Many refrigerators have an outside ice / water dispenser. The fridge makes ice "cones" which go into a reserved plastic ice bucket that is attached to the inside of the fridge door.

Ice can be dispensed by pressing a glass on the outside of the door and the cones will fall out of the dispenser. Likewise, water is dispensed through the same slot.

On Shabbat, one must open the fridge, detach the plastic bucket and manually remove ice cones.

Offhand, the only possibilities of chametz that I can see here are either if there might have been chametz on one's hands when manually pulling out an ice cone - Would that be batel considering that there is far more ice than a crumb of chametz?

If there is a concern that chametz might be on left-over ice cones, would emptying all the cones be needed before Pesach and would that be sufficient to kasher it?

Another possibility is that a chametz glass may have touched the outside lever that dispenses the ice or water. The lever is made of steel.

I am mainly curious if the ice bucket needs to be koshered at all and if so, how? The ice bucket can be removed. It is made of hard plastic. Does the lever need to be kashered? Can the lever be kashered in any way considering that it can't be removed?

  • i believe rabbi belsky ztl told my father it only needs to be wiped down and old ice removed
    – Hershy S.
    Mar 13, 2018 at 17:12
  • "Would that be batel considering that there is far more ice than a crumb of chametz?" If the crumb separable from the ice (which I assume is the case) it would probably not be batel.
    – msh210
    Mar 13, 2018 at 18:51
  • @msh210 I hadn't thought of it, but most likely, the crumb would stick to the cubes which are removed from the dispenser when you reach in, anyway.
    – DanF
    Mar 13, 2018 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


You asked: Does a refrigerator ice machine need to be cleaned for Pesach?

The Shulchan Aruch clearly states that any place where Chametz could enter needs to be checked for chametz on Bedikath-Chametz night.

Based on your description (about crumbs on ice) this qualifies.

The Remo says that all those places need to be cleaned beforehand.

So the answer becomes: yes, clean it.

See סימן תלג - בדיקת חמץ in Shulchan Aruch:

ג: בּוֹדֵק כָּל הַמְּקוֹמוֹת שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָחוּשׁ שֶׁמָּא הִכְנִיסוּ בָּהֶם חָמֵץ.‏

יא: הַמְכַבֵּד חַדְרוֹ בְּי''ג בְּנִיסָן וּמְכַוֵּן לִבְדֹּק הֶחָמֵץ וּלְבַעֲרוֹ, וְנִזְהָר שֶׁלֹּא לְהַכְנִיס שָׁם עוֹד חָמֵץ, אַף עַל פִּי כֵן צָרִיךְ לִבְדֹּק בְּלֵיל י''ד. הגה: וְכָל אָדָם צָרִיךְ לְכַבֵּד חֲדָרָיו קֹדֶם הַבְּדִיקָה (מָרְדְּכַי רֵישׁ פְּסָחִים). וְהַכִּיסִים אוֹ בָּתֵּי יָד שֶׁל בְּגָדִים שֶׁנּוֹתְנִים בָּהֶם לִפְעָמִים חָמֵץ, צְרִיכִין בְּדִיקָה (מַהֲרִי''ו).‏

You then asked: I am mainly curious if the ice bucket needs to be koshered at all and if so, how?

The Shulchan Aruch writes in סימן תנא - דיני הגעלת כלים that items used mainly as cold do not become Chametz and just need to be rinsed.

So the machine that cannot be kashered easily should probably be wiped down (you may want to consider shutting down the freezer so that all existing ice melts away first).

The removable parts - like the tray - should be rinsed.

כה: כָּל כְּלֵי הַשְּׁתִיָּה, בֵּין צְלוֹחִיּוֹת בֵּין כּוֹסוֹת, מֻתָּרִים בִּשְׁטִיפָה. בֵּין שֶׁהֵם שֶׁל זְכוּכִית, בֵּין שֶׁהֵם שֶׁל עֵץ, בֵּין שֶׁהֵם שֶׁל מַתֶּכֶת, בֵּין שֶׁהֵם שֶׁל חֶרֶס, וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלִּפְעָמִים נוֹתְנִים בָּהֶם לֶחֶם חַם, כֵּיוָן שֶׁרֹב תַּשְׁמִישָׁן אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא בְּצוֹנֵן סַגֵּי בִּשְׁטִיפָה, שֶׁלֹּא הָלְכוּ בְּכָל כְּלִי אֶלָּא אַחַר רֹב תַּשְׁמִישׁוֹ. הגה: מִיהוּ יֵשׁ מַחְמִירִים וּמַצְרִיכִים הַגְעָלָה, וְכֵן .נוֹהֲגִין וְעַיֵּן לְעֵיל סָעִיף ו'

Even though the Remo says the minhag is to Kasher them items used mainly cold, he refers you to Siman 6 where he states that this is because occasionally they are used warm and it's best to be stringent. But ice makers are never in contact with anything remotely warm.

However, if you occasionally rinse your ice maker bucker in warm water, you may need to consider kashering it for Pessach.

ו: כָּל כְּלִי הוֹלְכִין בּוֹ אַחַר רֹב תַּשְׁמִישׁוֹ; הִלְכָּךְ קְעָרוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלִּפְעָמִים מִשְׁתַּמְּשִׁין בָּהֶם בִּכְלִי רִאשׁוֹן עַל הָאֵשׁ, כֵּיוָן שֶׁרֹב תַּשְׁמִישָׁן הוּא בְּעֵרוּי שֶׁמְּעָרֶה עֲלֵיהֶן מִכְּלִי רִאשׁוֹן, כָּךְ הוּא הֶכְשְׁרָן. הגה: וְיֵשׁ מַחְמִירִין לְהַגְעִיל הַקְּעָרוֹת בִּכְלִי רִאשׁוֹן (טוּר בְּשֵׁם אָבִי הָעֶזְרִי וּמָרְדְּכַי פ' כָּל שָׁעָה וְתוֹסָפוֹת סוֹף מַסֶכֶת ע''ז), וְכֵן הוּא הַמִּנְהָג. וְכֵן בְּכָל דָּבָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָחוּשׁ שֶׁמָּא נִשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בּוֹ בִּכְלִי רִאשׁוֹן, כְּגוֹן כַּפּוֹת וְכַדּוֹמֶה לָזֶה (הַגָּהוֹת מַיְמוֹנִי פ''ה וְאָגוּר). וְיֵשׁ מַחְמִירִין לְהַגְעִיל כָּל כְּלֵי שְׁתִיָּה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁתַּשְׁמִישָׁן בְּצוֹנֵן, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁלִּפְעָמִים מִשְׁתַּמְּשִׁין בָּהֶם בְּחַמִּין (רַבֵּנוּ יְרוּחָם); וְכֵן הוּא הַמִּנְהָג לְהַגְעִילָן, וּבְדִיעֲבַד סַגֵּי לְהוּ (כג) בִּשְׁטִיפָה. וּקְעָרוֹת גְּדוֹלוֹת שֶׁלֹּא יוּכַל לְהַכְנִיס תּוֹךְ כְּלִי רִאשׁוֹן, יִתֵּן עֲלֵיהֶם אֶבֶן (כד) מְלֻבָּן וִיעָרֶה עֲלֵיהֶם רוֹתְחִין מִכְּלִי רִאשׁוֹן, וְהָוֵי כִּכְלִי רִאשׁוֹן. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. וְיַעֲבִיר הָאֶבֶן עַל כָּל הַכְּלִי, שֶׁאָז מַגְעִיל כֻּלּוֹ (מָרְדְּכַי פ' כָּל שָׁעָה וְהַגָּהוֹת מַיְמוֹנִי פ''ה וְאָגוּר וְאִסוּר וְהֶתֵּר הָאָרֹךְ כְּלָל נ''ח).

  • Seems like you've touched all the bases! Re the par. beginning "So the machine that cannot be kashered ..." The machine is internal to the fridge so no chametz gets into that part. As for the ice bucket, usually once the cones are removed, there is nothing else there that gets stuck, So, I don't think turning off the freezer is necessary for this type of device.
    – DanF
    Mar 14, 2018 at 14:06

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