Question:

If one has a grape juice spill (which is a bit sticky) on a plastic tablecloth on Shabbos, what is the proper way to clean it off? Is one permitted to pour water on the plastic tablecloth then rub it with a napkin? Or is it better to wet the napkin and then rub it? Or is it better to use a towel to clean up the grape juice?

Answer:

The way to clean of the spill here is to pour water on to the plastic tablecloth, dislodge the sticky grape juice with your hand (or a nylon glove) by rubbing the stain lightly, and then wipe up the water with a napkin or paper towels. This is the preferred way to do it. You can also use a cloth to wipe up the water, however there is an issue with using a cloth, that one might come to squeeze the water out of the cloth. Therefore it would only be permitted if it is a type of cloth that just gets thrown into the hamper, and is never rung out, or if the amount of water that you are sopping up is small enough that you wouldn’t have a need to squeeze out the cloth, ( or if you have enough cloths or towels on hand that you will just use a different towel to clean up the water.

Sources:

M:B 302-41, Shmiras Shabbos Khil choso 12-40,41, Igros Moshe O:Ch 2-70, Oz NIberu 7-9, Ohr Hashabbos 8 pg, 54, Megilas Sefe Shabbos 7, Children in Halacha pg. 208,, Igros Moshe Y:D 2-76.

Tags: Shabbos

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