Question: Can I kasher (make kosher) a dishwasher used in a non-kosher home?
I am wondering if the Conservative movement has an opinion on using a dishwasher that has been used for non-kosher foods. I have read some opinions that say to let the dishwasher sit idle for one year, others indicate that new dishwasher racks need to be purchased, and others indicate that running three empty cycles is sufficient. The dishwasher in question is NOT stainless steel. Is there a consensus opinion from the Conservative Movement on this issue?
Answer: Dear Maria,
Each of the methods you mention I've heard. You need to reach out to your Rabbi and abide by your Rabbi's opinion.
The following is only if you don't have a Rabbi:
The ideal answer is a new dishwasher with stainless steel interior and new racks.
Next, if it were possible and not beyond the financial means of the family, I would suggest that new racks be purchased for the old dishwasher. Most often the rubber covered racks do in time split and have cracks in them; obviously stainless steel don't, but then glassware often can break. THEN run the dishwasher empty, let it sit for 24 hours and then run another empty load again. Now you have new racks and the dishwasher.
Lastly, if you must, run the dishwasher with the old racks - assuming that the covering is not split or aged - and then keep it empty for 24 hours. Thereafter, run it through another cycle again empty.