Passover Cleaning and Why Everyone Should Do It

Passover Cleaning and Why Everyone Should Do It

Cleaning for Passover usually starts in the kitchen by banishing chametz (bread, cake, and any foods made with leavening agents). This includes cookies, crackers, pasta, wheat, barley, rye, oats, or spelt that has met water, fermented, and risen. It's a lot. Some people throw it away, some burn it, and others box it up and "sell" it to their non-Jewish friends to symbolically remove it from their homes and possessions until the holiday is over.

Here's the part I like: Chametz cleaning involves meticulously checking every area of your life to ensure every last crumb is gone. That means the pantry, of course, but also the sofa cushions, the oven, the toaster, the car, and every closet, bag, and backpack. It's an FBI cleanse for breadcrumbs! 

And before you think it's just for those who celebrate, let me share why it's an annual ritual we might all consider embracing:

  • It's about removing unnecessary things (and making room for what's really important). Getting rid of stale pasta and that crushed granola bar is practical, but I like the symbolic push to take stock of what you have and need (and what you don't).
  • It's a Physical Act of Transition: After the kitchen, I moved onto the living room where last year's holiday decorations were boxed up but still lurking in a corner, glaring at me. Wasn't there a tin of sugar cookies in there? It's funny how items become almost invisible over time. I re-packed them (the boys had found and devoured the cookies) and put them in the garage. It reminded me to check the pockets of Spring coats and bring out our ski clothes (I found an ancient Kind Bar in a parka pocket)! I washed what I could and gave the dry-clean-only things a good spray and brush with Garment Groom before packing them away for the season.
  • The Car tells a Story: You can't do a detailed car interior cleanse and come out the same person. It was an epic undertaking, transforming my family's well-loved SUV from a rolling storage space to a "luxury ride." I gave the whole car a good vacuum, cleaned all the windows and mirrors, sprayed and brushed the mats with Floor Cleaner, and applied Leather Cleaner to the dashboard and tyres. Mid-cleanup, I found a long-lost earring back, an eyebrow pencil, and a few petrified French fries. Gross, but each discovery told a story, a reminder of our lives and the roads we travelled.


The 8 Places You Should Check for Chametz:

  1. Under the Fridge: That no-man's land where crumbs go to die.
  2. Handbags: A treasure trove of forgotten snack remnants.
  3. Sofas: Remember Pizza Night? Pizza bones and popcorn are frequent stowaways.
  4. Kids' Backpacks: A crumbly repository of school day snacks.
  5. The Car Seats: The final resting place for grocery bag spillovers.
  6. Pet Feeding Areas: Where kibble bits and snack crumbs mingle.
  7. The Toaster: A haven for hidden chametz.
  8. Gadget Cases and Keyboards: Crumbs love to snuggle in with your tech.

Passover cleaning offers a compelling blend of tradition, thoroughness, and symbolism that holds value for anyone looking to refresh their space and spirit this spring. Whether you're meticulously removing every crumb of chametz or inspired to declutter and cleanse, the essence of this ritual can add a meaningful layer to your spring-cleaning routine. Remember, you're not just "cleaning" — you're creating a clean and organized space that welcomes growth, clarity, and new beginnings.