Mikvah Association of Nassau County: Preparation Guidelines
The guidelines below are designed to help achieve a meaningful, halachically optimal and pleasant mikveh experience. Any specific questions regarding any of them can be [discreetly] discussed with one of the local Rabbanim or Rebbetzins (contacts can be found on our website)
The Halacha requires that a woman bathe and cleanse all parts of her body thoroughly and attend to personal hygiene prior to Tevila. The following are reminders, so that the Mikvah waters will cover every part of her body, insuring proper Tevila:
Remove contact lenses, jewelry (rings, earrings), band-aids and any other items adhering to the skin (clay, paint, ink, tar).
Teeth should be cleansed: Dental floss, toothbrush, toothpick, can be helpful.
False teeth or dentures which are not permanently affixed should be removed (Regarding temporary fillings: a Rabbi must be consulted).
Cosmetics (lipstick, eye make-up) should be removed.
All parts of the face should be carefully cleansed (eyes, nose, ears - attention paid to pierced ears).
Hair should be shampooed and combed, so that no knots remain. (Similar attention should be paid to all other body hair).
Fingernails and toenails should be carefully cleaned and prepared (for example, removing nail polish, cutting, filing, smoothing edges, detaching loose skin).
Calluses, corns and scabs should be softened with warm water immediately prior to immersion.
Personal hygiene (toilet, if necessary) should be attended to.
One should shower again before Tevila, when all preparations are complete.
Any special issues, questions or concerns should be brought to the attention of the attendant.
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING HALOCHOS CONCERNING PREPARATION FOR FRIDAY EVENING/EREV YOM TOV TEVILA:
Bathing/showering and combing hair must be done prior to candle lighting.
One should be careful not to become exposed to dirt or soot on the way to the Mikvah.
Prior to the Tevila, intimate areas of the body should be washed with water (and with liquid soap).
Self-inspection, while generally preferred, is especially critical on Friday evening and especially after two-day Yom Tov, in light of the fact that 48 hours have elapsed since bathing.