Carving a Jack-o’-lantern is one of the best parts of Halloween, but watching that pumpkin you worked so hard on wither away on the porch? Not so much. Fortunately, following these tips can help your pumpkin creation last through Halloween.
- Clean the inside- Scrape all the pumpkin guts out really well because they’ll get moldy quickly. Wipe down the surface and inside with a teaspoon of bleach per one quart of water to kill any bacteria and let it dry before carving.
- After you carve, give it a bleach-water bath- Submerge your carved pumpkin in a bucket filled with water and ⅔ cup of bleach and let it soak for up to 24 hours.
- Grease it up- Apply Vaseline, vegetable oil, or WD-40 to the carved edges to keep them from drying out too fast. But all of these are flammable, so only use a flameless votive inside, not a candle.
- Rehydrate daily- Pumpkins will shrivel without moisture, so spray it every day with water mixed with a few drops of bleach.
- Stick it in the fridge overnight- Store it in a plastic bag in the fridge or in the basement, or some other cool, dark area of the house when you’re not showing off your Jack-o’-lantern on the porch.
- Give it an ice bath- If your gourd starts to wilt, try an ice bath overnight. And dry it completely so it doesn’t get moldy.
- Skip the real candles- They heat the pumpkin up, so try flickering flameless candles or glow sticks instead.
- Don’t let it freeze- Bring it inside at night if the weather is freezing.
- Don’t carve it- It may seem anti-Halloween, but it’ll stay fresh for much longer if you opt to paint the pumpkin instead.
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