13. Kelim of Enamel, Plastic, and Other Materials

Enamel kelim are made of metal and coated with a thin layer of enamel for aesthetic reasons. The inside of the pot is usually painted white, while the outside is decorated with different colors. Enamel is made of sand like glassware, but it is manufactured differently. In practice, one may perform hagala on enamel kelim like all other metal kelim.[13]

The same applies to all types of metals, leather, wood, and bone. Only earthenware cannot be kashered, because, due to the unique composition of earthenware, it absorbs a lot and does not release all that it absorbs.

Plastic kelim that have absorbed the taste of boiling hot food are kashered via hagala with boiling water, like all other kelim. However, sometimes plastic kelim get scratched, making it hard to clean them well. Therefore, the accepted recommendation is to replace plastic baby bottles and pacifiers before Pesaḥ, as it is hard to clean them to the point that their original shine is restored. Nevertheless, in times of need, they can be kashered by means of a good cleaning and hagala or pouring boiling water from a kli rishon.[14]


[13]. At first, poskim were uncertain about enamel because its craftsmen kept enamel’s composition secret. Then, when it became known that enamel is sand-based, uncertainly arose again as to whether such kelim have the status of earthenware. Responsa Ḥatam Sofer (YD 113) states that enamel is kashered via light libun. R. Shlomo Kluger rules stringently that one may not kasher enamel even via libun, since it might get damaged in the process (Tuv Ta’am Va-da’at 1:183). AHS YD 121:27 states that it can be kashered by performing hagala three times, relying on the view of Itur that triple hagala is effective even for earthenware kelim once 24 hours have passed since their use with prohibited food. The accepted ruling is that they can be kashered by means of hagala, since they are primarily metal and the enamel coating is like glass. This is the view of Aderet, and so state R. Mordechai Eliyahu’s Hilkhot Ḥagim 5:39 and Ḥazon Ovadia, Pesaḥ, p. 157.

[14]. Igrot Moshe (OḤ 1:92) states that one should not perform hagala on kelim made of plastic or other synthetic materials not mentioned by the Rishonim, since such materials might be like earthenware, which does not release what it has absorbed. This is also the view of R. Yaakov Shaul Elyashar and Lehorot Natan 6:69. Nonetheless, most poskim agree that plastic kelim can be kashered by means of hagala. These include: Responsa Ḥelkat Yaakov 2:163; Seridei Esh 2:160; R. Levi Yitzḥak Halperin; R. Mordechai Eliyahu, Hilkhot Ḥagim 5:86; Ḥazon Ovadia, Pesaḥ, p. 151; and Or Le-Tziyon 3:10:13.

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The Laws of Shabbat (1+2) - Yocheved Cohen
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The Laws of Pesach - Joshua Wertheimer
The Laws of Zemanim - Moshe Lichtman

Editor: Nechama Unterman