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"
The intact skin of a pumpkin protects it until you carve it. But
then various organisms (fungi, bacteria, molds, fungi, protozoans, insects -
scientifically know as "those little buggers!") can get inside and start to
break it down.
Oxygen in the air can also easily enter and break down the pumpkin
Simple dehydration (drying out) will will begin the moment the pumpkin
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
Seal the surfaces to prevent drying and to keep out new "little buggers"
and reduce drying
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:
Remove dirt: Wipe the exterior surfaces of the pumpkin clean using a
Make a bleach solution of1 tablespoon of bleach (typical brand name "Clorox)
per quart of water and put it in a spray bottle.
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.
Let it penetrate and dry for about 20 minutes
Next, rub all of the carved or cut surfaces with petroleum jelly. This
will keep out new bacteria and molds as well as dramatically reduce the
Wipe away excess with a paper towel!
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!