There’s a lot of time and hard work that goes into creating your Halloween jack-o’-lantern, from picking out the ideal pumpkin, to cleaning it out, and finally carving your design, so you want that thing to last as long as possible. No one wants to see their holiday start disintegrating before trick-or-treaters make their way to the door for candy, so try these tips to prevent your pumpkin from rotting.
- Buy local - If you haven’t picked your pumpkins up yet, get them from somewhere local so they’re less likely to have bumps and bruises from traveling from somewhere far away. And the local ones last longer.
- Make sure you scoop the inside clean - When you’re cleaning out the inside of your gourd, make sure you don’t leave anything behind. Get all the seeds, guts, and gunk out because the leftover bits can mold and make your jack-o’-lantern rot sooner.
- A little Halloween alchemy (well, actually, chemistry) - Once your pumpkin is carved, give it a bleach bath. Mix a tablespoon of bleach per quart of water and spray the solution on the inside of the pumpkin to kill any bacteria and mold lingering in there.
- Don’t leave your pumpkin out all day! - Extreme temperatures will make your pumpkin rot sooner, so bring it inside. Fruit flies will make a tasty treat of your jack-o’-lantern as well. Also keep in mind, once that pumpkin is off the vine, it’s slowly marching toward death and the candle you put inside is drying it out too. Spritzing it daily with the water and bleach mix should help extend its life a little longer.
- Don’t carve it at all - The only guaranteed way to keep your pumpkin from rotting is to display it whole and skip the carving altogether. But where’s the fun in that?