Cleaning a Non-absorbent Material On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Cleaning a Non-absorbent Material On Shabbat 👖👞


״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)


Question:

May one clean a non absorbent material on Shabbat?

My leather shoes got dirty can I clean them?


Answer:

Leathers, rubber, plastic, or other non-absorbent materials are not subject to the issue of soaking them with water.[1] However, one may not scrub the leather in order to clean it.[2]

One may clean dishes or a wooden table on Shabbat, even by scrubbing, and there is no issue of Melaben. [3]It is also permitted to clean a plastic chair in the same manner. [4] One may wash the dirt from a plastic table cloth on Shabbat and one may even scrub the stains while doing so.[5] Similarly, one may wear plastic gloves when washing dishes on Shabbat.[6] Furthermore, one may clean his glasses with water on Shabbat and dry them with a clean cloth. [7] If one’s shoes got dirty one may rub them on a stone, step or wall to get the mud off.[8] One may not clean shoes with water if they are made out of a fabric material. However, if they are

made out of leather then it is permitted to pour water on the shoe without scrubbing. If the shoe is sewn together with a non-synthetic material then one may not even pour water on it to clean it. [9]


Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch 302:9; Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 6, p. 96. See also in Yabia Omer, vol. 1, O.C. 32:1 and vol. 4, O.C. 30:19.

[2]. Shulchan Aruch 302:9.

[3]. Mishnah Berurah 302:41. However, the Mishnah Berurah 323:38 points out that one may not use a chemical that shines the wood while cleaning it on Shabbat.

[4]. Maaseh HaShabbat, vol. 1, p. 166.

[5]. Ohr LeTzion, vol. 2, 24:6; Tzitz Eliezer 5:10. This also seems to be the opinion of the Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 6, p. 96. See also in Igrot Moshe, O.C., vol. 5, p. 44, seif 9; ibid. Y.D., vol. 2, end of siman 76; Be’er Moshe 1:30; Ibid. 6:119 who are stringent that one should not scrub the stains vigorously, but one may be lenient with gentle rubbing to remove the stains.

[6]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 6, p. 104.

[7]. Maaseh HaShabbat, vol. 1, p. 166.

[8]. Bet Yosef 302:6; Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 2, p 83.

[9]. Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchatah 15:43; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 2, 65:4.


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