Monday, March 22, 2010

Kasher LePesach Toiletries and Hygene products

*** UPDATED ***
Every year the same questions come up regarding chomeitz Alcohol in Toiletries. People see alcohol in the product and panic. Very often however, they are suitable for use on Pesach.

These guidelines come from a shiur by Rav Zev Leff (Shlit"a)

Rav Moshe Feinstein (zt"l) ruled that we should only really be concerned about liquids and gels that contain chomeitz based alcohol. In theory, these liquids could be distilled (similar to whisky) and turned back into drinkable alcohol. These items should be put away for Pesach and sold. As creams cannot be distilled we should not be concerned about any alcohol ingredients. Many however are strict and put even creams away that contain possible chomeitz alcohol based ingredients.

Lipsticks: You should buy new lipsticks for Pesach with a Kasher lePesach hechsher.

Mouthwash: You should buy new for Pesach with a Kasher LePesach hechsher. (BTW, the most common mouthwash, "Listerine", contains grain based alcohol).

Toothpaste or Lip ointment: Despite being pastes or ointments, we are strict when it comes to anything that comes near or enters the mouth and so one should buy new for Pesach with a Kasher LePesach hechsher. (BTW, The most common lip ointment, "Blistex", contains grain based alcohol).

Liquid Toiletries: Deodorants, Perfumes, Lotions etc, try to buy with a kasher lePesach hechsher.

However if they have no hechshir then you can follow these general guidelines:

Chomeitz Free Alcohol

Methanol alcohol is made from wood or other organic substances and has no chametz components.
Isopropyl alcohol is made from propene or petrol and has no chametz components

Stearyl alcohol is made from  Stearic acid which comes from either animal or vegetable fat.
There is no problem as far as chametz is concerned but consult your Rav if you find this in any lipstick or lip ointment)

Cetyl alcohol is made from Palm or other vegetable oil and has no chametz components

Danger of Chomeitz based Alcohol

Ethyl alcohol (Ethanol) is made from grain and contains chomeitz components.

Denat (Denatured) Alcohol is a form of Ethyl and contains chomeitz components.

Alcohol. Any product that simply states "Alcohol" should be treated as if it contains Ethanol, as this is the most common form of Alcohol for cosmetics and hygene products such as mouth wash.

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