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Kosher Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Someone on my backup facebook account sent me this picture he snapped of kosher toilet bowl cleaner and yes it makes one think how extreme the kashrus industry can go and if we should even trust an industry which doesn;t feel like it’s even stealing by having someone pay for a symbol on a product that no animal would even eat. I can’t remember the last time I cooked soup and served it out of the toilet bowl or produced expelled something good enough to eat, but maybe the Rabbis are scared of a two girls one toilet bowl situation happening with frum girls and they don;t want to take any chances.

I do get a lot of questions via email asking me as to why there are kosher symbols on various products like tissues, plums and detergents. All of those are things that may actually need to be kosher, detergent is used to wash clothing and sometimes when something falls on your clothing it may soak up some of the detergent residue and you may be over the issur of eating treife laundry detergent. Some of you may have noticed that those little fruit tags that tell you where the cheapest slave labor available to pick your fruit came from have started to contain a small OU on them, I laughed at this the first time I saw it, but I finally understood the genius behind the folks who run the OU. They were able to convince thousands of Charedim to eat fruit, to discover that there is joy in natural foods besides for kugels and cholents. Now Charedim can find kosher fruit around the world, without having to check those complicated lists in foreign countries that tell you waht you can eat without a hechsher.

Making fruit officially kosher really was a brilliant idea, whether or not you agree with the fanaticism, I sure as hell don’t, you have to give the OU marks for getting a fruit company to pay to have their fruit certified kosher. I wonder if these “place your hechsher on the craziest things possible” salespeople go to a special school for this? You can’t just be any old salesman when it comes to convincing a bottled water company to allow rabbis to make their water officially kosher, besides for being an affront to a pure spring water company that guarantees their water is pure, this seems a bit much to stomach. So this salesman would have to go to the water company with a rigged microscope and try to prove that these microscopic bugs that frum people may see, will bring their sales down – suddenly water has to be kosher.

But water, fruit, laundry detergent and tissues are nothing in comparison to toilet bowl cleaner. I should have also mentioned that the post kiddush club puke fests in shul bathrooms may lead to splashback and if the toilet bowl cleaner happened to have treife in it and happened not to be toxic you may have a problem, sure it’s an accident, but who knows how we will be judged for consuming minute amounts of puke mixed with toilet bowl water that touched treife toilet bowl cleaner in beis din shel maala? This could be a serious offense for someone on such a high madreiga that has a heter for drinking obscene amounts of booze during the haftorah, sure if you;re some regular old shmo following along in the artscroll who happens to feel nauseous this may not matter, but for someone on such a high madreiga as to be invited to the kiddush club in the first place, oy, I don;t even want to imagine what satan is planning up there.

What if you drop your yamrulke in the toilet? This is more likely for the frummer sect who think that it’s beged isha to wear bobby pins or clips and therefore has a likelier chance of stray yarmulke accidents. I know my yarmulke has ended up in plenty of toilets, now what if you’re one of those kids that chews on his yarmulke? Tell me that’s not assur? In fact that may even be sechita if it happens on shabbos.

Now what if there’s chometz in the toilet bowl cleaner? They say that toilet bowls are very clean and it’s possible for you to get benefit from the knowledge that your toilet bowl is cleanest on the block. So if there was chometz in the toilet bowl cleaner, the OU could now let you know this fact with the little dash with a P next to it, you get a mitzvah for being that much more OCD about passover cleaning and the OU makes bank by price gouging kosher for pesach toilet bowl cleaner.

It all sounds far fetched, but imagine if they could together a product placement campaign in which some big gedolim were seen cleaning their toilets with kosher toilet bowl cleaner, they may able to pull off one of those celebrity studed advertisements that Kupat Ha’ir likes to pull off, of couse it would be extremely strange to find people who were in dire straits and when they started using the kosher toilet bowl cleaner their prayers for parnassah, shidduch and health were answered.

“I was having trouble finding a shidduch, I did all the segulas, but when I switched from Mr Clean to the strictly kosher toilet bowl cleaner I suddenly found my wife and we lived happily ever after with the knowledge that toilet cleaner saved our lives.”

You gotta admit that it would be good marketing.

{ 101 comments… add one }
  • Broseph Lieberman November 21, 2010, 11:27 AM

    one of your best in a while hesh, even my mom was cracking up but my father once went out to do kashrus on a water company and he asked for the ingredients and they said just water, and they only sell water and only clean with water so he said replied (obviously in jest) “maybe for a small extra fee we could get you passover certification!”

  • otd bec November 21, 2010, 11:57 AM

    uber kosher anal retentiveness….

    btw, excellent post.

  • kissmeimshomer November 21, 2010, 12:15 PM

    Best post in a long while! Awesome.

  • Yoreh K'chetz (aka Phil) November 21, 2010, 1:34 PM

    That ones too weird, my guess that it’s either fake, or a “blanket” hechsher for a company that doesn’t produce any non kosher products.

    If food were to fall in a toilet, it automatically become non kosher due to it’s status as “mius” (disgusting).

    Give it 5-10 years, and you’ll have some idiot saying that you can’t buy toilet bowl cleaner without a hechsher, or another genius saying something like “it’s better not to”.

  • Yerachmiel Lopin November 21, 2010, 1:34 PM

    Nice. You got me thinking about next frontiers. I think it should be car fluids. There was that pesach scam on gasoline. Who wants to have window washer fluid contaminated with grain alcohol. Engine oil with lard. The segulah will be higher mileage.

  • Bubba Metzia November 21, 2010, 2:22 PM

    This is even more ridiculous than those paper towels that have a kosher for Pesach hechsher because the glue to hold the last towel to the towel roll isn’t made with corn.

  • A. Nuran November 21, 2010, 2:35 PM

    I’ve seen hot-rolled steel with a hescher. Seriously. I’m familiar with every step of the process and can’t think of where the trayf could come in. Maybe it’s because it was made from pig-iron?

    • Yoreh K'chetz (aka Phil) November 21, 2010, 2:46 PM

      Nuran,

      Maybe the same company makes foil, which I now seems to find have hechshers as well. If the organization CON-vinces them that a hechsher will boost sales, someone in the company may have come up with the bright idea printing the certification on all their products.

      I’d think there MIGHT be more of a problem with recycled plastic, though most FDA grade plastic utensils and packaging are not made from recycled poly resin.

      • A. Nuran November 21, 2010, 3:05 PM

        I guess it makes sense as marketing. It just seemed bizarre from a technical standpoint. Metal goes in, gets melted, poured, cast, rolled, milled… If heating it to 1500 Celsius doesn’t destroy whatever trayf wandered in we’re talking about a VERY durable bug or the world’s most shelf-stable lard 🙂

      • A. Nuran November 21, 2010, 3:06 PM

        Your point about plastic also makes a lot of sense. Making food-grade product from post-consumer waste would present a few challenges from the FDA.

  • John November 21, 2010, 3:41 PM

    Youve got it wrong as usual, if a company is interested in going “kosher” who cares what they sell. Do you expect the OU to tell them, actually there is no need for you to be kosher, of course they’ll accept the client and certify the product as kosher.

    • Yoreh K'chetz (aka Phil) November 21, 2010, 4:12 PM

      John,

      Why would a company making toilet bowl cleaners be interested in going kosher to begin with?

      • John November 21, 2010, 5:28 PM

        I dont know, though here are a few possibilities:
        1) The ceo heard from a friend whose food company went kosher, that going kosher improved profits, he in turn didnt bother doing his homework
        2) As i’m sure youve noticed, today there is a huge industry for adding labels to a variety of products “organic” “green” etc etc. This ceo decided to add “kosher” to his (youll notice the label says “natural” as well, who cares if their toilet cleaner is natural)
        3) Maybe the company manufactures dish-detergnet for which there is a market for “kosher” detergent (I dont get this at all, but there are all sorts of nuts, this doesnt reflect on the kashrus industry at all) and for no additional cost they figured they could keep the symbol on all labels
        4) in line with theory #3 maybe there is a market for “kosher” tolilet-cleanser, though I dont get it, just as I dont get anyone who wants “natural” toilet cleaner, but I guess there are all sorts of kooks out there, or more to the point, the company thinks there are all sorts of cooks out there.
        (I think #2 is the most likely)

  • Yochanan November 21, 2010, 6:08 PM

    Heshy,

    Maybe the OU heard one of your “mess with BTs” suggestions about meat and dairy bathrooms.

    • Heshy Fried November 22, 2010, 2:26 AM

      Look if you go to the bathroom and you had meat and dairy in the toilet and it smelled really bad and then you got benefit from the clean smelling toilet cleaner – then you are technically getting hana’a from meat and dairy mixed.

  • Yochanan November 21, 2010, 6:13 PM

    What if a child sees a Hekhsher on a cleaning product or rubbing alcohol and thinks “Aba and Ima say we can drink stuff with this symbol.”?

    • A. Nuran November 21, 2010, 10:12 PM

      Good point. At least if he chews on a woolen suit the worst he’ll get is a hairball.

  • ari November 22, 2010, 1:10 AM

    great post
    but that kinda looks like a different ou symbol than usual. maybe its from a different company

  • Yid Vicious November 22, 2010, 3:40 AM

    You have a backup Facebook account?

  • ellis jayus October 16, 2011, 11:37 AM

    Here’s a good one: Tom’s of Maine, famous for natural products and kosher toothpaste, now offers O-U Body Wash, Shampoo and Deodorant…we endeavor to sanctify our bodies as well as our minds…oops, I thought it was the other way around.

  • Bryan French August 25, 2013, 2:50 PM

    There is a reason why some non-food items have kosher certification. There are soaps, detergents, and other items such as paper towels which use lard (pig fat) or tallow (cow fat) as an ingredient. I for one am not going to be cleaning my body and everything in my house with lard!!!

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