Pesach Advice From Experienced Jewish Homemakers.

Rivka Slatin has a nice site called, which lots of tips and techniques to organize the Jewish home. She was kind enough to let us post anything from her site that would be useful for the Beyond BT community.

Pesach advice as told to me by experienced Jewish homemakers.
Pesach advice collected. Being the researcher that I am, I am constantly interviewing homemakers who are very experienced, running a home for over 30 years. Here is some pesach advice that I want to share with you. See what can work for you in your own home.

My own Pesach Tip!!!-I don’t make a cent off of this recommendation. There is a product that removes the cold hard grease from any surface. I just cleaned my refrigerator and the gunk underneath is with a few sprays! It is really really important that you get this product if you want to clean easily. The only downside is that it is not a natural product so you’ll want to wear gloves and not inhale. I think it is from Israel. This company also makes the Magic Sponge and the two products when used together are pretty powerful degreasers.

* I think about Pesach all year round. Otherwise it becomes impossible. No food is allowed upstairs or downstairs EVER! If chametz is all over the house, pesach becomes much harder.

* After Purim I start cleaning the dining room. Empty out the buffet, wash everything. I put a sign on it and only return things that are clean.

* I work my way up the cabinets in the kitchen, consolidating everything on the top shelves. That way, by the time my grandkids can help me bring stuff upstairs, I have empty space for Pesach dishes. My bottom cabinets end up Pesachdik.

* My kitchen is Pesachdik 2 Shabbosim before Pesach. I use a bunson burner if I want to cook anything with Chametz.

* If you want to Spring clean, fine. We all do. But have it done before Purim. Or wait until Pesach is over.

* I kasher my silver and use it all year-round.

* I save my cabinet liners year to year, cut them to size, and write on the back which shelf it corresponds to.

* I don’t bake after Purim and I start minimizing the chametz in my pantry. The chametz mamash goes in a box in the hallway. I keep cans in my pantry and just tape it up over Pesach.

* I pull one all-nighter and by the morning of bedikas chametz my house is completely ready for Pesach.

* There are 4 weeks between Purim and Pesach, I spend the 1st week on bedrooms, (after which no one brings food upstairs), the 2nd week on the downstairs, and the 3rd week for the kitchen. Having defined goals keeps me focused.

* I spend one whole day planning my Pesach meals. I choose foods that I know will serve many people. I tear apart my recipes and make sure EVERYTHING is on the list. It takes a whole day. After that, I spend one whole day going shopping.

* I have two freezers. During the year, I keep one chametz free.


* It’s all about attitude! I feel that my home is a miniature Bais Hamikdash and I am like the Kohen Gadol. I keep this in mind all year long but when it comes to Pesach, the feeling is even stronger. For me, cleaning for Pesach is a spiritual cleansing.

* I start around Chanukah time…no food is allowed anywhere besides kitchen and dining room.

* I work in 20 minute intervals, one task per day. So if I have the time, I just pull out a drawer and clean it.

* I don’t clean one room at a time. That’s too hard. I break it down into tiny tasks to complete daily.

* After Purim I start on the kitchen. I clean out my pantry, take out real chametz and put it in boxes. I leave the boxes in the corner of my dining room. It never goes back in the closet. Slowly I work on the kitchen, one shelf and one cabinet at a time. Once a cabinet is done, I am very careful about putting my dishes back in there. Before I put the dishes away, I make sure they aren’t put on a chametz counter.

* Cleaning the oven takes one whole day. So does the fridge and the stove! If you think a task takes 2 hours, give it 4! You can’t do it all in a day.

* I try to have everything Pesachdik 4 days before. We will have our kitchen Pesachdik before Shabbos HaGadol this year. That means our Shabbos food will be Pesachdik. We will eat in the dining room on plastic. After shabbos, the tablecloth is literally thrown out the door. The Dining room is my last room to turn over.

* Making Pesach is a Family project. It is not only the mother’s job. I divide up chores according to what each person does best. Kids are responsible for doing their own rooms. Make it fun!

* Around Purim time, I make lists of everything that needs to done in each room. I clean one room each Sunday.

* My home is usually changed over Sunday night. Shabbos we eat in the kitchen. Motzai Shabbos I do the oven, stove, and sink. Sunday, I reline the pantry, put chametz downstairs and put out the Pesach food. Sunday night the Pesach dishes are brought upstairs. This is the one night a year that we go out to dinner.

* I reserve one day for cooking fleshigs and one for cooking milchigs. My kids do the baking.

* I spend Erev Yom Tov preparing the Seder plate.

* My shopping is done 2-3 weeks before pesach. I store the Pesach food in my second fridge. For someone without one, leave the food in boxes and buy the perishables later. I buy kosher for pesach brands all year round. I always ask myself-DO I REALLY NEED THIS, IT’S ONLY 8 DAYS!!!!!!??!!!!!!!!!

* I keep an active Pesach folder all year round with recipes, inventories, & lists.

Originally Posted June 2007

11 comments on “Pesach Advice From Experienced Jewish Homemakers.

  1. Thanks to all readers for your comments. A couple of things I wish to clarify. For the husband and wife with two young kids- my own kids are 3 1/2 years old and 2. I can relate and my house was actually turned over a week 1/2 before pesach. This is because I gave them kitniyos snacks before hand and followed other tips you can get when you sign up for the Free Jewish Holiday Reminder service at I can advise my readers a little more personally than I can when I reprint an article.

    About the Israeli cleaning product, at the time I recommended it I was absolutely unaware of the articles printed in newspapers about burnings and other life threatening dangers. Please be careful with it.

    And, I NEVER would suggest using it in an oven, I believe I was misquoted here: “The Israeli product (name escapes me) did work wonders on getting off some burnt in who knows what it was is my self-cleaning oven”

    No one should ever use chemical cleaners in a self cleaning oven.

    All year round I only use natural cleaning products, the ONLY exception is for the hard cold grease congealed in the fridge by Pesach time.

    That’s about it, please know you can have a stress-free Pesach. This one has been the easiest for me since I’ve followed my own advice in Pesach Perfectly Organized. You can do it!

  2. Bob and I bought the elements for Pesach because we weren’t sure that the ones that came with the stove could be properly kashered for Pesach. As for the racks, I thought we’d end up with a mass of melted metal in the oven.
    By the time I found out different, we already had the racks. At that point we figured that it was one less thing to worry about.

  3. There is a new product I saw in a Bed, Bath, and Beyond circular that for would be fantastic for year round and would help make next Pesach easier. It is a silicone oven liner that is supposed to wipe clean. It appears to be a bigger Silipat and I’ve had great experience with that product and plan to buy this new product. I beliee it is 19.99, but BBB always sends 20% off coupons.

  4. The reason I had to remove (the presumed to be baked in grease) is that when I attempted to use the self cleaner, all the smoke alarms went off. In fact, our Rav reminds us every year to make sure to remove drippings for just that reason.

    I’m willing to destroy my racks, with the possibility of someday having to replace them, for the convenience of having them kashered together with the oven. This will be their 13th year being kashered this way, and they’re still fine, just not shiny, but who cares about that?

  5. We bought separate sets of self-cleaning oven racks (grates?) and electric stove elements to reserve for Pesach use. It’s a relatively small one-time expense.

  6. Echoing Charnie above, the OU in their Pesach Guide for ovens says the procedure to kasher a self-cleaning oven is:

    1. Remove any visible pieces of food (or other items) from the oven:

    2. Go through one complete self cleaning cycle with the racks in place.

    One note with self-cleaning ovens. I am told that the racks warp if you leave them in during self-cleaning. So one family I know self-cleans their oven and then cleans kashers the racks (and grates, I presume) for 1.5 hours at the highest temperature.

    Our LOR does not require blowtorching or even self-cleaning and everyone should ask their LOR. But, as I discovered yet again yesterday when asking a question, we often presume the worst unnecessarily.

  7. Charnie said on
    March 26th, 2007 13:56 “The Israeli product (name escapes me) did work wonders on getting off some burnt in who knows what it was is my self-cleaning oven”

    If the self-cleaning function of the oven is working properly, Poskim might not consider just any carbon residue to be a chametz problem in the first place! Anyone with such a residue should address a proper shaila to their Rav before attempting use a corrosive chemical on a self-cleaning oven. Also, the oven manufacturers may consider harsh chemicals to be detrimental, even to the extent of voiding the warranty, if there is any—check the instruction book.

  8. Thank you for your tips.

    Unfortunately, most of your advice is very difficult, no, impossible, to put into practice! With two young children, both of us working and busy with so many things, many of which involve mitzvos and limud haToreh, which leaves us exhausted and worn out at the end of the day, B”H, this plan, as set out and with its advanced planning, is simply untenable. After I finished reading it, I said to myself: “My wife and I can only dream about being able to accomplish any of this”. I mean, 2 weeks before the Yom Tov, having our kitchen found to be chametz-free? Impossible! In fact, we are closing off our entire kitchen in our apartment (we have a bar fridge and hot plate for Peisach) because there is no time or energy to dedicate to cleaning it.

  9. The Israeli product (name escapes me) did work wonders on getting off some burnt in who knows what it was is my self-cleaning oven. And I didn’t learn about the product here – I learned about it from my hispanic cleaning lady who works for a lot of frum people! In KGH it’s available at Towne.

  10. Anyone with kids in the house has to beware of the really potent cleaners that can hurt someone badly in a flash. Foreign-made cleaning compounds may lack the label warnings that have to be shown on US-made types. Every year, there are horror stories in the news that kids have been injured who somehow got access to caustic cleaning compounds. One named cleaner of this type has been St. Moritz.

    For more on problems with cleaners, see:

  11. Printing this out!!!! What great tips. Yasher koach!

    LOL on the “Do I really need this, it’s only 8 days!” We don’t have a second fridge so we have a box of our Pesach stuff in the living room. Looks like we’re a couple of squirrels stocking up our chestnuts for the winter. :-D


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