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  • Halacha
  • Kashering Dishes

Kosher dishes washed in a Traif sink

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Rabbi David Sperling

Iyyar 7, 5780
Question
I’m the only one in my house that keeps kosher. I have my own set of everything and cleaning tools/wash basin. However I had left out a mug (ceramic) and some spoons (heat resistant plastic handle and metal eating part) and someone had washed my mug and spoons with warm-hot water, with a traiff sponge, and they had set it down in the traiff sink. I guess thinking to be helpful or something. I really don’t know. Can I re kosher the mug and the utensils? How do I do that? Do I need to throw away them? I would really not want to have to throw away anything because I already don’t have enough kosher kitchen supplies as it is and would like to be able to re-use them. Thank you for your time! Moshiach now!!
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. In the case you describe, all your things are still kosher. This is for several reasons. Firstly, the water was "war-hot", as opposed to "very hot". In order for non kosher tastes to transfer there has to be a heat source that is at least "yad soledet bo", that is so hot that a person would draw their hands back from it. So, unless the washing up was done with very hot water (that the person would have had to wear rubber gloves for), the water is not hot enough to cause any issues. Next, the non kosher sponge was almost certainly soaked in washer detergent, which would nullify any edible taste of non kosher food absorbed into the sponge. Based on this, your mug and spoons are still kosher. You should of course continue to be careful to wash them up separately from any non kosher things, and use only a kosher sponge in a separate basin or sink. It can be so difficult to keep kosher when those around you aren't (especially when they try to help out by doing your dishes for you!). I really admire your commitment – and send you special blessings for every success in your religious growth and fulfillment. Blessings.
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