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How to Harvest Sunflower Seeds the Easy Way [Clothes Dryer]

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

I began harvesting sunflower seeds with a knife or a spoon and it was effective but it got seeds all over my kitchen. It was also a little labor-intensive. I then found that I could use my husband’s cement mixer with a few balls thrown in and all I had to do was come back and pull out my seeds. This was fabulous. I was so happy to have a great technique and so I shared it with others. The only problem was that not everyone has a cement mixer. With that in mind, I was determined to find another easy way that was a little more accessible. The clothes dryer is very similar to a cement mixer in movement but requires a few additional steps.

Once you have a dried sunflower head you should remove the blossoms, petals, and leaves to prepare it for the dryer.

remove the blossoms, petals, and leaves

Start with dry sunflower heads and remove all of the blossoms, petals, and leaves.

Place the sunflower head in a paper bag and staple it closed.

Staple in a paper bag

Next, place the head seed side down in a paper bag. Staple the top closed with closely spaced staples.

Place the stapled paper bag into a plastic garbage sack.

place in a plastic bag

Place this paper bag inside a thick, plastic bag with a drawstring.

Secure the plastic garbage bag snugly.

Tie top closed well

I like to tie it like a balloon and then twist the drawstrings around the neck of the bag and tie them together.

Place the secured bags holding your dried sunflower heads into the clothes dryer.

place in dryer

Now place the bag in the dryer.

Set your dryer to no heat for 25 minutes.

set to no heat for 25 minutes

Set it for a quick cycle (25 minutes or so) and change it to no heat. Press start and allow it to do its thing.

Cut the bag oven and remove your sunflower seeds that were harvested the easy way.

Cut the bag open and remove your seeds

After the cycle is complete, remove the bag and open it. You will find the plastic bag has caught the “dust” from the sunflower. Cut off the top of the brown paper bag and pull out the sunflower head. It may have a few tenacious seeds but those usually come out pretty easily at this point. The rest of the seeds will be in the bottom of your bag just waiting for you. I love it because I just pick up my bag and pour them directly into jars for later use.

If you would like to see how I do my brining and roasting take a look at this post:

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