Kids are enthusiastic to get their Jack ‘o Lantern pumpkins carved long before Halloween. This may result in pretty scary moldy pumpkins by the time trick or treat season rolls around. Here’s a couple of tips on how to keep your carved pumpkins looking good for longer.
Start with a good one. Choose a pumpkin that is fresh, and has no blemishes or bruises.You can do this by pressing on the pumpkin to make sure there are no soft spots. Turn it over and look for black spots which would indicate frost damage.
Clean it Properly
Cut off the top and then scoop all the insides out. Making sure that there are no stringy bits or seeds left behind will help the inside to dry out. Dry pumpkins are less likely to mold. Scrape the sides down as much as you can and then wash the inside of the pumpkin out. Turn it upside down and let it dry.
Once your pumpkin is carved, rinse with bleach. Bleach will help to stave off the mold for longer. If you don’t want to use bleach, use a mixture of tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract to keep it fresh.
You can rub the inside and cut edges with vegetable oil or petroleum oil to seal it, but this may pose a fire hazard if you intend to use a tealight candle.
The most important thing is to keep your pumpkin under cover. Exposing it to frost and freezing overnight and then thawing in the warm fall sun is a recipe for rot.