There is a halacha not to launder clothes or linens during the nine days, or at least during Shavua She'Chol Bo (the part of that period that's during the week of Tish'a B'Av). Is there room for leniency where bedbugs are present in one's home and she is advised to wash linens and clothes to help get rid of the bedbugs? Is there a difference in halacha if she does the laundry before Shabbos or after (i.e. during Shavua She'Chol Bo)? Any sources or arguments would be most welcome.

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    chama, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for bringing your question here! Note that this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly rabbinic) advice. Treat information from this site like it came from a crowd of your friends. To that end, I've edited your question so it is more general than about a specific case; also so it has some background motivating information. I hope you stick around and enjoy the site.
    – msh210
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 17:06
  • I would recommend searching the internet for ways other than washing the sheets to get rid of bed bugs. A simple youtube search should the trick youtube.com/… Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 19:17
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    I'm not sure it actually apples but the concept במקום צער לא גזרו (the Sages didn't include situations of great discomfort in their decrees) seems relevant.
    – Yirmeyahu
    Commented Jul 11, 2013 at 5:30
  • Bimkom Saar Lo Gazur Rabanan? Commented Aug 20, 2013 at 4:25

1 Answer 1


Assuming that the infestation will only get worse if you do not wash the clothes I would say it's ok since it is no different than anything else you can do during the 9 days that is not for simcha or to prevent financial loss.

If the washing can wait then obviously it is better to wait after the Tisha B'Av.

For a great overview of the laws of doing laundry during the 9 days see here:

They are Washed During the Nine Days

More Sources:

מנהגי שלושת השבועות

מ"ב תקנא

  • Laundering is forbidden because of Simcha?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 11, 2013 at 15:38
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    No. Laundering according to Rabbi Kaganoff (in the first link) is that we are expressing our state of mourning. However since here the infestation will get worse thus causing more work to be done if delayed, the heter of financial loss can be applied. I added the phrase simcha or financial loss to point out that we find more than one dispensation for the rules of the 9 days.
    – eramm
    Commented Jul 11, 2013 at 16:49

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