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Nick’s Tip: Preserving That Pumpkin

by Nick Vitrano

You spend all that time to concept and carve the perfect pumpkin.  You take your pictures, then take it outside for display…the envy of the neighborhood.  Five days later, what the what is that?  Covered in fuzz and melting into the concrete, a shadow of its former self, you’re begging some neighborhood hoodlum to put it out of its misery.

Are you tired of sagging pumpkin face?  Fed up with the rot and the mold?  Sick of unsightly decay left behind where a formerly vibrant jack-o-lantern used to sit?  Oh no…just look at that mess!

There are many remedies for this ailment, but most are more mess and labor than is worth the payoff – a couple extra days of pumpkin life.  Petroleum jelly, glue in the cavity, “clear coat” spray – forget ‘em.  There is a pretty solid spray on the market, “Pumpkin Fresh,” an all-natural mist that helps prolong the life of your carved creation, and at $5 a bottle (or buy 3, get 1 free when you buy now) it’s not a bad deal.  But you can make the spray at home for a fraction of the cost and it’s just as effective.

Keeping in mind here that no treatment is going to keep that pumpkin fresh for more than 12ish days, and fresh is a relative term – it will never look as good as the day you carved it except…well...the day you carved it – here’s the “recipe:”  

  • In a bucket, mix 1 tsp. bleach in a gallon of water.
  • Soak the carved pumpkin in the solution for about 8 hours. 
  • Spray the pumpkin with the same diluted solution daily.

The initial soak will hydrate the pumpkin.  The daily spray will keep the skin moist.  The bleach serves as an antimicrobial, staving off the mold and decay.

Happy carving everybody! 

Tease Image: KLJkarel via Wikimedia Commons