Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Washing dishes on Shabbos


May I wash the dishes after a meal on Shabbos?

[Note: The following answer assumes one does not use hot water, hard soap, sponges, steel wool, or drying towels, all of which can pose separate problems.]

We are prohibited from preparing on Shabbos for needs which will surface after Shabbos. However, one may wash dishes which one might need on Shabbos, even without a definite need. Many authorities even permit washing dishes when clean dishes are already available.

One certainly may wash dirty dishes if they are attracting bugs or if their presence poses a hygiene risk.

(Shabbos 113a, 118a; Tosefta Shabbos 12:17; Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Shabbos 23:7; Raavad and Maggid Mishneh ibid; Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 323:6; Magen Avraham 323:9; b'Tzel haChachmah 4:130; Yesodei Yeshurun 4:307; Teshuvos v'Hanhagos 1:223; Beer Moshe 6:82; Shemirat Shabbat k'Hilchatah 12:footnote 4; Mishneh Halachos 6:80)

Have a great day,


  1. what about using the hot water from shabbes urn?

  2. Peter-
    I believe one would need to pass it through another utensil first, as a kli sheini.