Jack-o-lanterns, when left to their own devices, have bright but very short lifetimes. Push back the disappointment of seeing your once fresh pumpkin melt into a puddle of fuzz-covered flesh! With these tips, you can keep your jack-o-lanterns looking fresh and plump for up to a week. Enjoy your pumpkins for a little longer and have a happy Halloween!

Choosing Your Pumpkin

Picking an uncut pumpkin from the patch is the best option, but if you buy yours at the grocery store, it's better to choose one that's been sitting in the shade!  

Keep it Hydrated

You can keep your pumpkin hydrated by coating it in oil or petroleum jelly! Keeping the pumpkin in your refrigerator (or at the very least, indoors, out of direct sunlight) will also help it stay fresher longer.  Additionally, using electric tea lights is better than using candles, as the heat from the candles will shorten the pumpkin's life; if you must use candles, cutting vent holes in the back of the pumpkin can help the heat escape.  

Prevent Bacterial Growth

If you spray a bleach solution (one teaspoon of bleach in a quart of water) on the cut edges and insides of the pumpkin, this will help prevent mold and bacteria from accelerating the decay.

Ice Water Baths

Should your pumpkin dehydrate before Halloween, soak it in a nice ice bath overnight (carved side down), and by the time you wake up in the morning, the pumpkin should be plump and ready for a night on the porch!  

Photo Credits: Savina, Wallpapers, Life Sessions, Hong Kiat

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