Get your water boiling.
To do hag'alah for dishes, bring the water to a rolling boil. If the plate is platter-sized and is too big to be submerged completely, rotate it. Submerge half, and then rotate it and submerge the other half, holding each part in the water for about 30 seconds. Plates, even smaller ones, should be kashered one at a time. The water has to touch the entire surface of the plate, and if plates are overlapping, there might be part of one that would not be sufficiently kashered. According to Conservative ruling, this method may be used for plastic dishes; according to most Orthodox halakhah, it may not.
Cutting boards made of wood can be kashered through hag'alah, but they must first be sanded down and bleached, similar to the method used to kasher a wooden countertop. This can be tedious for a cutting board, and you may opt to purchase a new one. A plastic cutting board should be replaced.
Selections from How to Keep Kosher, by Lise Stern. Copyright (c) 2004 by Lise Stern. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
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