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Cheshvan 23, 5778

Kashering a dishwasher


Rabbi David Sperling

Question:
Hi, I need to know how to kosher a dishwasher.

Thank you and God bless you always.

Answer:
Shalom,
Thank you for your question. There are various opinions about whether a dishwasher can be koshered (we are referring to koshering for year round use, and not for Passover). Most dishwashers have plastic parts in them, as well as stainless steal, and different communities follow different ruling about the possibility of koshering hard plastics. Moreover, there are also different opinions as to how much non-kosher taste is absorbed into the non-kosher dishwasher – some opinions hold that the dishwasher may be considered as a pot which had non-kosher food cooked in it directly on the fire (a first vessel), and others explain that the non-kosher residual food remains would be nullified by the large amounts of water in the machine, and the soap powder, as well as adding the fact that the machine itself may be considered as only a secondary vessel (this depends on whether the water is heated up inside the machine or not). Due to these arguments some Rabbis advise not koshering a dishwasher at all, but rather replacing it. Others though say it may be koshered.

So, based on all this – it would be advisable to speak to your local Rabbi and find out what the local practice is. If however you are not in a position to where you can do this, you may rely on the opinion that permits koshering a dishwasher.

The process is as follows – firstly you need to leave the dishwasher unused for at least 24 hours. After this you should clean it very well – removing all the racks an filters and scrubbing them down with cleaning fluids. The inside of the dishwasher should also be thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned with cleaning fluid. After this, it should be reassembled, and then run though on the longest hottest cycle. The dishwasher may now be used for kosher dishes.

(It is worth noting that if you intend to use the dishwasher for both meat and milk dishes, even one type in a separate load load from the other – you will need to ask a further question, as this is an issue of major debate).

Blessings.


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