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Laundry On Chol Hamoed?

The Daily Halacha Moment - Laundry On Chol HaMoed 👕👖

‎״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


May one launder one's clothing on Chol HaMoed?


Laundering, like cutting hair, is prohibited on Chol HaMoed by a special rabbinic decree. Thus, hand-washing, machine washing, and dry-cleaning are all prohibited on Chol HaMoed. Even one who laundered his whole wardrobe before the festival may not re-launder items that became soiled during the festival. However, if one only has one set of clothing and negligently did not clean it beforehand, he may nevertheless clean it on Chol HaMoed, since he has nothing else to wear.[1]

Soiled Undergarments may be washed, provided that one only washes what he needs for the moed.[2]

Similarly, One may not have his clothing washed even by a non-Jew on Chol HaMoed.[3]

Spot cleaning, according to many poskim, is permitted. However, one may only clean the particular spot. If there will be no damage to the clothing, it is preferable to clean it after the moed. [4]

One may wash a child’s clothing if the child consistently soils them during chol hamoed and needs fresh clothing often [5]. Once one is washing these soiled clothing, one may also add clothing of another child (who is under thirteen), even though he does not soil his clothing so consistently. However, one may not add an adult’s (who is over the age of thirteen) clothing to the load. [6]


[1]. Shulchan Aruch 534:1; Chazon Ovadia, Yom Tov, p. 198; Yalkut Yosef, Moadim, p. 518. See also Kaf HaChaim §11. Ohr LeTzion, vol. 3, 24:3 adds that if one has other clothing that are not Shabbat clothing, he may still wash his Shabbat clothing, and does not have to wear weekday clothing on Chol HaMoed.

[2]. This is the view of _Chazon Ovadia, Yom Tov_, p. 198. See also _Be’er Moshe_ 7:6; Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 3, 11:7.

[3]. See Shulchan Aruch, O.C. 543:1; Birkei Yosef §1.

[4]. See Igrot Moshe, O.C., vol. 5, 36:1, and Be’er Moshe 7:33, who write that one may only clean the dirtied spot, and one may neither bring it to a cleaner to clean nor clean the entire shirt. This is also the opinion of the _Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchatah_, vol. 2, 66:72, and Chazon Ovadia, Yom Tov, p. 200. For the more stringent opinions, see Ashrei HaIsh, vol. 3, 11:10; Chut Shani, Chol HaMoed, p. 238; Minchat Yitzchak 8:50; Chol HaMoed Kehilchatah, p. 183; Avnei Yoshfeh 1:104, anaf 3; Kovetz Mevakshei Torah, Chol HaMoed, p. 456.

[5]. Shulchan Aruch 534:1; Mishnah Berurah §11. See also Ohr LeTzion, vol. 3, 24:1. The Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchatah 66:64 adds that one may not leave a child’s dirty clothing to be washed on chol hamoed lechatchilah, and, if possible, one must wash them before the chag.

[6]. Yabia Omer, O.C. 7:47; Chazon Ovadia, Yom Tov, p. 199; Be’er Moshe 7:32; Ohr LeTzion, vol. 3, 24:2.

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