Keeping a Pumpkin Fresh

Rotting pumpkin

A little bleach goes a long way...

The trek to your favorite pumpkin patch and carving them is a fun, annual event!
Although it's inevitable that fresh pumpkins (especially carved ones) will eventually decay,
here are a few tips that will keep your masterpieces fresher a bit longer.

Buy local at a reputable spot.
Choose a firm pumpkin and avoid those with soft spots.


Before carving...

1. Clean the surface of the pumpkin/gourd with a bleach solution of one teaspoon of bleach to one quart of water.
    It's easier to clean the outside and kill bacteria on the inside of the pumpkin by applying this bleach solution in a
    spray bottle. Allow pumpkin to dry completely before carving.


After carving...

1. Mix a bucket of water with 2/3 cup of bleach. Submerge the entire pumpkin in this bleach-water bath. 
    Allow the pumpkin to soak for up to 24 hours. 

2. Apply Vaseline or vegetable oil to the carved edges. This will keep the carved edges from drying out.  
    Make your pumpkin glow with a flame-less candle because the Vaseline and vegetable oil are flammable. 

3. Rehydrate your pumpkin every day.
    To keep it from drying out or to fight off mold, spray it everyday with water mixed with a few drops
    of bleach.

4. Store it in the refrigerator.
    To save this carved Jack-o-Lantern from early ruin, you can put it in a bag and store it overnight in a
    refrigerator, basement or any cool, dark area.

5. Display it in average temps.
    Ideally, pumpkins do best in fall temperatures in the 50s to lower 60s. If there is a freeze, simply bring
    the pumpkin indoors overnight.

6. Ultimately, if you don't carve your pumpkin, it will last much longer. And, there are plenty of creative
    ways to decorate with paint, collage, stencils, gold leaf and more.

DIY projects at