Keep Your Jack-O-Lantern Fresh For Halloween

two jack-o-lanterns on a front porch that is painted green

Even if your Halloween decorations include zombies, ghouls, or nasty creatures, we’re sure you don’t want your front porch to smell like them. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what a rotting pumpkin will smell like. If you’ve struggled to keep your jack-o-lantern on this side of the veil in the past, use these pumpkin-protecting tips to keep it fresh this year.

Wait To Carve Your Pumpkin

The first thing you should do to help your jack-o-lantern last until Halloween is simple. Just wait to carve your pumpkin. Instead of carving your pumpkin as soon as your calendar flips over to October, wait as long as you can. This is especially important if you live in high humidity areas. When you’re ready to carve your pumpkin, make sure you thoroughly clean your pumpkin.  Scrape the interior walls and pull out all of the guts, removing any strings.

Sterilize Your Pumpkin Before Displaying It

After you’ve carved a jack-o-lantern with perfectly sinister eyes and a wicked grin, spritz your master piece with a bleach solution to keep it spooky all month long. Mix one tablespoon of bleach into one quart of water and place it in a spray bottle. Then, liberally spray the solution on the interior and the cut surfaces of your pumpkin. The bleach will kill any bacteria or mold that can accelerate decomposition. You can alternatively slow down the decaying process by spritzing the interior with one tablespoon of peppermint Castile soap diluted with a quart of water.

Keep Your Pumpkin Moisturized

Dehydration can cause your pumpkin to collapse faster. However, applying petroleum jelly or olive oil to the cut surfaces can slow down dehydration. You can also try spraying it with hairspray.

Don’t Cut Off The Stem

When it’s time to clean out your pumpkin, cut a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin instead of cutting off the stem.  You can clean the pumpkin from the bottom. Then, once you’ve carved your pumpkin, you can light a candle and place the pumpkin over it which is far easier than attempting to light the candle inside the pumpkin. This method will help keep your pumpkin fresh by allowing moisture to escape rather than pooling at the bottom of the pumpkin.

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