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Is one allowed to use the glass cups provided by a hotel (usually in the bathroom) for drinking? Or is there a Kashrus problem?

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Note that Snopes.com, run by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson, analyzes the evidence and concludes it's true that "some hotels do not properly wash and sterilize the drinking glasses placed in guest rooms." If you're concerned, you can re-wash the glasses yourself. I like to use hot water, plus soap or shampoo as a detergent. –  unforgettableid May 11 '12 at 20:12
    
    
@MonicaCellio Don't see the connection whatsoever. –  yydl May 11 '12 at 21:41
    
The top-rated answer there seems to address the issues here. –  Monica Cellio May 13 '12 at 1:43
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Good point. Sorry. –  Monica Cellio May 13 '12 at 2:25

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Good question.

Assuming the cup is clean, and you're using it for cold stuff, it's okay.

From a shiur I heard (I think an OU workplace kashrus one? Or was it a kashrus Q&A? It was on yutorah): the rule is that clean non-kosher dishes can be used for cold kosher food "once in a while." R' Hershel Shachter's psak is that "once in a while" is once in thirty days. So you could definitely use the glass the first day you check in; beyond that, if there's a reasonable chance that housekeeping brought you a new glass, then you haven't used that glass for thirty days, so drink away!

Sephardic Jews have the rule that glass never absorbs and thus (if clean) can never become a kosher issue at all, which would give you carte blanche here. But Ashkenazic Jews treat non-kosher glassware the same way we'd treat non-kosher metalware (at least before the fact), hence it took a few more steps to permit it, as discussed here.

Other problematic cases would be if you left the drink in the glass for 24 hours, or the drink was super-salty or super-alcoholic (e.g. straight hard liquor), in which case it could become a "pickling solution" and become non-kosher in a matter of minutes; see here for more on this. But if it's your usual water, juice, milk, you're fine.

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Shalom, while your first point by R' Schachter is an interesting psak (after 30 days is not keva), are you sure that he would assur using something "a few times" but not regularly. This halacha seems like it should be paskened according to the situation. Some Ashkenazim will also interchange glass since the Rema only mentions the halacha by Pesach, but this is debatable. –  YDK Jul 21 '10 at 3:57
    
YDK, he said this specifically with regard to hotel glasses. He said you could use it the first (I don't remember whether it's "day" or "time") but that's it; someone asked that they probably change the glasses; he said oh then it would be okay. Someone then asked about the fact that it's glass, he said for Ashkenazim it makes no difference lechatchila. –  Shalom Jul 21 '10 at 12:20
    
Lemon question here: mi.yodeya.com/questions/2236/… –  Shalom Jul 21 '10 at 14:58
    
YS, I'd think that hotel glassware is in fact glass. Ashkenazim are machmir lechatchila so it's irrelevant. For Sephardim ... plastic is one issue; if the "glass" is actually borosilicate or other fancy glass (e.g. pyrex or corningware), ask your rabbi; many hold it's no worse than ordinary glass. –  Shalom Jul 21 '10 at 15:51
    
As I wrote on YS's post by lemons, leaving regular liquids in a cup for longer than 24 hours is not a (kashrus) problem since the taste in the cup is then lifgam. Also, I have to research this, but I question whether whiskey absorbs in less than 24 hours. I remember even vinegar is not so pashut. (I'll source this later). –  YDK Jul 21 '10 at 19:53

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