The easiest way to separate pumpkin seeds from the guts and clean them for roasting—using a simple bowl of water. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide.

Scooping Pumpkin Seeds Out of Pumpkin with Spoon

With fall comes all the fun seasonal activities, including visiting the pumpkin patch and carving pumpkins. We love to save the seeds for roasting, but removing and cleaning the seeds can be a pain.

Luckily, we’ve got a neat trick that makes this task a breeze. The magic happens in a simple bowl of water!

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Pumpkin Seeds Effortlessly

Follow these simple steps to separate the pumpkin strands and goo from the pumpkin seeds. 

Step 1 | Cut Open the pumpkin

Cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin. If you aren’t planning on carving it, you can instead just cut the pumpkin in half for easier access to the seeds.

Cutting Top off of Pumpkin
Pumpkin with Top Cut Off Showing Seeds and Guts

Step 2 | Clean out the Pumpkin

Scrape out the pumpkin guts and seeds using a spoon or pumpkin carving scraper tool. Add them to a large bowl – you’ll want to make sure there’s plenty of extra room in the bowl.

Scoop of Pumpkin Guts and Seeds

Step 3 | Add water to the bowl

Fill the bowl with water, making sure all the pumpkin material is submerged. Give it a gentle stir. The pumpkin seeds will naturally float to the top, while the denser guts will sink to the bottom.

Bowl of Water with Pumpkin Seeds and Guts

Step 4 | Skim the Top with a slotted spoon

With a slotted spoon or your hands, skim the floating seeds off the top of the water.

Using a Slotted Spoon to Remove Pumpkin Seeds from Guts
Scoop of Clean Pumpkin Seeds Scooped Out of Bowl of Water and Pumpkin Guts

Once you’ve gotten all the seeds from the surface, give it a gentle stir, and more will likely rise to the top.

Add the scooped seeds to a colander as you go. Place a plate or tray under the colander to catch any excess liquid.

Strainer Full of Clean Pumpkin Seeds

Step 5 | Rinse the Seeds

Rinse your seeds under cold water to remove any remaining pumpkin residue.

Rinsed Pumpkin Seeds in Strainer

Step 6 | Dry the seeds

Spread the seeds out on a clean towel or paper towel to dry.

Pouring Wet Pumpkin Seeds on Paper Towel to Dry

Step 7 | Roast or Store

Now that you have your clean seeds, you can either roast them for a crunchy snack or store them for later use.

Try air fryer pumpkin seeds – full recipe here.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds in Bowl

Storing Fresh Pumpkin Seeds

Once you’ve separated the seeds, it’s time to talk storage. Raw (or roasted) pumpkin seeds can be kept in the pantry in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months, according to the FoodKeeper App from

For proper storage, dry them out (reduce the moisture as much as possible) and keep them in an air-tight container. It is not necessary to store the seeds in the fridge or freezer.

Closeup of Clean Pumpkin Seeds

Final Thoughts

Separating pumpkin seeds from the guts is a piece of cake with this water trick. So, the next time you’re carving pumpkins, remember this method to effortlessly enjoy the seeds that come along with the gooey guts!

Removing Top of Pumpkin with Stem After Cutting Open

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