Pumpkin carving and decoration is a favorite in October. When you have carved an amazing design or face into a pumpkin or two, you want to show it through your window or put it on the porch so your neighbors can see.
But without knowing the tricks to save holiday pumpkins, they can become slimy, moldy and borderline in as little as three days.
Don't let that happen – let everyone see your original masterpiece, not a cloudy, sunken, sad version.
So, we here at WonderHowTo scoured the web to discover all the tips and tricks to find out how to get your carved and uncut pumps to go the distance – for Halloween and beyond!  Read on to find out what worked best, what didn't and how to have the nicest jack-o & # 39; headlights in your hood.
Just keep in mind that if you live in an area with high humidity or heavy rain, your carved pumps will not last as long as in dryers.
Method 1: Soak It in a Bleach Solution (The Winner!)
A can of bleach is a simple and effective way to prevent your carved pumpkins from forming up to seven days. Sodium hypochlorite kills microorganisms that cause pumpkins to rot and dry out the pump.
You will need:
- Bleach (buy on Amazon or Walmart)
- A bucket or container large enough for your pump to fit in (if you don't have anything in the house, try these from Amazon or Walmart)
- Your Roasted Pumpkin
The steps to make the solution are super-simple:
- Once you have roasted your pumpkin, rinse it with water to get rid of excess strands and debris.
- Take a large bucket or tub and fill it with three liters of water.
- Stir three teaspoons of bleach into the water.  Dunk in the pumpkin. Make sure to keep it down, as it will try to float. The whole pump should sit in the solution for two minutes. You may also want to wear gloves.
- Remove the solution and allow the pump air to dry.
You can find more information on the Clorox website. It is also interesting to note that at My Science Project, a bleached jack-o-lantern lasted for up to ten days with only minimal decay.
Some people also spray their carved pumpkins with a bleach solution daily, instead of doing the big can. Regular spraying also works, but your pump will probably disappear faster. It doesn't rot as fast as an untreated pump, but it won't last as long as a soak in the bleach solution.
Don't miss: How To Make a Bubbling, Brewing Pumpkin Cooler  Method 2: Add an opened silica package (2nd place)
Although it can seem strange with so much airflow in one carved pumpkin, an opened package of silica gel can keep the route away from your jack-o & # 39; -lantern. Mental Floss compared some of the methods on this list and found that the bleach solution above and an opened silica package were best for extending the life of a carved pump.
Since silica packages are a desiccant, it is not surprising that they work well. They absorb moisture and keep things fairly dry if it's humid, and a non-moist carved pumpkin means less mold growth and less drooping.
Method 3: Spray it with … Pump Spray
Using a specially designed pump preservative is probably the easiest solution available. Pumpkin Fresh is specifically designed to prevent mold on your pump, whether carved or whole. You can order it online or find it at your local pumpkin patch.
My Science Project describes the ingredients that contain "water, sodium tetraborate decahydrate (borax) and sodium benzoate (preservative and fungicide). describes it as a "fungicide solution." "
This solution is designed to keep carved pumpkins at their freshest, unlike some methods, which preserve whole pumpkins (see the final trick given below). Just spray all over the interior and carvings every day and enjoy a long-lasting jack-o-lantern.
The Pumpkin Fresh website also offers some useful tips to prevent your pumps from deteriorating:
We recommend that you never show your carved pump on concrete as concrete will pull out all the moisture in your pump which in turn will cause your pumpkin to age very quickly. It is also recommended that you use cool artificial lighting to illuminate your carved pumpkin. A lit candle used for lighting will dry out your pump too soon.
Method 4: Spray it with WD-40
WD-40 is not only good for your tricky doors, but it turns out It is also good for pump conservation. How and why does it work? The company keeps the famous ingredient list secret. But WIRED Magazine sent a bottle of the stuff to a lab and shared the ingredients within.
It turns out that the main ingredient in WD-40 is mineral oil – the same things in Vaseline (see below). So that's what keeps your pumps hydrated, protected from moisture and fresh. It also contains several alkanes that are water resistant and freeze resistant. So go ahead and use it to preserve both carved and uncut pumps. Directions are simple:
- Grab a WD-40 (try Amazon or Walmart if you don't have one in the house).
- Spray over your uncured pumpkin to make it look shiny and new.
- For carved pumpkins, spray inside and outside, make sure all parts are saturated.
Keep in mind that mineral oil is flammable, so you may want to be careful about putting a lit candle inside. Some people say they have never had to deal with a jack-o-lantern a fuego . But we recommend you play it safe and grab a battery-powered LED pump light ($ 9.90 on Amazon) to light your jack's o-lantern.
This method, along with the next few, does not work as well as bleach and silica above, as there is more moisture present.
Method 5: Rub it with Petroleum Jelly (aka Vaseline)
Petroleum jelly is a great way to prevent your carved pumpkins from drying out and getting that wrinkled appearance. It is water repellent, so it seals the natural moisture while keeping moisture out.
- Take some petroleum jelly (try Amazon or Walmart)
- Spread petroleum jelly in your pumpkin and around all cut out areas.
- Apply again if needed.
However, Extreme Pumpkins makes a good point: spreading petroleum jelly on a pumpkin is a pain. We suggest that you put on a disposable latex glove so you don't have to put your hand down so you can drop things with minimal movement. The same applies to the method below.
Method 6: Spread on a little vegetable oil
If petroleum jelly doesn't sound appealing to you, you can also use a vegetable oil like olive oil to do the same.
Most oils you have in your kitchen, such as almonds, avocados and sesame, are occlusive agents – meaning they stay moist, just like petroleum jelly. Apply oil to the inside of your pump and all cuts. Reseat if necessary. As with petroleum jelly, we recommend using a disposable latex glove to minimize clutter.
Method 7: Shine It with Floor Wax (Only Carved Pumpkins)
Yes, the floor cleaner is an excellent preservative, but for raw pumps only. Growing your pumpkin to a high shine is a neat trick for those who like the look of whole pumpkin decor in your homes for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Floor cleaners will keep your pumps shiny and fresh for up to four weeks.
Many floor wax brands work to preserve pumpkins, as long as it's an acrylic liquid type of detergent, at least according to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Just apply the acrylic liquid floor cleaner to a damp towel and gently wipe around each pump and leave a thin layer.
You can't eat the pumpkin after treating it this way, but would you have eaten it anyway? You will probably not always use the bright orange perfectly spherical pump for cooking. When we talk pumpkin pie, what you eat is not the same type of pumpkin that you would put on the slope. But the real differences between the field pump and the squash sold to you in a can pump is a matter of debate.
If you can't quite handle the idea of applying floor wax to a pumpkin, Stephanie Lynn has another solution for preserving whole pumps. Clean the pumpkin or gourd with a mild bleach solution (ten parts water to one bleach) to kill any bacteria on the surface, then apply a little petroleum jelly and buff the gourds into a high gloss. You can also use plain old white vinegar and water to rinse the surface, as it is food safe and kills the majority of viruses and bacteria.
Now that you have the best pump preservation tricks on hand, you should better carve wood! More fun Halloween food hack awaits!
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