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Mold in Yerba Mate Gourd? Here’s How to Save it.

Aug 13, 2013

mold in my yerba mate gourd

The best way to remove mold from your yerba mate gourd is to allow it to fully dry. Mold cannot survive without moisture. Place your gourd is the sun for a few hours or allow it to dry on a counter near an open window.

Read on to learn more…

Green, furry, and slimly. Could it be a slug? Some little critter on your lawn? Or nasty soup your mom just plopped down on the table. Yum…But in our case, unfortunately, it’s mold growing in our favorite drinking vessel: the yerba mate gourd. DAMNIT!!

No bueno.
But chill.
I got you!

Ways for dealing with mold in yerba mate gourd

    • Let’s shine some light on this moldy problem.
      Literally. The best way to deal with mold in a yerba mate gourd is placing it in direct sunlight for a few hours a day, repeating until your gourd is drier than a baby’s ass after a fresh change. Mold hates the sun, so burn it away like Vampire Bill sitting in a park, midday.


    • Keep it dirty dirty dirty!
      Wasn’t that a song? Anyways, never wash your yerba mate gourd with soap. Rinse it with extremely hot water from the tap and make sure to scrape out any remaining debris each time. Then place it on its side and allow to dry fully.


    • Don’t cramp your gourd’s style.
      Let that baby rest! Ever have one of those girlfriends that stay on you like a hungry mosquito thirsting for blood? I’ve had my fair share and that shit ain’t cool. Don’t be that way with your gourd. Give it room and space to chill out for a few days between use. This actually helps keep it cured and in top shape; it’s the exact reason why a calabash yerba mate gourd can last you several years. The gourd will clean itself.


Here’s a video explaining what to do with a moldy yerba mate gourd and how to cure your yerba mate gourd:

So rest assured, chillax, your moldy gourd is—in most cases—salvageable. No need to toss it. Hit it with sun, give it time off between use, and never wash it with soap.

I recommend having at least 2–3 gourds, allowing you to cycle through fresh gourds while the others are fully drying. Glass, wood, and calabash is how I roll.

Gourds up!



  1. Funny article, Dave ahah!

    A couple days ago I cured a new gourd but must have not got all the mate out. Now there’s some fuzzy life forms at the bottom – time to take my gourd sun-gazing!

  2. Daniel

    …but if my moldy mate is made of natural hide? How do I clean out the mold adhering to the sueded inside?

  3. Zach Weston

    Why are we not supposed to clean it with soap?

  4. Bret

    thanks for the gourd-ucation. So I have a gourd with green mold in the bottom that is now bone dry. Now what? Do I re-cure for 24 hrs? Just rinse it out and start using it again? Or?

  5. Priscila GuimarĂŁes

    I have a gourd (one of the big ones), and I knew there was mold in it for sure. I put water, vinegar, and baking soda, and left it for a few hours. My gourd turned black. Can I still use it?

  6. Andres

    I’ve left my wooden mate gourd with mate in it for about a month with mold. Should I throw it away or can I still salvage it?

  7. AJ

    Only one problem. We recently purchased one of your gourd’s and after curing it the entire inside is filled with mold. We paid $59+ for a gourd that we have not even used and “might” be salvageable. My wife sent “Circle of Drink” an email, given that she purchased it for me. She shouldn’t have since I have lot’s of family in Uruguay that could have sent me another gourd to replace the one I had – for a lot cheaper and same quality. She figured she would surprise me with this gift. The only surprise I have is that Circle of Drink won’t even extend the courtesy to tend to their customers properly. I expect Circle of Drink to make things right by either accepting the return for refund or replacement.

  8. KAMAL

    what you recommending for cafe ? Gourd,Wood,Glass or … ?

    What is the difference and which taste better ?

  9. Martha Imelda Croyle

    I’m totally bummed. I was in Argentina 2 weeks ago and brought back a Yerba Mate gourd and some yerba and after “curing” and using my gourd, I found that mold was growing in it. I thought I read somewhere that I could use bleach…so I did and now I don’t think I can use it. Can I save my gourd?
    Plesae help.

  10. Val

    So I put a very tiny almost on bleach in it before reading this … and I know it probably not the best thing to do but after I put it in ….. the next day it jut grew more and more. I live in Canada and there’s not a lot of sun light, I even left it outside . What would you do if this was you.

    • David Askaripour

      I would leave the gourd in a dry area in your house for a few weeks until it’s totally dry. Then it should be fine. Others would just continue to use it.

  11. George

    Hi guys i bought a gourd online and it was black inside, it looks like the pumpking is falling to pieces on the inside. Is this normal?

    • David Askaripour

      Hey George, yes this is normal and, eventually, the gourd will naturally cure and become an even, smooth green surface within.

  12. Ricardo

    After cleaning out mold, I pop mine in the oven for 10 minutes on 350… not sure if this is recommended but it works for

  13. Mark

    Is it safe to reuse a mate gourd after not using for 2-3 years?

    • David Askaripour

      Yes, it should be safe if it was stored in a clean, dry area. Many people have been using the same mate gourd for 10+ years.

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