted to take a moment to share some tips for how you can get on the right side of kosher for Passover this year.
First, Remove All the Chametz Foods in Your Kitchen
The first thing you need to do is clean out your kitchen, including the fridge and pantry. All of the leaven and flour foods, including crackers and cookies, need to be removed. When in doubt, always side with caution and remove foods you think might be chametz.
You should remove chametz food from your house as well. By working with a local Rabbi, it is usually possible to remove the food, store it for eight days under a non-Jewish person’s ownership, and then have it restored.
It’s also smart to pull all of your food out of the pantry and shelves and to then thoroughly wipe everything down. Generally speaking, it’s best to clean from high to low. While you clean, particles will fall. So, if you wipe off a pantry shelf hanging over your counter, chametz bits may end up on the counter.
Next, Wash the Counter, Then Sanitize the Sink
Food particles, including chametz foods, tend to build up on the counter and sink. Wash your counter before your sink. Again, high to low. Then scrub the sink with a strong cleaner. It’s also smart to pour some boiling water over your sink. Not only will doing so remove particles, but it will also kill bacteria and other pathogens.
Scrub the Oven
Your oven will need to be thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed with a heavy degreaser. You need to remove all of the built-up gunk as it may contain chametz food particles. This is going to take a lot of work, and it’s smart to scrub your oven twice.
Don’t forget your microwave and other commonly used appliances as well.
Sweep and Mop the Floor
After going through all of the intensive cleaning above, your floor has probably become a hotbed for chametz foods. You need to thoroughly sweep your floor. Make sure you get into every nook and cranny, as food particles often build up in unseen corners. Afterward, thoroughly mop your floor to ensure any remaining residue is picked up.
Consider Passover Specific Kitchenware
Ideally, you’ll have separate Pesach cooking utensils, plates, silverware, and everything else. Having a separate “kitchen” for Passover will help ensure that you’re not accidentally exposed to chametz. At the end of Passover, this kitchenware will need to be stored in airtight containers, such as Sterlite totes.
You should also consider removing your current plates, silverware, and the like from the kitchen, putting them in storage. If you don’t have the room to do so, make sure you keep your Passover kosher kitchenware and regular kitchenware separated.
Don’t have the money or room for Passover kitchenware? Don’t worry, you can still keep it kosher by koshering your utensils and some of your other kitchenware.