# 2861 A Clean Slate on Clean Hands

Q. Is it allowed to use disinfectant cleaning fluid on Shabbos or Yom Kippur? Does it matter what kind of liquid it is?
A. On question 997 and 2020 regarding the use of liquid soap and soap that changes from liquid to foam as well as hand soap pumps which turn the soap into a foam, during Shabbos, we wrote:
“Remoh (O.H. 326: 10) prohibits using solid soap that dissolves into the water used for washing since it involves creating a new presence and this constitutes “nolad,” (born.)
Nolad refers to things that come into existence on Shabbos, for example breaking ice in order to produce water prohibited by the Talmud (Shabbos 51b.) Sefer Hat’rumah and Remoh, (318: 16 – see M”B 320: 35) explain that the reason is creating a new being.
Other Poskim prohibit because of the melacha of “memachek” or smoothing which is one of the thirty nine labours forbidden on Shabbos.
Yechave Daas (2:50 ) permits the use of a bar of soap, because the user has no intention of changing anything; he only intends to clean what he is washing.
However, Igrois Moshe (O.H. 1: 113) is stringent in the use of even liquid soaps that can be further diluted. Similarly, Rivavos Efraim (8: 154) follows his opinion.
Most Poskim maintain the prohibition on solid bar soaps but permit the use of free flowing liquid soaps, including the foam or bubbles unintentionally created.(Aruch Hashulchan 326: 11, Ketzos Hashulchan 146: 32, Bris Olam – Memachek 5, Beer Moshe 8: 248, Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchaso 14: 16, and 12: 7, et. al.)
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that free flowing or diluted liquid soap is permitted when needed.”
However, in regards to soap pumps that are made with the specific intention of pumping out the bottled liquid soap in a foam mode, the opinion of the Rov, is to be more stringent when possible, unless it is needed for the ill.”
The Rov advises the following rules to be followed in our troubled pandemic days.
1) The best option is to use when possible small amounts of pure Isopropyl Alcohol (70% USP), both for Shabbos and Yom Kippur when so needed. It can be poured or sprayed directly on the hands.
2) Next best choice is using aerator pumps containing disinfectant liquids that don’t leave behind an oily chemical smear on the hands. The above can be problematic specially during Yom Kippur, when “sicha” or anointing is forbidden. These pumps just infuse air into the liquid creating temporary bubbles for better distribution of the liquid. (Releasing and even creating bubbles, the Rov added, may not be prohibited. After all we do pour beer or soda from pre-opened bottles on Shabbos. As mentioned regarding creating soap bubbles, in need it is permitted).
3) Next in the list would be using soapy liquid directly poured out from a bottle, which as mentioned above many Poskim permit during Shabbos when needed. On Yom Kippur the Rov advised to be lenient only in case of real need, since after all it is not used for pleasure but as a medical necessity.
4) Last option would be the aerator pump containing a diluted form of liquid soapy or oily disinfectant, that when infused with air creates a foamy, bubbly, oily lather, as it leaves the dispenser.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.