To ensure long lifespan and keep the best of taste
Do Not Use
- Rubbing Alcohol
It is recommended that you discard the used yerba mate in order to allow the gourd to dry (Feel free to compost the yerba mate). You may need to use the yerba mate straw, or a spoon, in order to get out the yerba mate from the gourd. Do not "bang" the gourd, too much effort risks breaking it.
Gourds do not usually need more than to be rinsed out with plain water. Just run some water in the gourd and get the rest of leaves out.
Set your gourd aside to dry in a drying rack, windowsill, countertop, or other location. They can be set in the sun, or not. They can be set upside down, or not.
NB! Humid climate yerba-mate gourd care
If you live in a humid climate, it may help to put a paper towel or napkin in the gourd as part of the drying process. This will help absorb the moisture that may remain. This will become less important as the yerba mate gourd is used/dried more often. It will tighten up and become more resistant to absorbing water.
FORGOT TO CLEAN TIMELY?
Should your gourd be left with wet yerba-mate in it for a few days, then it may develop too much of the healthy mold that naturally occurs in the gourd. Do not be alarmed, the gourd can be easily cleaned. The remains will discolor the gourd, but not make it unusable.
Simply discard the abandoned yerba mate, rinse it out with water, then pour boiling water in the gourd. It will froth, foam, and generally be a cool sight. When it is cooled down enough, you can rinse it out with more water, or repeat the adding of boiling water.
If you have created a monster in your gourd, some odd scientific experiment, or some smell that seems too strong, then there is the technique of using lime juice, lemon juice, or alcohol to help the gourd start anew. Simply add water mixed with drinking alcohol, lime juice, or lemon juice into the yerba mate gourd. The preferred alcohol is rum, though one
could use any alcohol that would leave a good flavor. The mix can be left in the gourd for a couple of days, or simply for 15 minutes. The length of time depends on your level of concern for what has gone on in your gourd! An alternative is to use apple cider vinegar, or even white distilled vinegar, though this is usually avoided because of the impact on flavor of the gourd. Still, it is an option if you like the taste of vinegar.
CURING THE GOURD
Although traditional gourds can be immediately used and cure naturally with use, it is recommended to cure your gourd before use. Curing will improve the taste and strengthen the gourd. It will help to work-out a “memory”. Here are some simple curing instructions:
- Pour some yerba mate into the gourd.
- If desired, the gourd can be given flavor during this process by adding something to the yerba mate. Rum, mint leaf, stevia leaf, lemon peels, orange peels, or honey are some popular examples.
- Fill the gourd to brim with water.
- Let the gourd sit filled with water and yerba mate for a day or two to absorb flavor.
- It is normal for mold to form on the gourd during the curing process. It is harmless. If you want to prevent the mold, see above.
- Discard the yerba mate and rinse the gourd.
- Dry the gourd for a day or two.
- You will know the gourd is dry when there are no water marks on the inside.
BOMBILLA CARE TIPS
With mild soap, wash your bombilla. Optionally, boil your bombilla for about 5 minutes once a week to completely sanitize the interior (this is known as Curing the Bombilla).