Whether you hollow out a gourd and use it as a bird feeder or you leave it intact and paint or stain it, you must properly clean gourds prior to using them for anything. Take special precautions to remove any black mold growing on the outside of the gourd, and then preserve and decorate the gourd for years of enjoyment.
Things You'll Need
- Dish soap
- Plastic kitchen scrubber
- Butter knife
- Chlorine bleach
- Fine-grit sandpaper
- Clean cloth
Wait until the gourd is completely dry inside. To determine if a gourd is dry enough for cleaning, shake it vigorously. If you hear seeds rattling inside the gourd, this indicates that it is dry inside. A dried gourd is also quite light and it will sound hollow inside when you rap on the outer shell.
Fill a bucket with warm water and add enough dish soap to create soapy water. Place the gourd into the soapy water, and scrub at the outside of the gourd with the kitchen scrubber. If there are stubborn spots of mold or blemishes on the gourd, scrape them off with the dull edge of the butter knife. Wash the gourd until the outer surface is free of blemishes and mold.
Remove stubborn mold by washing the gourd in a bleach solution. Fill the bucket with 1 part bleach and 10 parts warm water. Scrub at the moldy surface with the plastic kitchen scrubber to remove the mold. Rinse the gourd well.
Allow the gourd to dry completely to assess the condition of the outer surface before proceeding with any other cleaning techniques.
Consider using sandpaper to clean the outer surface if you will be painting the gourd. Using sandpaper will leave fine scratches on the surface of the gourd. Paint will cover these scratches, but stain or dye will not. Rub the sandpaper lightly over the surface to work at mold spots. Using sandpaper will also help to create a smooth outer surface. Wipe the gourd with a damp cloth to remove any dust.
Tips & Warnings
- Allow the gourd to dry completely before applying paint or stain.
- Photo Credit jdurham/morguefile.com
How to Make Gourd Canteens
Native Americans and early American pioneers fashioned canteens from gourds. These hollow, lightweight members of the squash family still make sturdy waterproof...
How to Dry Large Gourds
Whether you want to dry out your gourds for decoration purposes or craft purposes, the process is actually quite simple. Large gourds...
Directions on Painting & Drying Gourds
Dried gourd crafts include birdhouses, decorative pieces and even bowls. Once you find gourds to use in your craft project, it will...
How to Dry Birdhouse Gourds
Crafting birdhouse gourds allows you to grow your own birdhouse, and the distinct, natural look of a birdhouse gourd adds character and...
How to Make a Bird House Out of a Gourd
The pumpkin-like fruit known as the gourd serves as both fall home decorations and homes for birds. Large gourds known as kettle...
How to Paint Swan Neck Gourds
A swan gourd is a large gourd with a hard shell, a round belly and a long swooping top that makes it...
How to Clean a Gourd
Learn how to clean gourds for decorative gourd art in this free online video arts and crafts lesson.
How to Clean the Inside of a Gourd
Learn how to clean the inside of gourds for decorative gourd art in this free online video arts and crafts lesson.
Tips for Painting on Gourds
Learn how to paint designs on gourds for decorative gourd art in this free online video arts and crafts lesson.