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How to Clean and Remove Odor From a Shofar

By Edited Apr 24, 2015 0 5




One that blows into the Shofar is called the "Sounder of The Shofar" or BaalTokea ("ba'al toḳea'"). This ancient horn is used in Jewish religious rituals.

Shofars are made from animal horns. Most shofars will develop a bad smell from the inherent moisture blown into them when they are used. A worse smell is from the animal horns themselves, which have a terrible, stubborn odor from the decaying sinew and flesh that sticks to their insides.

To clean and remove odor from a shofar, the inside of the shofar is flushed with alcohol. Then, the process is repeated until the odor is gone. Ear plugs work great for plugging the mouthpiece end of the shofar. A cloth or preferably a fine sponge (as opposed to a coarse sponge) works best to plug the bell end of the shofar. As an alternative to using bottle brushes, use a piece of wire from a coat hanger to push a cleaning cloth inside the shofar; this will remove residue and any leftover cleaning liquids.

Things You'll Need

  • Shofar
  • Alcohol
  • Plugs
  • Bottle brushes



Step 1 - While flushing with alcohol, use bottle brushes to dislodge the residue from inside the horn.

Step 2 - Plug the mouthpiece end of the horn with an earplug or similar plug.

Step 3 - Fill the horn half way with alcohol. Plug the bell end of the horn with a fine sponge or similar material.

Step 4 - Shake the shofar vigorously in different directions for at least 10 minutes.

Step 5 - Take the sponge out of the bell end of the horn, and dispose of the alcohol. Remove the ear plug from the mouthpiece end, and let theshofar dry. It should only take a few minutes to dry. Repeat steps 2 through 5 until the odor is gone.

Step 6 - After the horn is clean, dry, and odorless, use an anointing oil that has frankincense and myrrh to anoint the bell end of the horn. Use asmaller amount to anoint the mouthpiece end.

Tips and Warnings

DO NOT let any liquid stay inside the horn too long.

Photo Credits

MorgueFile and Wikimedia Commons


Mar 18, 2010 7:22pm
Very interesting article. I happen to live in S. Florida.
Mar 18, 2010 7:55pm
Do you still write on eHow? I heard that site has been awful to its members.
Mar 18, 2010 8:12pm
Yes, I do. This site has not produced any revenue for me, but that has. T
Mar 18, 2010 8:14pm
Still with AMI?
Mar 18, 2010 8:21pm
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