comment curer sa calebasse a mate
The Mate Blog

How to clean your artisanal mate calabash?

Nov 27, 2020

Before investing in a gourd and homemade mate bombilla, you will first need to learn how to cure your natural gourd .

We reassure you, it's a very simple step, you don't need to be a specialist to learn the basics of cleaning!

If you have a stainless steel or ceramic mate cup , this step is obviously not necessary for you!

So how to clean your artisanal mate calabash easily?


  1. Why clean out your calabash?
    1. Protect your calabash
    2. Improve the taste of your yerba mate
  2. How to clean your artisanal mate calabash?
  3. I have a problem with the cleaning of my calabash
    1. I have stains in my calabash
    2. How do I remove mold from my calabash?

Why clean out your calabash?

If you are just starting out, you should probably ask yourself a question: Why should you clean your mate flask?

Curing your calabash has a double challenge:

  • Protect your squash
  • Improve the taste of your mate

The calabash being originally a fruit, it is important to take care of it, and especially in the first moments of its new life.

Protect your calabash

During the manufacturing process, the squash is gutted and then dried.

This will acquire the resistant properties of wood . Hollow veins will sometimes form naturally.

Cleaning your gourd will smooth the interior walls to prevent yerba leaves from getting lodged in it.

The natural tannins will gradually deposit on the wall to form a protective layer.

When this layer is formed, it will dry faster and be very resistant .

Improve the taste of your yerba mate

why cure calabash

Gourd with mate in squash

The squash, after being cured, will bring a very pleasant flavor to your preparations.

As with Japanese stoneware teapots , the successive infusions of mate will add an additional taste texture to your mates!

Indeed, the flavor of your mate will be reinforced by the tannins of your old preparations !

How to clean your artisanal mate calabash?

We come to the most important subject: how to clean your mate cup?

Nothing could be simpler, we have made an explanatory video for you, because we always learn better with our eyes!

Cure your mate calabash on video

Steps :

  • Fill with yerba mate (preferably already consumed)
  • Add hot water between 80 and 90°C.
  • Leave to rest between 24 and 48 hours, in order to cure more easily!
  • Take a teaspoon and scrape the walls to remove the residue.
  • Rinse with hot water.

Drain your traditional calabash upside down for 5 minutes, then let it dry upright, in the open air.

Your handmade calabash is ready for its first use!

curage mate calabash

Curging a mate gourd

I have a problem with the cleaning of my calabash

During cleaning, you may face some problems that we will see together.

I have stains in my calabash

This is a question you can ask yourself when receiving your calabash: I have stains in my calabash, is this normal?

We must first distinguish between two types of tasks:

  • Natural stains
  • Mold stains

Natural stains may be present before cleaning. These spots are usually green, brown or black in color. This is perfectly normal !

Natural stains do not affect the resistance of the gourd or the taste of the preparation .

Mold stains are characterized by a velvety white color. These stains occur after the cleaning stage, if your calabash has not dried properly. It is imperative to eliminate these molds at the risk of seeing your squash degrade.

How to eliminate mold?

The sooner the problem is identified, the easier it will be to remove the mold .

If these stains have not spread throughout the interior, you can easily remove the mold by lightly scraping the infected parts with a spoon before rinsing it with hot water (90°) .

If mold is present throughout the interior, it will be necessary to proceed to a new cleaning.

Before proceeding with this new cleaning, we strongly advise you to leave a solution composed of :

  • Lemon
  • White vinegar
  • Hot water (90°)

After allowing this solution to act, rinse your water bottle thoroughly with hot water.

Once these steps have been completed, you can cure your maté again before letting it dry well!

Find all our tips for maintaining your pumpkin gourd .

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