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Kitchen Counter Covers for Pesach

EmpireState Mar 4, 2013 09:40 AM

I have kitchen counters that cannot be kashered for Pesach. Through the years, I have used aluminum foil, ConTac paper and the thick liners that are usually used for refrigerators. I have never been happy with any of these- either they are impossible to clean, not waterproof or peel off. Is there another practical solution? (I don't want to invest a great deal of money into this)..

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  1. almond tree RE: EmpireState Mar 4, 2013 09:52 AM

    Kind of embarrassed to tell you but after cleaning my counters, I cover them with heavy duty plastic garbage bags held down with masking tape. I find them easy to apply AND to remove, easy to clean, waterproof & inexpensive. Only drawbacks are they don't look great & they are obviously not heat proof.

    1. f
      ferret RE: EmpireState Mar 4, 2013 09:52 AM

      For quick and easy ConTac and foil are about it. You can get sheets of visqueen (rolled thick plasticused at construction sites) which still need to be taped down but will give you fewer seams. If you want to get more serious, then you can get masonite cut to your counter dimensions, but that's overkill.

      1. queenscook RE: EmpireState Mar 4, 2013 10:02 AM

        In the neighborhoods with large observant populations, it's very easy to find what I'd describe as corrugated plastic. Most families throw them out each year, but I covered mine with contact paper over ten years ago, and I use them year after year.

        1 Reply
        1. re: queenscook
          cheesecake17 RE: queenscook Mar 4, 2013 10:10 AM

          These large plastic sheets are sold all over Brooklyn. Many stores sell different sizes

        2. JugglerDave RE: EmpireState Mar 4, 2013 10:10 AM

          A few years ago I bought several 48"x96" LPDE plastic sheets and cut them exactly to fit my kitchen counters. There are 7 pieces and my son loves the "Peasch Puzzle" of fitting the right piece on the right piece of countertop.

          I don't think I spent more than $50 or $60 for 3 or 4 sheets; that was 8 years ago and I have reused them each year... saving hours from the old vinyl-tablecloth-plus-masking-tape ordeal from beforehand.

          I got them from a general plastics store in Philadelphia; they should be easily obtainable if you have a materials/industrial area near where you live.

          1. e
            EmpireState RE: EmpireState Mar 4, 2013 11:16 AM

            QueensCook/cheesecake: Are you referring to the hard plastic sheets that people use to line their fridge shelves? If so, been there, done that.

            2 Replies
            1. re: EmpireState
              queenscook RE: EmpireState Mar 4, 2013 11:48 AM

              They're not really hard; if you look between the top and bottom, they look like corrugated cardboard. They will bend only along the corrugated lines. I have no idea if people use them for the fridge, though.

              1. re: queenscook
                ferret RE: queenscook Mar 4, 2013 12:08 PM

                They sell a pre-cut version sized for refrigerator shelves.

            2. almond tree RE: EmpireState Mar 4, 2013 11:23 AM

              I forgot to mention in my earlier post, garbage bags seem to cling to the counters so I don't really need the tape, but just add it as an extra precaution against slippage.
              I guess that might vary according to the material your counters are made from, though.

              1. h
                helou RE: EmpireState Mar 4, 2013 12:14 PM

                I've had great success with this stuff I get at Home Depot - we in the family call it masonite, but I'm not sure that's really the correct term.

                It's a thin (about 1/4 inch) sort of paneling that's white laminate-like on one side and brown on the other. They sell it in 4ft X8 ft sheets. It's usually in the area where they sell the (fake) wood paneling, or the sort of panels that look like tile (even a child can tell it's not real tile).
                They're perfect. It's a fairly inexpensive product (maybe $15 a sheet, or so) and I reuse them year after year, but they're cheap enough that you can just get new ones every time.

                I have to go to Home Depot tonight for something else, so I'll check out the SKU number and write back with more information. Don't buy anything else till you've heard from me. :-)

                8 Replies
                1. re: helou
                  EmpireState RE: helou Mar 4, 2013 12:19 PM

                  Wow thanks! How does it adhere to the counter?

                  1. re: EmpireState
                    helou RE: EmpireState Mar 4, 2013 01:50 PM

                    I use wide white (so it matches and looks pretty) duct tape. Sometimes it comes right off after yom tov, sometimes I have to fool around with a little bit of goo-gone to get all the tape residue.

                  2. re: helou
                    helou RE: helou Mar 4, 2013 08:20 PM

                    Here's the board I was talking about. It's a nice white washable laminate on one side, $13.45 for a large 4 x8 board. I bring my measurements for the various sizes of my counters with me, and calculate where to have Home Depot do at least one major cut to make it easier to bring home. Sometimes I have them do all the cuts.
                    In my Home Depot they carry these near the area where they have the sheetrock..

                    1. re: helou
                      EmpireState RE: helou Mar 5, 2013 06:18 AM

                      Thanks for taking the time to snap the photo! Unless I am misunderstanding (which is likely because I am not the least bit handy), the boards are not pliable. I am looking for something that I can easily cut to size at home. My counters are various sizes and some of the areas are very small.

                      1. re: EmpireState
                        helou RE: EmpireState Mar 5, 2013 06:22 AM

                        No, they are not pliable, but they can be cut easily with a hand saw. (Tip: Put some tape on the board where you're going to cut it. Take off the tape afte you've cut and you'll have a much cleaner cut.) They're also thin and easy to store flat.
                        You will need someone to help who's a little hand with a saw. Not very hand, a little handy. Even my husband does this easily. :-)

                        1. re: helou
                          ferret RE: helou Mar 5, 2013 11:58 AM

                          Home Depot will cut it for you at a very nominal cost. Just measure and figure out what lengths you need and they'll cut to size.

                          1. re: ferret
                            helou RE: ferret Mar 5, 2013 12:14 PM

                            Right. In my experience, sometimes they don't charge at all for cuts, and sometimes they balk at doing so many cuts. Still, a great deal.

                            1. re: helou
                              queenscook RE: helou Mar 5, 2013 12:27 PM

                              If I recall, the first cut was free and then there was a minimal fee for any other cuts you wanted. This may have changed since the last time I had anything cut.

                  3. bagelman01 RE: EmpireState Mar 4, 2013 12:26 PM

                    Back when I lived in an apartment or condo, I always bought cheap flannel backed tablecloths (red and blue-milchige and fleischige) cut them to the counter size with overhang to cover drawers and backsplash. I taped them in place with masking tape. The cloths cost abot $3 each were easy to wipe clean. The flannel backing let you put warm items down without worry and at the end of the holiday they went in the trash.

                    Not an issue anymore, in this house we have a separate pesach kitchen, and I can start cooking and baking well in advance. It's a good thing, because Pesach is my favorite holiday and we have a load of guests every night.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: bagelman01
                      SoCal Mother RE: bagelman01 Mar 4, 2013 01:26 PM

                      ...turning green with envy...

                      1. re: SoCal Mother
                        bagelman01 RE: SoCal Mother Mar 4, 2013 02:01 PM

                        It's all a matter of priorities (provided one isn't living in rented premises).

                        When I was a teenager, my mother wanted a separate Pesach kitchen, so my dad and I took the rear 7 feet of one side of our two car garage and framed off a 7x12 room with plywood and pegboard walls and a painted concrete floor. This was just down 6 steps from the regular kitchen. For less than $300 we bought used, fridge, freezer, stove and stainless steel twin sinks. Another $100 bought old wooden kichen cabinets from a remodel in the neighborhood, New Formica countertops were about $150. We installed it all ourselves. Mom used it from 1970 until 1988 when they moved to Florida.

                        My current situation is quite different. My wife is a builder designer, and our home is her portfolio. The original house was built in 1803 and continues to expand and morph. Currently 19 rooms and still growing.

                        1. re: bagelman01
                          SoCal Mother RE: bagelman01 Mar 4, 2013 05:10 PM

                          Love your idea!

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                      ahuva RE: EmpireState Mar 4, 2013 08:03 PM

                      four years ago i went into a hardware/dry goods store in boro park and picked up two cases of floor tiles - the ones made of linoleum or vinyl. they have adhesive backs but i don't take off the paper, and i use them to cover the counters. they clean really easy, don't stick to the counters, and can be used year after year. they can also be cut if they need to fit corners or around sinks. and they're very cheap.

                      1. c
                        chicago maven RE: EmpireState Mar 5, 2013 10:00 AM

                        I use carpet runners. they are inexpensive, easy to clean, good with warm pots and can be reused from year to year.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: chicago maven
                          EmpireState RE: chicago maven Mar 5, 2013 10:18 AM

                          That's an interesting idea. How do you adhere them to the counter?

                          1. re: EmpireState
                            almond tree RE: EmpireState Mar 5, 2013 10:40 AM

                            And what happens if you get a really serious spill on them right at the beginning of the chag?

                            1. re: almond tree
                              chicago maven RE: almond tree Mar 5, 2013 11:16 AM

                              It wipes right off. It is very easy to maintain year after year.

                            2. re: EmpireState
                              chicago maven RE: EmpireState Mar 5, 2013 11:15 AM

                              I use a water proof wide tape like a duct tape. It comes in all sorts of colors so you can use your imagination and creativity to give some extra color to the kitchen or identify the dairy and meat counters with blue and red tape. It peels right off after Pesach and I roll up the plastic runners for next year.

                          2. s
                            susieha RE: EmpireState Mar 5, 2013 02:47 PM

                            I have been using the plastic "corrugated cardboard" for years. Its about $6 a sheet. Not hard to cut. For my counters it extends about an inch or two over the edge of the counter and I have never trimmed it. I believe they sell it 2x4, 2x6 and 2x8. I mark off two areas to the left and right of the sink with blue and red tape and sometimes just use the top of the "counter" as a cutting board. I get new each Pesach but some people save it from year to year. Easy to keep clean also. In the fridge it is clear liners made specifically for refrigerators-very cheap-$1 a package.

                            1. s
                              SoCal Mother RE: EmpireState Mar 5, 2013 11:18 PM

                              Heavy duty aluminum foil and lots of tape.

                              1. s
                                SoCal Mother RE: EmpireState Mar 5, 2013 11:27 PM

                                Also, because I move things around a bit in the kitchen, I take curling ribbon and make little ribbon curls on the drawer and cabinet handles. I ribbon them as I make them Pesachdik. (makes me feel good to see my favorite color on a newly lined cabinet.)

                                Purple for Pesach, red for meat, blue for dairy. So a drawer with red and purple means meat Passover. If there is no purple, it's still chometzdik. I use white to tie the cabinet shut when it's time.

                                I have a fair number of kids who hang out in my kitchen and it doesn't completely eliminate the mistakes but it helps.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: SoCal Mother
                                  ahuva RE: SoCal Mother Mar 6, 2013 07:42 PM

                                  I've been tying up my chometz cabinets with ribbon for years - my mom's been doing it that way for as long as i can remember. i feel like it adds a little color to my decor :)

                                  1. re: ahuva
                                    SoCal Mother RE: ahuva Mar 6, 2013 08:32 PM

                                    I use curling ribbon and I curl it. My family thinks I'm nuts.

                                    Makes my kitchen look like a birthday party. Goes nicely with the aluminum foil.

                                    Well, after hours of cleaning one tends to get a little silly....

                                    1. re: SoCal Mother
                                      cheesecake17 RE: SoCal Mother Mar 7, 2013 11:56 AM

                                      I also use curling ribbon. Blue and white this year.

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                                  PotatoPuff RE: EmpireState Mar 11, 2013 09:20 AM

                                  Any tips for covering the counter top in a corner? And around the edges of a sink?

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