A. Rooms in the House & furniture that need cleaning and Bedikas Chametz:
All rooms of the house that are suspected of having Chametz brought in require cleaning and Bedikas Chametz.. This is because there are times in which a person entered such a room in the middle of his seuda and there is therefore a fear that he may have left some Chametz behind. This applies even more so when there are children in the house who go from room to room with Chametz. Bedrooms are an issue in regards to the sick who ate in the bed. One also needs to perform Bedikas Chametz under the beds it is not uncommon for Chametz to fall there. This applies even more so to places in which one eats, such as the kitchen, dining-room and living room including the space in-between or under the cupboards if one is able to gain access with his hands.
B. After cleaning, what are the rules of Bedikas Chametz in these places:
After one has washed the floor with cleaning materials in the open area of the room, there is no need to perform Bedikas Chametz. With regards to the corners of the room, even though they are halachically considered “holes” or “grooves” requiring Bedikah, since anything remaining would becomes “unfit for a dog to eat” due to the cleaning materials, according to the essential Halacha there is no need to perform Bedikas Chametz there, however, in practice it appears that one should check in there in a superficial manner.
C. Bathrooms (without toilet) in general require cleaning and Bedikah as it is not uncommon for Chametz to be brought in there during a Seuda, especially on Erev Pesach where one may wash his hands before or after a meal. Restrooms (containing a toilet) require bedikah when there are children in the house. (Many make the mistake of not performing a bedikas chametz in these places. So, if one wants to perform bedikas chametz “b’tehara” (“in purity”) without having to do netilas yadayim again, he should leave the restroom till last.
D. Cupboards outside of the kitchen: The Poskim write that there is a fear that one may have needed something in the middle of a seuda from a cupboard and inadvertently left some Chametz behind. Therefore, any cupboard that is suspected of having Chametz requires bedikah. However, if one is used to washing ones hand before opening such cupboards, there would be no need to clean and perform bedikah there. Furthermore, if access to the higher parts of the cupboards require a chair or ladder, there is no need to clean and perform bedikas Chametz there. If there are children in the house, any place that they can access would in fact require cleaning and bedikah. Even more so, cupboards that have children’s toys are certainly considered to be places containing Chametz and would therefore require cleaning and bedikah.
The practical ways to clean and perform bedikas Chametz in cupboards and those places suspected of containing chametz:
- One should remove all the contents from the shelves and drawers (both fixed and removable) and clean them.
- One also needs to clean all the surfaces of the cupboard (sides, back bottom etc) and it is preferable to clean these surfaces with cleaning materials as this process will invalidate any remaining chametz there. Shelves that one is able remove and clean, do not require bedikas chametz. However, fixed shelving and the bottom of the cupboard do require bedikah in the corners. Drawers should be removed and cleaned and when performing bedikas chametz, only require superficial checking (unlike the shelves).
E. Bookshelves: With regards to bookshelves (open or closed) that are in a place where one eats throughout the year, the lower sections are considered to be places almost certain to contain Chametz, even more so in the case of children in the house. However, the higher less accessible places do not require bedikas chametz.
F. Clothes: If one’s clothes are laundered, there is no need to clean the pockets to perform bedikas chametz there since, after laundering, there is unlikely to be any remaining chametz, and any chametz would be deemed invalid by the laundering process. However, with regards to those clothes that one intends to wear on Pesach, it would seem appropriate to clean their pockets even though they have been laundered in order that no crumbs should inadvertently enter one’s food. This process of cleaning the pockets after laundering, entails turning them inside-out and dusting them off.
If one was not able to launder his clothes in general before Pesach, one should clean the pockets and hems (as these are considered places suspected of chametz), and should perform bedikas chametz in the sunlight or under the light of the room on them. It would be considered a fine bedikah and therefore, one would not need to reform bedikas chametz on the night of the 14th again.