Pumpkin carving and decorating is a favorite pastime during this time of year. After you’ve carved an amazing design or face into a pumpkin or two, you want to show it off through your window or set it out on your porch for the neighbors to see. Without knowing the tricks to save your holiday pumpkins, they can turn slimy, moldy, and mushy in as little as three days.
Here are a few tips to keep your pumpkin fresh a little longer this Halloween!
(1) Kill Bacteria and Mold
Clean the exterior and interior of the pumpkin to help prevent mold from forming
Create a bleach solution using one tablespoon of bleach per quart of water
Spray the solution on the interior and on all cut out areas
Let it dry for 20 minutes
(2) Keep From Drying Out
Once you’ve perfected your jack-o’-lantern, smear some petroleum jelly all over the pumpkin covering the interior and cut out surfaces
You can also try using vegetable or olive oil
(3) Preserve Uncarved Pumpkins
Keep uncarved pumpkins fresh longer by spraying WD-40 on the surface. Carved pumpkins can reap the benefits too!
(4) Say Bye, Bye to Rodents
Hairspray, acrylic finish spray and Tabasco sauce mixed with petroleum jelly can act as a repellent to keep pesky pumpkin-eating critters away
(4) Not On Display
When it’s not on display, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate, says Marc Evan, of Maniac Pumpkin Carvers.
-Don’t start carving too far in advance of Halloween
-Don’t keep your pumpkin in the sun or rain
-Don’t freeze the pumpkin. It’ll just get mushy
You can also try using Pumpkin Fresh, a specially formulated spray to keep pumpkins from decaying.
*Don’t forget to check out the Halloween Events and Activities Page for Halloween fun around St. Louis.
*Have any other tips? Share them in the comments!
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.