Pumpkin carving and decorating is a favorite pastime in October. After you've cut a great design or face into a pumpkin or two, you want to show it through your window or show it on your porch for the neighbors to see.
But, without knowing the tricks to save you holiday gourds, they can become slimy, moldy and mushy in just three days.
Don't let that happen – show everyone your original masterpiece, not a mushy, sunken, sad version.
So we searched the web here at WonderHowTo to discover all the tips and tricks to find out how to make your cut and uncut pumpkins travel the distance – to Halloween and further!  Read on to find out what worked best, what didn't, and how you can have the best-looking jack-o & # 39; lanterns in your hood.
Please note that if you live in an area with high humidity or a lot of rain, your carved pumpkins will not last as long as those in a drier environment.
Method 1: Soak it in a bleach solution (the winner!)
A dunk in bleach is a simple and effective way to prevent your carved pumpkins from forming up to seven days . The sodium hypochlorite kills microorganisms that make pumpkins rot and dehydrates the pumpkin.
You will need:
- Bleach (buy from Amazon or Walmart)
- A bucket or container large enough to fit your pumpkin (if you don't have anything at home, try it at Amazon or Walmart)
- Your carved pumpkin
The steps for making the solution are super easy:
- After you cut your pumpkin, rinse it out with water to get rid of excess strings and slurries.
- Take a large bucket or tub and fill it with three liters of water. Stir three teaspoons of bleach into the water.  Dive into the pumpkin. Hold it down because it will try to float. The whole pumpkin must remain in the solution for two minutes. You may also want to wear gloves.
- Remove from the solution and allow the pumpkin to air dry.
You can find more information on the Clorox website. It is also interesting to note that at My Science Project, a bleach-treated jack-o & # 39; lantern lasted up to ten days with only minimal decay.
Some people also spray their carved pumpkins daily with a bleach solution of doing the big thing. Regular spraying also works, but your pumpkin will probably spoil faster. It will not rot as fast as an untreated pumpkin, but it will not last as long as one soaked in the bleach solution.
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Although it may seem strange with so much air flow in a carved pumpkin, an opened silica gel package to keep your jack-o & # 39; -lantern. Mental Floss compared a few of the methods on this list and discovered that the bleaching solution and an opened silica pack were the best to extend the life of a sliced pumpkin.
Since silica packages are a desiccant, it is no surprise that they work well. They absorb moisture and keep things reasonably dry when it is moist, and a non-moist carved pumpkin means less mold growth and less hanging.
Method 3: Spray it with … Pumpkin spray
The use of a specially designed pumpkin preservative is probably the easiest solution there is. Pumpkin Fresh is specially designed to prevent mold on your pumpkin, whether it is cut or whole. You can order it online or find it on your local pumpkin patch.
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My Science Project describes the ingredients as "water, sodium tetraborate decahydrate (borax) and sodium benzoate (a preservative and fungicide). label describes it as a & # 39; fungicide solution. & # 39; "
This solution is designed to keep carved pumpkins as fresh as possible, unlike some methods, which save whole pumpkins (see the last trick below). Spray it over the interior and the recesses every day and enjoy a durable jack-o & # 39; lantern.
The Pumpkin Fresh website also offers some useful tips to prevent your pumpkins from deteriorating:
We recommend that you never show your carved pumpkin on concrete, as concrete sucks up moisture in your pumpkin, making your pumpkin age very quickly. It is also recommended that you use cool artificial lighting to illuminate your carved pumpkin. A lit candle that is used for lighting will dry out your pumpkin prematurely.
Method 4: Spray it with WD-40
Not only is WD-40 great for your squeaky doors, but it also appears that it is also great for preserving pumpkin . How and why does it work? The company famously keeps its ingredient list secret. WIRED Magazine, however, has sent a bottle of the stuff to a laboratory and has broken down the ingredients in it.
The most important ingredient in WD-40 is mineral oil – the same stuff in Vaseline (see below). So that keeps your pumpkins hydrated, protected from moisture and looks fresh. It also contains various alkanes that are water resistant and frost resistant. So go ahead and use it to save both carved and non-carved pumpkins. The directions are simple:
- Grab some WD-40 (try Amazon or Walmart if you don't have one).
- Spray your uncut pumpkin to make it look shiny and new.
- For carved pumpkins, spray inside and out, make sure that each part is saturated.
Please note that mineral oil is flammable, so you may want to be careful about placing a burning candle in it. Some people say they have never had to deal with a lantern and fuego . But we recommend that you play safely and grab a battery operated LED pumpkin light ($ 9.90 on Amazon) to light your lantern.
Also, this method, along with the following, does not work as well as the bleach and silica above because more moisture is 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 look. It is water-repellent, so it seals off the natural moisture and keeps it away from moisture.
- Grab some Vaseline (try Amazon or Walmart)
- Spread the Vaseline in your pumpkin and around all cut-out areas.
- Re-apply if necessary.
However, extreme pumpkins are a good point: spreading vaseline on a pumpkin is difficult. We recommend that you put on a disposable latex glove so that you don't have to pick up your hand and you can smear it up with minimal clutter. This also applies to the method below.
Method 6: Spread on some vegetable oil
If Vaseline sounds unattractive to you, you can also use a vegetable oil such as olive oil to make the same.
Most oils that you have in your kitchen, such as almond, avocado and sesame, are occlusion agents – meaning that they retain moisture, just like Vaseline. Apply oil to the inside of your pumpkin and all the recesses. Re-apply if necessary. As with Vaseline, we recommend using a disposable latex glove to minimize clutter.
Method 7: Shine It with Floor Wax (only non-carved pumpkins)
Yes, floor cleaner is an excellent preservative, but for uncut only pumpkins. Waxing your pumpkin to a high gloss is a handy trick for those who want the appearance of the entire pumpkin decor at your home for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Floor cleaner keeps your pumpkins shiny and fresh for up to four weeks.
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Many brands of floor wax work to preserve pumpkins, as long as it is a liquid type acrylic cleaner, at least according to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Apply the liquid floor cleaner on a damp towel and gently wipe around each pumpkin and leave a thin layer.
You can no longer eat the pumpkin once you have treated it this way, but would you have eaten it anyway? It is unlikely that you will always use that bright orange perfectly spherical pumpkin in cooking. When we talk about pumpkin pie, what you eat is not the same type of pumpkin that you would put on the sidewalk. But the real differences between squash and squash that are sold to you in a can of pumpkin is a matter of discussion.
If you can't quite handle the thought of applying floor wax to a pumpkin, Stephanie Lynn has another solution for storing whole pumpkins. Clean the pumpkin or gourd with a mild bleaching solution (ten parts water to one part bleach) to kill all bacteria on the surface, then apply a little vaseline and buff the gourds to a high gloss. You can also simply use old white vinegar and water to rinse the surface, as it is food safe and kills most viruses and bacteria.
Now that you have the best tricks for storing pumpkin on hand, you better carving! More fun Halloween food hacks are waiting!
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