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How to Clean Out a Pumpkin

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Want to learn how to clean out a pumpkin? You are at the right place! Whether you’re planning to use your pumpkin for cooking or carving, these cleaning tips will come in handy!

Cleaning a pumpkin is much easier than you think. Using the right tools, you can get your pumpkin ready for cooking or carving in a flash.

Here, you will learn how to clean out a pumpkin safely and easily using different tools. 

What are you waiting for? 

Let’s get started!

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Pin showing the title How to Clean Out a Pumpkin

How do you clean a dirty pumpkin?

First things first, picking a good quality pumpkin is a must regardless of whether you are going to use it for cooking or carving. Make sure to avoid a pumpkin with a rotting stem, bruises, or soft spots. 

Even if it’s not visually dirty, it’s a good idea to wash your pumpkin to ensure that it is free of any kind of dirt. Scrub the whole pumpkin with a scrubber, rag, or towel, then rinse in running water.

If you want, you can also wash the outside of your pumpkin with diluted vinegar to remove any bacteria. This is a good idea if you are carving your pumpkin so that it will hold off the rotting process as long as possible! 

How do you get everything out of a pumpkin?

If you’re cleaning your pumpkin for cooking, you can cut it in half so you can easily scrape out the seeds. But of course, if you will be using it as a jack-o-lantern, you have to make a hole on top or at the bottom of the pumpkin so you can dig out the seeds. 

Carving the top is the traditional way of making jack o lanterns but it’s actually safer to carve a hole at the bottom of the pumpkin. Carving the bottom will make the pumpkin last longer and allow you to smooth the surface where you’ll place your candle. 

Use a long serrated knife to cut a medium size hole on the bottom or top of your pumpkin (again, it’s up to you). The hole should be a little larger than your fist so you can easily scrape the insides of your pumpkin. 

Useful Tools to Clean Out A Pumpkin

Learning how to clean out a pumpkin will be easier if you are equipped with the right set of kitchen tools. So here are some useful shopping links that you can check out. 

These items will come in handy in cleaning and carving your pumpkin and will be a great addition to your kitchen arsenal as well. 

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Steps to Clean Out a Pumpkin

How much do you scrape out of a pumpkin?

After making a hole, you can dig out the pumpkin seeds using your hands or a pumpkin scoop. If you don’t have one, an ice cream scoop and a large spoon will work great too. 

Another quick way to clean a pumpkin is by using a drill and a hand mixer beater! Yes, you read that right. You can insert your mixer beater into a drill and in just 2 minutes, you can remove all the seeds and pumpkin guts without using your bare hands. 

You should scrape out all the seeds and use a clay modeling tool to remove all the guts and strings to smooth the inside surface. Most pumpkin carving tool sets come with a clay modeling tool but you can also find one at the craft store. 

If you love making Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, remember not to throw away your pumpkin seeds and set them in a safe place.

Can you wash out the inside of a pumpkin?

If you are making a jack-o-lantern you’ll have to rub, spray, or soak the insides of your pumpkin in a mixture of bleach and water or vinegar. Diluted bleach and vinegar can prevent the growth of bacteria and help delay the rotting of your pumpkin.

If you choose to soak your pumpkin for 15 minutes, allow it to air dry before you coat the insides with vegetable oil or petroleum jelly this time. Coating the insides with any of these two will prevent mold and dehydration.  

After this step, your pumpkin is ready for carving! If you have a little one in the family, you might want to try these Baby’s 1st Halloween Pumpkin Carving Ideas

How to Clean Out a Pumpkin for Cooking

Clearly, cleaning a pumpkin for cooking is easier and more straightforward. For more pumpkin cleaning and cooking tips, you can check out this post on How To Clean A Pumpkin For A Pie

But if you like the idea of using a whole pumpkin for dinner, you should also give my favorite Dinner in a Pumpkin Recipe a try!

The main difference is that you can’t soak the inside of your pumpkin with disinfectant products and you won’t want to coat the inner layers with a protectant! Contrary to popular belief you can actually eat face pumpkins that we often use just for carving! 

Want to discover delicious pumpkin recipes?

If you’re a pumpkin lover, you won’t want to miss these delicious and easy recipes for pumpkin. Almost all of these recipes only call for pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling so you can actually whip them up all year round or anytime your cravings strike.