How To Keep Your Pumpkin Carving From Rotting

Pumpkin carving is one of the most looked forward to fall events by children (and maybe a few adults too). What fun it is to carve a creative face or decoration and then set it out front for friends and neighbors to see….until it rots.

Few things are sadder (or smellier) than a rotting, moldy Jack-O’-Lantern. Luckily, there are several very simple methods to protect your Jack-O’-Lantern looking fresh long after the candy collectors come calling.

Method 1 To Keep Your Pumpkin Carving From Rotting

Microorganisms are the culprits that causes pumpkins to rot. To prevent this, kill the microorganisms. The most effective way to do this is with a water and bleach wash.

What You Will Need:

  • Water
  • Bleach
  • A 5 gallon bucket (or, if you have a really large pumpkin, one that is large enough to fit it in)

Rubber gloves


  1. After carving your pumpkin, clean it out of all seeds and gunk.
  2. Rinse it out with water.
  3. Fill the bucket with 3 gallons of water
  4. Mix in 3 tablespoons of bleach.
  5. Submerge the pumpkin for 2 minutes into the solution.
  6. Remove the pumpkin and thoroughly dry it.

Method 2 To Keep Your Pumpkin Carving From Rotting

It is said that with WD-40 and duct tape, you can solve anything. In this case, the WD-40 will help preserve your Jack-O’-Lantern.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 can WD-40


  1. Thoroughly spray the inside and outside of your pumpkin with the WD-40. Make sure every part is saturated.

Note: WD-40 contains mineral oil, which is flammable. Use caution when putting a candle in the Jack-O’-Lantern.

Method 3 To Keep Your Pumpkin Carving From Rotting

Petroleum jelly not only keeps your skin moisturized, it protects your pumpkin too!

What You Will Need:

  • 1 jar of petroleum jelly


  1. Spread the petroleum jelly over the inside, outside and any exposed areas of the pumpkin.
  2. Reapply from time to time as needed.

Hint: Although petroleum jelly is very safe, it can be icky. You may want to apply rubber gloves.




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