When one realizes during davening that there is a smell of detergent on ones hands (chlorine), even though the hands were washed with water prior to davening, is the prayer void and does the person need to repeat the prayer?

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    Why would you think that the smell of something clean would invalidate your prayer? May 29, 2019 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


A yeshiva.co article titled "Reciting Brachos in the Presence of Unpleasant Odors" addresses a very similar scenario:

Only substances whose malodor results from decomposition prohibit reciting a bracha, but not inherently foul-smelling items, such as pitch (Chayei Odom 3:12; Mishnah Berurah 79:23). According to this ruling, one may recite a bracha in the presence of exhaust fumes or the stench generated by a skunk, since it is not a result of decomposition.

Thus, we can answer the first question asked above: "I work in a factory where many pungent chemicals are used. May I recite a bracha at work?" The answer is that you may, since this smell does not result from spoilage.

Based on this line of reasoning, the prayer is valid and one would NOT have to repeat it.


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