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Ask Gourdon: My Gourd Is Moldy, Help???

Anonymous wrote: help??? why is my gourd moldyy

Dear Reader, 

Your next step is highly dependent on the nature of your gourd, and on the severity of the mold.

If your gourd is the shell, hollow and dried, used as an ornamental piece or as a drinking glass or vessel to carry things, it isn't too late. The gourd can be cleaned with boiling water, apple cider vinegar, or citrus juice. If you don't use the gourd to drink out of, feel free to clean it with rubbing alcohol or soap. Wipe the gourd dry and allow it to sit in the sun, if possible, to ensure that it dries and that mold will not form again.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for gourds which are not dried shells-- "gourd," of course, refers to both the general crop plant and the dried shell of the crop plant. If your fresh gourd is moldy, it could be too late. You'll have to cut away the skin of the gourd and see how deeply the mold has penetrated. If the fruit inside is mold-free you are probably safe to eat it-- but sometimes mold and bacteria will have taken hold deeper than it seems. Judge based on the amount and severity of the mold on your gourd, and how long it has been left unattended. If the mold seems minor and you see no signs of it on the inside of the gourd, you should be fine.

If mold has clearly gotten through the tough skin of the gourd, it's over. You must remove the gourd from your home, and your life, as quickly as possible. There is an old adage-- a moldy gourd makes for a moldy man. Do not allow the lost gourd to drag your life down with it.

In the future, make sure to keep your gourds dry. If your home is very humid, you'll want to invest in a dehumidifier for the sake of the gourds.

Best of luck,


If you have any further questions for Gourdon, the UTB gourd expert, email them to tips@underthebutton.com.