How to Preserve Your Carved Pumpkin to Make It Last Longer!

A little simple Halloween magic with household items will make your Jack O'Lantern last a week longer!

Did you carve a great pumpkin last year only to have it rot days before Halloween? Here's how to preserve and protect it!

What causes the pumpkin to decay?

There are several primary causes heartbreak of "pumpkin rot"

All of this will turn your carved young happy pumpkin face into a sad old man in several days time!

How to stop pumpkin aging:

Get Dad's Rogaine and Mom's Botox.... no, just kidding!  What we need to do is

Essentially, we're going to embalm your Jack O'Lantern, just like the ancient Egyptians did their mummies! (Hey, maybe they practiced on pumpkins!)

Here are the simple steps:

  1. Remove dirt: Wipe the exterior surfaces of the pumpkin clean using a damp cloth.
  2. Make a bleach solution of1 tablespoon of bleach (typical brand name "Clorox) per quart of water and put it in a spray bottle.
  3. Spray the pumpkin inside and all cut areas of the pumpkin with the solution.  This will kill much of the surface bacteria and mold that cause rotting.
  4. Let it penetrate and dry for about 20 minutes
  5. Drain any excess liquid out of the pumpkin
  6. Now, keep your pumpkin out of direct sunlight and try to keep it as cool as possible (but above freezing!) and you should get at least a week's enjoyment out of it! Then when it's time to go, you can employ several thousand laborers to build a giant pyramid in your backyard to entomb your Jack O'Mummy! Next week: building a pumpkin sarcophagus! Ok, maybe we're getting carried away. But hey, kids love the analogy; anything having to do with mummies or dinosaurs!

If you want to see an actual experiment trying different pumpkin preserving methods, see this page!

Click here to see kits, tools, books and templates for carving pumpkins.

Complete Water Bath Canner Kit

This is the same type of  standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce!. This complete kit includes everything you need: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, six pint jars with lids and rings, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. You'll never need anything else except more jars and lids!
Price: $49.99 


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