Post 83: While you are cleaning for Passover try these suggestions, Cleaning shower head, Steam cleaning, oven cleaning tricks and Ways to reduce fluid retention

This post is about cleaning house internal and external. Many new practical suggestions and connections came to me during Rabbi Wechsler’s Pesach Halacha Survivl Kit shiur at Emek Rafaaim Learning Center. It way way longer than and hour. Because only David Bodsky and I were present, the Rav was able to offer answers to a jumble of questions which are referenced later on in this blog.

Shower head Cleaning

15 Things You've Been Cleaning Wrong Your Entire Life 5
Bag contains half water half white vinegar
via A Real-Life Housewife

A quick spray and a wipe-down won’t de-clog your shower head or really clean it. Here’s how to really clean it: pour white vinegar in a plastic bag and secure it around your shower head for an hour. Wipe it clean with a wet cloth and it’ll be good as new.

From Jewish Workshops, Passover Cleaning Made Easy by , By knowing what and how to clean, Passover cleaning needn’t be a chore.

We should begin the month of Nissan with a feeling of renewal. Both Rabbi Berkovits and Rabbi Wechsler agreed on that.

Hence, Rabbi  Wechsler suggested on Rosh Chodess Nissan we find another witness to say a bracha on two fruit bearing trees. Very nice to do this on Rosh Chodesh Nissan.

Rabaiim agree including Rabbi Steinberg not to go to extremes in cleanin. The halacha is: No Chometz is to be seen. And to destroy seen chometz. We CAN NOT JUST NULLIFY and say IT’S NOT MINE.

We are only concerned with a piece of Chometz THAT CAN BE EATEN.

WOULD NOT EAT and less than a Kasias.

Cleaning UNDER THE FRIDGE NOT NEEDED. Remote that a large piece of chometz is there.

Selling Chometz started when whisky was sold to the non-Jew, when Jews owned taverns.

The non Jew can come and take it during Pesach.

Make a contract with a day of return. Anything opened put aside and close the door.
Don’t use everyday benchers. Go over electric outlets for prints.
Clean and leave after 24 hours: rings and dentures.
Areas to wipe, steam twice and dry for
Cold counters.
Areas that can be kashered metals, stone and wood.
Clean, rest  24 hours and then boiling
Stone in a metal pot.
STEAMER HAS to be used 2 times.
Clean out pipes to sink with vinegar and then rinse.
Cover surfaces counters, tables

One crucial thing to remember: You spend your whole time cleaning for Passover, and where does all your chametz go? It gets stuck in the broom, goes into the garbage can, and into the vacuum cleaner bag. You must clean your broom well, so that there’s nothing edible left in it. Or preferably have a special broom for Passover that you put away from year to year. Make sure your garbage can is cleaned well. The steamer will help you with this job using very tittle water. 

And above all, make sure to throw out the vacuum cleaner bag. That’s one instance where you’re likely to have a whole kezayit of chametz gook together! I suggest that you use a rubber head broom rather than a bristle one as they can be washed easily with the steam cleaner.

Morphy Richards’ 9-in-1 Steam Cleaner is a truly versatile product with nine different cleaning uses

I have and older model.85170 pictured above in green. I don’t know if it is available.

The Oven:

This  appliance, the oven always poses a challenge. If you have a self-cleaning oven, put it through the self-cleaning cycle and that will make your oven “Kosher for Passover.” In a self-cleaning oven, if you have any interior parts that are rubber — or other substances which halachically cannot be kashered — then you should cover those pieces with aluminum foil, and make sure they stay covered whenever you use your oven. If you do not plan to use your oven during Passover, all you have to do is look inside: If there is no edible food inside and no kezayit of gook, just close the door, tape it shut, and that’s all. If you want to be stringent, spray some oven cleaner inside, wait three minutes, wipe it off, and close the door. If you want to use the least amount of toxic material, this trick works for all surfaces, including pots. Baking soda is readily available in the shuk. It is great absorbent qualities.

  • All-purpose cleaner: combine a quarter cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar into two litres of water. This can be used to clean bathroom and kitchen surfaces, windows and many other smooth surfaces around your home.
  • Non toxic cleaners for oven racks and oven cleaners for your oven: Most ovens have a bottom that can be removed for cleaning. A diagram is in your purchaser’s guide. That was a feature that sold me on my LaCucina standing oven. You can use the baking soda powder full strength on the surface of your oven bottom.. Take out the bottom and the racks and lay them on a cloth rag or on a plastic sheet.. I do this on the floor. Heat up the racks with your steamer, sprinkle with the baking soda using a paint brush and let sit. You can even put all the covered pieces back in the oven  and do another job. Then came back and go over with a wonder sponger. Another option:
  • AN {ALMOST} EFFORTLESS WAY TO CLEAN YOUR OVEN RACKS (My oven is only used for pareve, and I price it, so it never really gets very greasy.

    Cleaning Those Nasty Stove Burner Pans. I’ve read several readers’ suggestions to put the oven racks in large plastic trash bags with a splash of ammonia, close them tightly, and leave outside overnight.

    But a couple of months ago I ran across THIS little snippet of an idea while I was reading about the many uses for dryer sheets:

    An easy way to clean grill grates or oven racks is to line your bathtub with four used dryer sheets, set the grill or oven racks on top and fill the tub with warm water. Let sit overnight and then wipe clean . The power of the antistatic in dryer sheets helps to separate the food from the grates.

    Apparently the anti-static agents in the dryer sheets weaken the bond between the food and the pan while the fabric softening agents soften the baked-on food.


    So that’s it a box of cheap dryer sheets at the dollar store (I think they literally cost me one dollar), put the oven racks in the bathtub, threw in about 6 or 8 dryer sheets, and covered them with hot water. For good measure I decided to pour in about half a cup of Dawn dishwashing liquid as well. I figured it couldn’t hurt. 🙂 I let it all soak for about 18 hours. (Although I’m sure it didn’t need to go that long.) Then with the racks still in the tub I “scrubbed” them with the dryer sheets and amazingly almost all the “gunk” came right off! For the extra tough stuff I used a scrub brush, and between the two, 99% of all the “gunk” was gone.

    Disadvantage: Then you have a bath tub to clean. Honestly, this would work if you inherited a great oven and saw potential. If you try this option, please let me know how it works.


    Window and glass cleaner: mix a quarter cup of vinegar and about one litre of water in a spray bottle. Spray it onto your windows and wipe away with a dry cloth.

    Here in Israel i use a squeegee with the morthy richards steam cleaner. And never clean windows in the sun. 

  • Mould: dab and wipe with undiluted vinegar. You can clean mould and other deposits off your showerhead by filling a small plastic bag with vinegar (about half full), tying it over your showerhead and leaving it overnight.
  • Chopping boards: sprinkle salt over the chopping board and then wipe it with the lemon juice. Rinse with hot water.
  • Wood furniture polish: mix even parts of the lemon juice and olive oil, put it on a cloth and apply to furniture in long strokes.
  • Air freshener: leave little dishes of baking soda around your home to absorb bad odours.
  • Carpet cleaner: mix white vinegar and baking soda into a paste. Work this paste into the stain on your carpet and leave it until it’s dry. Then all you need do is vacuum it up!
  • The Refrigerator: Same Principles apply with removing parts carefully and Morphy steamer. Halachically, if you’re not using your oven on Passover, it does not have to shine. Please don’t make anyone scrub your oven for hours because of a stringency! Simply make sure there’s no edible chametz and no kezayit of gook. If you never use your oven for chametz and you want to use it for Passover, you still have to kasher it. However, here you can rely on turning on the thermostat to the highest setting and waiting until it reaches its highest temperature.Other stoves are more problematic. If you have one big glass or porcelaine top with heating elements under it, then kashering that for Passover (because of the material) is not possible. 9 The only thing you could do is to cover it with aluminum foil, but the problem is that when you cover these things, they don’t work as well. Unless you can find a way of covering it without losing efficiency or ruining your food, the best solution may be to get a different stove for Passover. If you have electric elements that are exposed, then

What about the top of the stove, where burners sit? We already discussed how to kasher the stove grates — they need libun kal, meaning they get hot enough to turn a piece of paper brown. The same rule applies to the burners that the fire comes out of — just clean them well, and then turn them on to make sure you burn out any food. The top of the stove, however, is a different story. In reality, that surface is always treif, because it gets splashings of milk and splashings of meat. During the year, this is not a problem. Why? Because first of all, you’re careful that those splashings don’t touch what you’re cooking. And if it does, then it all depends on whether the splashings are “edible food,” and what the proportion is, etc. Furthermore, if your stovetop is cleaned, then the only problem is that it has absorbed milk and meat “taste” — which we assume happened more than 24 hours ago. So during the year, it’s very unlikely that these splashings can render your food “non-kosher.” On Passover, however, the 24-hour leniency doesn’t apply. Something that was used for chametz a year ago is still chametz. Consequently, Passover food cannot touch your stovetop and it must be covered. The easiest way is to take aluminum foil and cover the whole stove top. Use the heavy-duty kind so it doesn’t tear. The most problematic part of your stove is a part you may have never seen: under the top platform. If you remove that, you will find remnants of all the different cereals and soups you cooked during the year. There may likely be some edible crumbs there, as well as a kezayit of gook. So you have to remove the entire stovetop. Hopefully, you have one that’s removable (perhaps with screws). Otherwise it means getting under there with your fingers. That is very difficult, and the only advice is to pry it open and then spray some ammonia detergent to make everything non-edible. Assuming you’ve removed the stovetop, the first thing is to get a vacuum cleaner and get rid of all the crumbs. This way, you won’t have crumbs flying all over the place. If you don’t have access to a vacuum, then take a damp cloth and go over the area. The crumbs will stick to the cloth. Don’t make the cloth wet, because that will make a mess of your whole oven. This is necessary even if you’re not going to use your stove on Passover. If your stove is built into the counter, the top is generally not a problem, because spills have no place to fall into. Other stoves are more problematic. If you have one big glass or porcelain top which I can’t comment on. Windows I hope to touch on in my next post.


SALE OF CHAMETZ The prevailing custom is not to sell real edible chametz like bread, crackers, etc. The exception is when getting rid of it will involve a hardship — i.e. you’ve got a large quantity of it, it’s difficult to obtain, or it’s expensive. Certainly you can include a half-bottle of scotch in the sale. Otherwise, you can give the food away to a non-Jewish acquaintance. Some cities specifically host food drives for poor people in the days before Passover. But what about food that’s not “real” chametz — i.e. a can of tuna fish that’s not labeled “Kosher for Passover,” or food that was cooked in a chametz pot? These things you can put away in a cabinet and sell them. Taping the cabinet closed is only necessary if out of habit you may open it on Passover. By the way, even chametz of a non-Jew must be put away and covered.

10 Home cures for water retention. Many of us are taking Fusilage and other diuretics. Some simple dietary changes can have positive results. From:


I) Drink more water to fight water retention:

Ironic as it may seem, excess water in the body is usually a sign that the body is afraid of losing even more water, and thus attempts to hold on as a precautionary measure.

The best way to cure water retention is to drink even more water. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. Water intake should be evenly spread over the day. Drinking too much water in a short period of time could lead to intoxication (also called water poisoning or hyper hydration).

Even better is to drink water purified of dehydrating salt or minerals.Drinking more water is the most effective cure for PMS related water retention.

II) Reduce salt intake to cure water retention:

Salt has strong water retention attributes and it clogs water tissue. Salt contributes significantly to water retention. Avoid intake of salt for 2-3 days and you will be surprised how well it cures water retention. Reduce salt intake to as less as 0.5 grams for a few days to get rid of unwanted water from the body. During these days, replace salt with intake of herbs and spices.

III) Reduce sugar intake to cure water retention

Sugar increase general insulin level in the body, which decreases the body’s ability to get rid of sodium (salt). Excessive salt contributes to fluid retention. Thus sugar indirectly results in water retention.

Avoid overly sweet foods such as cookies, cakes, candies, soda and sugary cereals.

IV) Natural diuretic to cure water retention

Diuretic medicines are often prescribed to people suffering from excessive water retention. Natural diuretics are a safer alternative to these medicines (consult doctor before replacing prescribed medications with natural alternatives).

Cranberry juice is one of the most effective natural diuretic and should be taken in liberal quantities to treat water retention.

Cabbage leafs is the second best natural diuretic. Liberal intake of cabbage leafs (raw) is an effective home remedy for water retention.

Other natural diuretics: Foods like nettle , dandelion, apple cider vinegar, celery, celery seed, green tea, tea leaf, fennel, juniper berries and parsley are very effective natural diuretics.

V) Food rich in Potassium as a home cure for water retention

Potassium deficiency is one of the main causes of water retention in the body. Banana is one of the richest sources of potassium and a liberal intake of banana is a beneficial home cure for water retention.

Other foods rich in potassium include raisins, apricot, blackberries, peaches, and strawberries, spinach, fresh mushrooms, bell peppers, apples, oranges, and raspberries


VI) Herbal tea to cure water retention

Herbal teas are effective diuretic and help remove excess water and toxins from the body. Herbal teas made from parsley, lemon or tea tree helps eliminate excess water from the body without adverse effects.


VII) Eat foods naturally high in water content

Eat foods that contain lots of water is another way to increase the elimination of water retention. Some foods naturally high in water content include: watermelon, tomatoes, watercress, cucumbers, artichokes, lettuce, asparagus, cabbage, oats,
Brussels sprouts and carrots.

VIII) Exercise to cure water retention

Exercise is a great way to get rid of excess body water. Exercises like walking, running, cycling or playing tennis results in sweating. This turns your entire body into an effective outlet for getting rid of excess water, salt and other toxins. Of course exercise in moderation and do not exercise, if you are pregnant.

IX) Garlic to address water retention

Garlic needs a special mention as one of the most effective natural diuretic food. Garlic not only helps in getting rid of excess water and toxins from the body, but also contributes to the breakdown of fats. This makes it double effective in combating water retention and associated obesity. A moderate intake of garlic is very effective home cure for water retention.

X) Water retention: When should one consult a doctor ?

Its time to consult a physician, when:

  • If swelling in any body part persists for a week
  • If your skin develops marks when pressed.
  • If you are diabetic or have some other serious ailment

Water retention can be a signal for serious health problems like heart, kidney, liver or thyroid disorder if it persists for more than a week or if skin develops marks when pressed. Consulting a doctor is recommended in such cases.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s