Using Aerosol Sprays on Shabbos


arridCommon aerosol spray dispensers such as hair-sprays, deodorants, and room-fresheners operate by use of a propellant that is sealed inside the container together with the liquid spray product under pressure. Depressing the push button on the valve releases pressure, thereby forcing the liquid product through the valve. The liquid turns into a spray-mist as it is released from the nozzle. Based upon the view of the Talmud Yerushalmi (per. Klal Gadol) that the act of indiscriminately scattering a substance or liquid – even though nothing is being selectively separated is the Melocho of Zoreh (winnowing), some Poskim question the use of spraying devices on Shabbos. Nevertheless, R’ Moshe Feinstein (and the Minchas Yitzchok) ruled that because the scattering is not caused directly by human blowing or wind force, but rather by the pressure in the can/dispenser, it is not similar to Zoreh and it is permitted to be used on Shabbos L’chatchila.

{Hilchos Shabbos R’ Shimon Eider, Minchas Yitzchok 6:26, Sefer 39 Melochos}