5 ways to stop your pumpkin from rotting before Halloween

Pumpkins, They Eat Their Own!
Flickr | armadilo60

Kids of all ages love carving the perfect pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern for Halloween. Every year, it seems stores start selling pumpkins earlier and earlier. The kids get excited and want them NOW. Meanwhile, the grownups worry whether buying them early simply means a rotted mess by Oct. 31.

If you want to preserve your pumpkin masterpiece until Halloween, then take a look at the following tips. Each of these can help keep your jack-o-lantern looking perfectly spooky and fresh—not moldy and rotted.

1. Scoop Out All The Pumpkin “Guts”

You need to keep your pumpkin as bug-free as possible to avoid fast rotting. Yes, the “pumpkin guts” (as my family loves to call them) look stringy and feel cold and slimy, but kids usually love getting their hands dirty for the job. However, to keep the bugs out, needs to be scraped completely clean. Any residual pulp will attract little critters. So, find a sturdy spoon with a good edge and put some elbow grease into cleaning your jack-o-lantern.

2. Banish Pumpkin Rot With Bleach

When it comes to popular pumpkin-saving tips found online, bleach has to rank as No. 1. Multiple websites claim dunking your final product into a solution of bleach and water works wonders. Why? Bleach disinfects anything it touches. So, by applying it to the pumpkin, the bleach destroys the germs and helps keep them away.

All you need is two-thirds cup of bleach per gallon of water. If you have a larger pumpkin, simply double or triple your recipe and use your tub. Does it work? Let’s take a look at the video below:

3. Pamper Your Pumpkin With Petroleum Jelly

Keep pumpkins moisturized and protected by applying petroleum jelly to the interior after it’s cleaned. How does this work? The same way the drugstore staple keeps our lips and skin protected: It creates a barrier between the air and the surface. This prevents drying and cracking, which can cause a pumpkin to rot.

Just dry the interior of the pumpkin after cleaning it. Then, apply the petroleum jelly. Truly as simple—and effective—as that.


4. Refrigerate Your Pumpkin

Remember, pumpkins are food! They start to decay as soon as they get harvested. When you think about it this way, it makes sense to refrigerate your pumpkin at night. So simple! Why didn’t we think of that?

5. Use Acrylic Spray

Again, creating a moisture block keeps mold and decay away for a longer period of time. Applying acrylic spray inside and out of the jack-o-lantern builds that barrier.


Need some decorating ideas for this year’s Halloween jack-o-lantern? How about some no-carve designs to take the mess factor out of the holiday? You could try these pretty princess projects, groovy glow-in-the-dark gourds or even string art designs!

Happy decorating and Happy Halloween!


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About the Author
Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World.

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