Dried gourds at Meadowbrooke waiting to be cleaned!
So after meeting our Washroom Manager Roger in the last post, we’ve had numerous requests for some tips for cleaning gourds that you grew and dried yourself!
So here you go…
(Don’t worry, we will back track and post tips on growing and drying as well.)
1. Make sure the gourd is completely dry. It should weigh only ounces and sound hollow inside when you tap on the shell. You may also hear seeds rattling inside when you shake the gourd. This is also an indicator that your gourd is ready for cleaning!
Who'd have thought something so beautiful could start out looking like this?
2. Put your gourd out in a good soaking rain for a few days or another option is to weigh down your gourd and completely submerge it in plain water for two days. Be careful about putting a lot of weight on the gourd, though. One thing that works well is laying several water-logged towels over it. That not only holds it down, but helps with the soaking process.
3. When it’s good and soaked, use steel wool or a wire brush to remove the skin. You don’t have to use much pressure most of the time. In fact, try not to. You don’t want to risk damaging the gourd, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of pressure to do that. So, just let the abrasive surface itself do most of the work. There may be spots that need a little more elbow grease, so go ahead and use it there, but do be careful. Use the dull edge of a butter knife for stubborn spots and wash until the surface is free of mold and blemishes.
Here’s another tip: Wear gloves. The gourd will have mold on the skin, and you don’t want your skin to come into direct contact with that, especially if your skin tends to be sensitive, or if you know you are sensitive to mold. Gloves aren’t a bad idea in any event, to protect your hands from slips with the brush/steel wool.
4. Once you have cleaned your gourds, keep dry and out of the weather until you are ready to craft it!
We hope these tips helped! Please feel free to ask us any questions about your gourd growing, drying, cleaning and crafting!