OCD Mikvah Checklist

OCD Mikvah Checklist


Reprinted, with permission, from The Taharas Hamishpacha Workbook by Rabbi David Kaufman, this checklist can be used by women who are struggling with their mikvah preparation and have trouble estimating the amount of time they should allot to preparing for their mikvah immersion. This list was approved by Rabbi Sholom Ber Chaikin, a Rav who deals especially with the laws of Family Purity. The timing allocations are suggestions, not Halacha, and are mean for usual circumstances. Please consult your Orthodox Rav if you have special circumstances. The average mikvah user should refer to https:/www.mikvah.org/checklist

Each month, enter your goals in the first column. Then record your actual time in the next column. 

The page covers four months.

 Remember: Once you complete a step, do not return to it.

 These steps are set up basically in order from head to toe. Keep in mind that these times are approximate-Some women will need a bit moretime, while others will complete them in less time.

 Before each step, you may find it helpful to take a calming breath: Inhale very slowly to the count of one- two-three. Then, exhale very slowly through pursed lips. Study the job to be done. Remind yourself that it will 

not feel perfect and you may still feel anxious when it is done.

 When you finish each step, tell yourself “Good enough! It doesn’t need to feel perfect,” and move on to the next step.

 Note: Steps 1-3 can be done in bath.

1.     Ears: Put a little water and soap on your finger. Wash ear until opening of ear canal (but not ear     canal). Color yellow is not chatzitzah. No need to use a Q-tip. Earring Hole: Put an earring through the earring hole (not necessary if you wore earrings that day)

2.     Fingernails: It is advisable to cut early in day to avoid jagged edges. Cut them as you would on a regular day  as short as possible without hurting yourself. (You may leave some “white.”)     It is advisable to remove nail polish before day of mikvah. Give your fingernails a quick check to the count of three, and move on to the next step.

3.     Toenails: Nails need only to be shorter than  the tip of your toe.

4.     Teeth and mouth: Brush like regular day (and       certainly no more than you do before going to dentist). Floss only if you do it at least 3-4  times weekly. Use Glide™ floss (or other floss that doesn't shred). Not a chatzitzah: Saliva, plaque, tartar (hard plaque and anything else that lives in the mouth. If necessary, use a toothpick to remove any food particles that you are aware of. Clean folds between cheeks and gums with your tongue.

5.     Bath: Wash body, paying extra attention to folds (skin touching skin) and openings. Soak dry scabs (it’s not necessary to remove them).     It is not necessary to see lather. Clean all open ings just until beginning of opening.

Preparations 6-20 are done in bath/shower. There is no difference which preparations you do in the bath and which ones you do in the shower. So, if you’re not done these preparations after bathing for 30 minutes, 

get up and finish in the shower. By the end of the bath (maximum 30 minutes) and shower (maximum 10 minutes) you should have completed everything. At that point  you should stop and come out of the shower.

7.     Eyes: Check upper and lower eyelids, tear ducts.

8.     Nose: Clean nostrils, make sure nothing is sticking out; whatever is not visible need not be  cleaned out.

14.   Breasts: Clean breasts and underneath breasts.    Dry milk is not a problem; it will wash off in shower. (White dots are milk ducts.)

15.   Navel: Clean and check. Peeling & white skin are  not a problem (only black with substance).

16.   Private parts: Clean lips covering private parts.

21.   Shower: You do not need to make sure that you  rinsed out all of the soap.

22.   Comb hair: After shower, put robe on, comb hair as you would normally. Don’t use fine tooth comb. Comb only once, even if you feel resistance.

24.   Remove makeup normally. Don’t look too closely. Don’t scrub too much. Don’t hurt yourself.

25.   Bathroom: Not required unless absolutely needed. After bathroom, it is not necessary to  rewash or re-comb. Check for tissues only on outside (tissues inside are not a problem).

26.   Head to Toe: Take quick look at face. If you do not notice anything that would normally bother you if it stayed there, it’s fine. Lift each arm, and give a quick glance on each side. 

Check  hands and soles of feet. 

Glance over rest of body speedily. Loose hairs: Pick off a few, and don’t give it further thought.


  Estimated Time
(in minutes)
My Goal #1 Actual Time #1 My Goal #2 Actual Time #2
1. Ears & earring holes        
2. Fingernails 3-5        
3. Toenails 3-5        
4. Teeth and mouth 1-3        
5. In Bath (20-30 min. total):          
6. Hair 5        
7. Eyes & eyebrows 2        
8. Nose ½        
9. Lips ¼        
10. Chin & neck 1        
11. Between fingers 1        
12. Underarms ½        
13. Inside elbows ½        
14. Breasts 1        
15. Stomach & navel 1        
16. Private parts 2        
17. Back folds ½        
18. Thighs, knees, & inside knees 2        
19. Between toes 1        
20. Soles of feet 1-2        
21. Shower 5-10        
22. Comb hair on head 2        
23. Comb body hair 1        
24. Remove makeup 3-8        
25. Bathroom (if needed) 2        
26. Head to Toe Check 1-2        
27. Check eyes for mucous & blow nose 1        
TOTAL TIME about 1
hour or less

BOLD NUMBERS — see instructions above


© 2021 The Taharas Hamishpacha Workbook (732) 370-3123.

With special appreciation to Mrs. S. T. Konovitch

May be reproduced for personal use provided that this copyright notice is included.

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