Nothing invites the fall like putting up Halloween decorations. Whether you decorate your front door with colorful flowers or you’re more of artificial spider webs type of person, most Halloween and fall decoration lovers agree on one point: pumpkins are indispensable. However, the question of how to preserve a Halloween pumpkin is a bit trickier. Most people can understand what it’s like to buy a squash too early in the season and it’ll be moldy by October 31st. While that may add to the spooky vibe of the season, it’s not exactly the ideal aesthetic for most people. Luckily, there are several ways to ensure that this fruiting vegetable lasts throughout the fall.
With cooler temperatures, you may be able to carve the pumpkin 4 days before the big day. Just make sure that the fruit vegetables are in the shade and protected from the wind as much as possible.
How long does a carved pumpkin last?
Generally, once scooped out, a pumpkin should last 3-5 days. Also, there is no law that prohibits carving more than one pumpkin. Have one for the week before Halloween and another for Halloween night and the week after!
Preserve Halloween Pumpkin: Prevent it from getting moldy inside and out
Clean the outside of the pumpkin before you start carving. Lightly wash the outside to remove dirt and soil. Then use paper towels to dry excess moisture off the surface.
Prepare the pumpkin and protect it from mold with bleach
Spray with bleach:
Since the inside of the pumpkin is moist, it will get moldy very quickly if any part of the fruiting vegetable is exposed. Clean the surface and interior with a teaspoon of bleach to a quart of water. A spray bottle makes it easier to apply the solution all over. This will sterilize it and kill any bacteria present. Let it dry completely before you start carving.
Soak in a bleach solution for 20 minutes:
Another option is to soak the squashes in a bleach solution for about 20 minutes.
Preserve a carved Halloween pumpkin with rubbing alcohol
Spraying with rubbing alcohol can do wonders when it comes to keeping pumpkins from rotting, preventing fruit flies, and preventing mold growth.
Floor cleaners are also great as a preservative for pumpkins, keeping them shiny and fresh. All you have to do is put a liquid floor cleaner on a damp towel and wipe the fruit vegetables with it.
Preserve pumpkin faces and prevent mold with hairspray
Hairsprays are another great sealant that keeps pumpkins from drying out. The sprays act as a barrier against mold growth while preventing rodents from chewing on your fruiting vegetables.
How to Preserve a Carved Pumpkin with Vegetable Oils
Most vegetable oils on the market, such as olive oil, can be very helpful in preventing a squash from rotting. Dry the squashes completely, using a paper or cloth towel. After that, rub the surface with a small amount of vegetable oil. Use enough oil so that the fruiting veggies look shiny but not greasy.
Preserve Halloween pumpkin with vinegar
Another natural way to preserve pumpkins is with the ever-popular vinegar. To keep the fruiting veg looking like new throughout October, simply fill a large tub with 10 parts water and 1 part vinegar. Let the squashes soak in the bath for 20-30 minutes, then remove and allow to air dry. Of course, this method will not make the pumpkins last forever, but they will look fresher for longer. Also, it is safe for pets and wildlife.
How to refresh a scooped pumpkin with ice
If you see your squash starting to wilt, soak it in an ice bath overnight to freshen it up. Once you take it out, dry it thoroughly to avoid mold growth.
Why you shouldn’t use candles in the pumpkin
Using candles inside carved pumpkins can affect them negatively as the heat cooks the fruiting veg. Instead, try using flickering candles with no flame or glow sticks.
How to Preserve Halloween Pumpkins: Avoid sunlight
If the pumpkin is left outside, it can rot quickly. Try to keep it as cool as possible. If it’s warm outside, you should bring it inside during the day and put it in the fridge (or in the basement if you have one) to keep it fresh and not soggy.
What temperatures are bad for pumpkins?
Avoid leaving your squash outside when the temperature is below zero. Ideally, you should place it in a place where the temperature is between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius/50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. So if you live in an area where frosts are expected in October, bring your fruiting veg inside every evening.