How to Clean a Pumpkin: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sharing is caring!

Home » Blog » Home Safety & Cleaning » How to Clean a Pumpkin: A Step-by-Step Guide

Halloween is coming, so expect some ghosts, goblins, and ghouls. We all want our little trick-and-treaters to enjoy the Halloween season, so we want our pumpkin decorations to be extra clean and last longer.

Pumpkin is a popular autumn vegetable, usually made to ripen for the fall season. They have a long shelf life, but like other veggies, they get spoiled, too. Ideally, you want these orange vegetables to last through Halloween and, even better, for Thanksgiving. 

But how can you do so? Well, here are some ways you can clean a pumpkin.

How Do You Know When the Pumpkin is Ripe?

Pumpkins must be ripe before using them. There are various ways to tell the vegetable’s ripeness, similar to knowing when the watermelon has ripened.

First, the pumpkin must be bright orange, solid, and firm to the touch.

If you notice any brown spots, unfortunately, the vegetable is overripen. It’s not ideal to carve or cook them.

The other way to know its ripeness is to knock and listen to the sound. If it gives off a heavy, hollow sound, then the pumpkin is already ripe and ready for you to clean. 

How to Clean a Pumpkin Seed?

Pumpkin seeds are healthy snacks containing omega-6 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and minerals.

If you are going to make pumpkin décor this Halloween or make a tasty pie or delicious soup, make sure not to throw away the seeds.

Here’s how to clean pumpkin seeds:

Things you’ll need:


  • Pumpkin
  • Water
  • Knife
  • Spoon or scoop
  • Large bowl
  • Large pot
  • Colander
  1. Using a sharp knife, cut a hole on top of the vegetable. The hole should be large enough, so your arm can fit through it.
  2. Remove the lid from the pumpkin and get ready to clean.
  3. Use a spoon or a scoop and remove the pulp and seeds from the pumpkin. Scrape them as much as possible from the bottom, top, and sides. This process is known as removing the “guts” from the pumpkin.
  4. Separate the seeds from the strings and pulp and put them in a large bowl. Now, put the seeds in a large pot with water.
  5. Soak the seeds for around 2 to 3 minutes. The pumpkin seeds will float while the “guts” will sink.
  6. Pick up the pumpkin seeds with a spatula. Make sure no guts are scooped. Place the seeds in a separate bowl.
  7. Rinse the pumpkin seeds in a colander with water to clean away any residue.
  8. Dry the seeds overnight. Put them in a pan with parchment paper. They are ready to be roasted the following day. 

How to Clean Out a Pumpkin for Carving


Cleaning out a pumpkin for carving is easier than you might think. With the right tools, you can carve it in a flash.

Before the cleaning process, choose a pumpkin with a flat base and a stem still intact. This way, you can clean and carve the pumpkin better.

Things you’ll need:

  • Pumpkin
  • Plastic sheet/newspaper
  • Sharp knife
  • Carving tools
  • LED light (optional)


  1. Pumpkin cleaning can be messy. Lay down a plastic sheet or newspaper to make the cleaning process easier. 
  2. Before you clean or cut the vegetable, mark your design with a marker. This will serve as your guide for your carving later.
  3. Cut the lid from the top of the Pumpkin using a knife. The cut should be at a slight angle so the lid can be placed back on top. The opening should also be large enough for your hand to get through.
  4. Remove the lid and scoop out the guts and seeds with a large scoop. You can also use the scoop to make the inner wall thinner. 
  5. Get your carving tools to start following the design you marked earlier. Start carving a simple design and focus on the intricate details later.
  6. Once you’ve finished carving your design, you can clean up the excess flesh or debris from the interior. You can place LED lights to illuminate your design.

How to Clean a Pumpkin Before Cooking

Many people love the end food product from a pumpkin, such as a hearty pumpkin pie, cake, or soup.

But many don’t know that there are cleaning processes a cook must go through before you can devour the pumpkin delicacies.

Cleaning a pumpkin before cooking should be easy and straightforward. Follow the steps below:

Things you’ll need:

  • Pumpkin
  • Water
  • Sharp knife
  • Scoop or spoon
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Kitchen towel


  1. Rinse the outside of the pumpkin with clean water to remove dirt and other contaminants.
  2. Cut the top and bottom of the pumpkin with a sharp knife to make it easier to clean.
  3. Now, cut the pumpkin in half by piercing the knife first on top and gently rock it down to the bottom. 
  4. Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to remove the seeds, flesh, and fibers. 
  5. Remove the skin of the pumpkin using a knife or vegetable peeler. After you peel the pumpkin, cut it into your desired size.
  6. Rinse the pumpkin pieces under clean running water to remove residues. 
  7. Use a kitchen towel to dry the pumpkin. Once dry, you can start cooking them. 

How do you Disinfect a Pumpkin?

Disinfecting a pumpkin is essential if you want to preserve it or eat it later.

Follow the simple process below to ensure this healthy veggie is free of contaminants or surface bacteria.

Things you’ll need:

  • Pumpkin
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Basin
  • Large tub


  1. Place the pumpkin in a clean basin and rinse it under running water. Use your hand to clean away debris and dirt.
  2. Mix 1 part vinegar and three parts water in a large tub. Submerge the pumpkin in the tab. Make sure that the pumpkin is fully submerged.
  3. Leave the pumpkin for about 10 to 15 minutes. If you notice any stubborn spots, clean them using a vegetable brush.
  4. After soaking, remove the pumpkin from the tub and rinse with water to remove residual vinegar. 
  5. Pat dry. 

How do you Clean Pumpkin with Vinegar?

To keep the pumpkins looking brand new throughout the month, clean them with vinegar

Vinegar kills bacteria and fungus, preventing the veggie from rotting. You can clean out a pumpkin in two minutes with this process. 

Things you’ll need:

  • Pumpkin
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Large tub


  1. Fill a large tub with 1 part vinegar and ten parts water.
  2. Soak the pumpkin for around 20 to 30 minutes in the bath.
  3. Pull them out and air dry.

Now you’re done. You’ve got some new-looking pumpkins.

How to Clean Pumpkins to Last Longer?


Cleaning and storing a pumpkin properly will help extend its life. Follow these steps to preserve this healthy vegetable.

Things you’ll need:

  1. Rinse the pumpkin with clean water to remove dirt.
  2. If you want to ensure the pumpkin is extra clean, you can use a mild dish soap. Submerge the pumpkin in a large basin with water and mild dish soap, and use a sponge to wash the surface.
  3. Leave the pumpkin for about 10 minutes to air dry. Make sure the pumpkin is completely dry before you store it. 
  4. Store the pumpkin in a cool and dry place. A cool garage, pantry, or basement is suitable, but ensure the room is not too humid. Don’t expose the vegetable to direct sunlight. You can also put the pumpkin in a plastic wrap with ventilation holes. 


Pumpkin season is almost here, my friends! But as much as we are excited to devour this healthy veggie or make fun pumpkin decorations, it’s important to keep them as clean as possible.

We’ve just given you many ways you can clean them so you, your family, and trick-or-treaters can enjoy them, whether it’s eating or carving them.

Want to learn how to prepare your home for Halloween? Read our article – Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared: 4 Must-Know Halloween Home Safety Tips