Carving the spookiest pumpkin in the neighborhood – or even in your own household – can become quite the competition. But whether you’ve spent minutes or hours slicing your pumpkin so it looks exactly like you want, you’ll need to take a few extra steps to ensure it doesn’t wither into a pile of mess within a week.
How to Prevent Your Pumpkin From Decaying
After carving your pumpkin, use bleach to prevent mold from growing on it. You can either submerge your pumpkin in a solution* or use a spray bottle filled with it to treat the carved areas. Make sure to let the pumpkin air dry after you’ve bleached it.
*Use three tablespoons of bleach to three gallons of water.
How to Prevent Your Pumpkin From Shrinking
To keep your pumpkin from shriveling into a shrunken head, apply a water-repellent lubricant to the carved areas. Vegetable oil, petroleum jelly and WD-40 all work well to making sure your pumpkin looks good until Halloween is over.
Another option is to use a store-bought pumpkin preservative spray that contains fungicide and lubricants, which kills mold and prevents drying. If you want to preserve an un-carved pumpkin, shine it with floor wax.