Peninei Halakha

16. Plastic Utensils

Plastic utensils that have absorbed the taste of boiling hot food are koshered via hagala with boiling water, like all other utensils. This is true of all types of metal, such as silver, copper, iron, aluminum, etc., as well as utensils of leather, wood, and bone. It is earthenware alone that the poskim say cannot be koshered, because, due to its unique composition, it is very absorbent, but does not release all that it absorbs. And some poskim say that glassware has the same status as earthenware.

However, Igrot Moshe (OĤ  1:92) states that one should not perform hagala on utensils 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. Nonetheless, the overwhelming majority of Aĥaronim agree that hagala is effective on plastic utensils, and this is the halakha. Utensils made of hard plastic are koshered through hagala in a kli rishon on the flame, whereas plastic utensils that are liable to be damaged in a kli rishon on the burner can be koshered at the same level they absorbed the ĥametz.[14]

[14]. Those who ruled leniently are: Responsa Ĥelkat Yaakov 2:163, Seridei Esh 2:160, Tzitz Eliezer 4:6, and many others. This is also what Hagalat Kelim states in 13:91. Sidur Pesaĥ Ke-hilkhato 9:25 assigns greater weight to the stringent opinions, and states that triple hagala seemingly works according to everyone (based on the opinion of Itur that triple hagala is effective even on earthenware vessels once twenty-four hours have elapsed since their last use, although it seems that one needs to change the water between each stage of hagala; see Sidur Pesaĥ Ke-hilkhato 9:25 n. 10). It seems proper to wait twenty-four hours, ensuring that any absorbed taste is foul, in which case hagala is only rabbinically required, and one may be lenient in a case of uncertainty about a rabbinic law.

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