Some holidays take prep and on Pesach that means getting rid of all of your Chametz. Here are some tried and true techniques from yours truly to make sure your house is Chametz-free for Pesach:
Eat Whatever You Can
This method of cleaning is good for those who do not like throwing stuff out and do not care about their waistline.
Eating whatever you can, helps with ridding your home of past due date items. For example: If you are willing to consume cake that has mold on it, then now is the time to finish off the Babka. The 2006 mandel bread might have been purchased hard and stale, which is confusing when it is still hard and stale 10 years later. No matter how hard it is, that does not mean you shouldn’t eat it before Passover.
This is also a good chance to find some use for the mishloach manot, the Purim gift baskets with lemon wafers and poppy seed hamentashen that your friends baked by accident.
Ano Rauy LaAchilat Kelev
There is an idea that whatever is Chametz, is not considered Chametz if it is not fit for a dog to eat. This includes frozen meat and anything my roommate has cooked in the last three years.
I have seen some dogs that will eat most anything, so do not take this to be a leniency. I was walking down the street recently and saw my neighbor’s pug licking it, and by it I mean the actual street!
Without shpritzes or “sprays” you are not cleaning for Passover. The first step in cleaning is to get every shpritz possible. Six to twelve sprays are good: The shpritz that cleans sinks. The shpritz that cleans sinks and tiles. The shpritz that cleans sinks, tiles and showers. The shpritz that cleans off the shpritz…
Spray Down Your Home and It Will Be Kosher for Pesach
Point is, spray a lot. Turn your home into a semi-toxic nuclear plant. That is Kosher for Passover and dogs will not eat it.
A picture of a skull on the label is important. This will reassure you that your spray is toxic. The skull with an ‘x’ made of bones is a comforting sign of good Passover practice, ensuring that your home is not edible.
Do Not Eat the Sprays
Safety comes first at Jewlarious.
Make sure your spray says ‘Do Not Eat.’ Otherwise, it will get confusing when are spraying down the wood and you get hungry.
Yes, you purchased a spray that says ‘Kosher for Pesach,’ but it says on the back ‘Do not eat.’ That is very confusing. I recommend you consult with your local rabbi to see if you should or shouldn’t eat it on Pesach.
Use the Picture To help You Figure out Which Shpritz
You have to know what each spray is for. If you see the picture of a sink, that means it cleans sinks. Sinks, tubs and tiles, has the picture of the sink, tub and tiles.
Picture of a lemon, means it cleans lemons. A picture of lemons on the shpritz does not clean lavender. The one with the purple flowers on it cleans lavender. Do not eat the lemon spray. Although it looks quite tasty, it is at most 2% natural lemons.
Blue shpritz cleans windows. It has to be blue to clean windows. If it doesn’t have a picture of windows on it, blue is a good enough indication that it is a form of Windex. Different brands clean differently, so make sure yours is the right shade of blue.
‘For wood’ means it is for wood. Nonetheless, it must have a picture of furniture on it. If it doesn’t show furniture, it should only be used on branches.
Strong Sprays for Grease
Oven cleaner spray takes off grease from your oven and part of your fingers. The oven cleaner warning should read, ‘Do not use. May lose appendage.’ But it doesn’t. There is no picture of a skeleton arm with an ‘x’ made of bones sign on it.
To Make it a Family Experience- Use Your Children to Mop the Floor
Get them to mop the floor for you. This is a good chance to finally get your unhelpful children to clean. At Jewish schools, they will learn about the importance of getting rid of Chametz and feel a religious obligation. Take advantage of this by telling them stuff is Chametz. You can practice now: ‘The mantel is Chametz, dust it.’ ‘The chair needs a shine, it is Chametz, shpritz it.’ ‘Your room is Chametz, fold your pants and put them in the drawer.’
I grew up thinking that windows had to be cleaned because there might be Chametz on the glass. I never ate off a sliding glass door, but I felt like I was doing a positive commandment by using blue spray on them. I also mowed the lawn a few times, thinking ‘grass that is shorter is not considered Chametz.’ I cut the grass and then sprayed it down.
The Final Steps- Real Cleaning
For the final step of cleaning: After you’ve shpritzed the house and cleaned all the Chametz out of all the rooms, you now place bread around the house. Don’t argue with tradition, this does make enormous sense. This tradition, called Bedikat Chametz, is done the night before Pesach, giving you more to clean.
Real Cleaning is With a Spoon and A Feather
When all the bread is laid out around the house, it is time for the big guns to come in and do the real cleaning. For that, in my house, my dad comes in and saves the day with a wooden spoon and feather. My mother’s efforts of scrubbing the floors and tiles with every shpritz possible was for naught.
After all of the scrubbing and use of pointless cleaning instruments, like brooms and dustpans, it is just the feather and spoon that are needed. Who knew?
I think in ancient Pesach cleaning, the feather was used to tickle the wall, in hopes that it would fold over the course of the interrogation process and tell you where the bread is.
For this style of traditional cleaning, Moroccans use Aravot, myrtle branches from Sukkot, and not a feather. You clean the Chametz with that, and then you try to clean the dried-up leaves that got all over the house.
After you have finished with all the feathering of your home, it is now time to pull out the tinfoil. A house covered in tinfoil is the sign that Pesach has begun.