Several Ways off Cleaning Gourds

*Soaking Gourds In A Tub Of Water*
  • Place your gourds in a tub and fill with water. Gourds float so you will want to place a wet towel over the top, or put a lid with something heavy on top to hold the gourds down into the water. Let them soak for 20-40 minutes. Then pull them out of the water and scrub with a copper or stainless steel scrubber. If they are hard to clean then put them back in to soak.

*Soaking Gourds In A Black Garbage Sack*
  • Wrap a wet towel around your gourds and place in a black garbage sack. Then set your bag in the sun. The humidity will build in the bag making the gourd skin easy to clean.

*Some Things To Be Aware Of When Cleaning Gourds*
* Most importantly Gourds are filled with mold spores. When cleaning the inside always
  wear a dust mask or respirator.
  • You can also fill the gourd with bleach water and let it sit for a few minutes before you begin cleaning.
* If your gourd becomes heavy and filled with water, then drill a small hole in an
  inconspicuous place and it will dry out.
* If the cleaning tool or scraper you are using scratches your gourd, then use a fine grit sand
  paper and sand the outside until you no longer see the scratch marks. (this does not work
  if you are coloring your gourds with Dye Inks or Alcohol Inks because they are translucent
  and the gourd will accept the inks in a different way and they will not be pretty).
* Remember there is no wrong way to clean a gourd! So use what ever tool you find that
  works the best for you.

"More Gourd Cleaning Tips!"

  Gourd crafters are always looking for better ways to clean and/or prepare their gourd for crafting. Below are 
  some tips we have received from fellow crafters on ways they have found to clean their gourds:
  "The best way I have found to clean the outside of the gourds is to soak them in water for 20 minutes or so.
   Unfortunately the darn things float! To avoid having one side of my gourd completely dry and uncleanable, I
   drape wet towels over my gourds while they are soaking. Hope this helps people!"
--Sally Mapleton

  "I bought a big container of OxyClean® at the county fair, and the salesperson's pitch
  emphasized that it eats away "organic matter." It also isn't as lethal as some other cleaners, so I
  decided to try it on my gourds. I filled up a basin with hot water, added a scoop of the powder,  
  and the mold was easy to remove in a few minutes."
--Nancy Marmolejo

"Make Cleaning Your Gourd Easier"

  After I cut a gourd open, I take out the seeds and the big dried membrane pieces, put the gourd
  in a bucket, and fill it with a solution of bleach and water. I let it soak for a day or two, rinse it with
  water and use a melon baller to scrap out the inside until the entire inside is membrane free.
  Soaking the gourd avoids the problem with gourd dust, and the bleach lightens the inside and
  outside shell of the gourd, as well as preventing mold or mildew.
- Debbie Maerz

  Use oven cleaner spray for hard-to-clean gourds. In a well-ventilated area, spray on the outer  
  surface of the gourd and let sit 30 minutes. Then rinse. The gourd should come out clean...and
  ready to cook on! (we're kidding, don't try cooking on it.)
- Sandra McCallum!


~ This is the only way I clean Gourds ~
         
            Cleaning Gourds in Potting Soil developed     
by Wuertz Gourd www.wuertzfarm.com
  Purchase a large tub, an outdoor container with a cover cover on it.  Purchase a large      bag of Forest Mulch without fertilizer, place a layer of soil in the bottom, wet it down,   
  and put a layer of gourds "not  touching each other" into the Potting Soil, covering
  with more soil \ and keep doing this until you have your tub full of gourds and soil. 
  Put cover on and leave in soil for various days depending on the size and kind of 
  gourds.

Length of time to leave gourds in Potting Soil
  Egg, Jewelry Gourds: in Potting Soil 24 hours only
  Snake Gourds:  in Potting Soil for 24 hours
  Cannon Ball and Basket Ball Gourds: in Potting Soil 24 hours (to long and to wet will
                                                                        cause cracking of Gourds) in Potting for about 4 days.

  DO NOT have your soil soppy or soggy, just wet, the first  time you do this you will use more 
  water to get the soil the same consistency all the way through.  The microbial activity in the
  potting soil will break down the gourd skin.
  Don’t leave the gourds in for too long or the potting soil will stain the wood of the gourd a
  darker color.Take your gourds out and wash them in a bucket of water with about 1/3 cup
  Clorox, using a scrubber, either Stainless Steel or Copper or Stainless Scrubber, clean off as
  much of the molds that was on the outside of the gourd.  You may still need / to use a knife to
  get some of the more suborn molds off of the gourds.
  DO NOT dry the gourds in the sun, put them in the shade where they can get air all
   around them and turn them so that the other side gets air to that area also.
  Since I was told about this technique by Wayon at Wuertz Gourd Farm:
  www.wuertzfarm@wuertzfarm.com , this it the only way that I clean gourds now, it  
   has made life with cleaning the gourds livable, (and with all the gourds I have to clean for may 
  classes I will not even try any other way of  cleaning gourds).  This is the fastest way to clean
  gourds that has been found and the easiest. When your gourds get dry you still may find a little
  mold that you didn't get cleaned, take a baby wipe and water and dampen the area and with a
  knife you will be  able to remove any left over molds that you missed in the original cleaning.



~ Cleaning Gourds ~

Thanks to many others and Waylon, of Wuertz Gourd Farm


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