October 24, 2019

Keeping Your Jack-O-Lantern Alive!


It is a tricky thing deciding when the perfect time is to carve your Halloween Jack-O-Lantern. If you do it too far from Halloween, your pumpkin is going to rot and become infested with flies. It is so disappointing to spend hours carving your pumpkin masterpiece only to have it begin to decay in 3-5 days (maybe a little longer if it is cold outside). We have collected some pretty ingenious tips for keeping your Jack-O-Lantern alive for just a little bit longer! 

First things first: Cutting the top off or not?

Many recommend that you should not cut the TOP off the pumpkin as it accelerates the rate of decay. Instead cut a hole in the back or the bottom of the pumpkin. This seems to break the unspoken laws of pumpkin carving though. If you choose not to carve your pumpkin at all and want to display in its wholeness, it is recommended to seal it on the outside (see sealing tips below), to keep it out of direct sun and keep the bottom of it dry.

pumpkin carved

After removing the seeds and fleshy fruit:

Here are some of the many suggestions on keeping mold away after you have gutted your pumpkin.

  • -Cleaning the inside with a solution of 1 tablespoon bleach to 1 quart of water. Be sure to dry it very well but not with a hairdryer as heat accelerates decay. Instead, use a table fan.
  • -Apply petroleum jelly to all the carved edges and the inside to seal it and keep it moisturized in a healthy way. Petroleum jelly has been touted to extend the life of your carved pumpkin. It is not highly flammable although it sounds like it is because of its name.
  • -Use a mix of petroleum jelly and Tabasco sauce to repel insects 
  • -If you do not have petroleum jelly you can try vegetable oil or olive oil. WD-40 is recommended but it is also highly flammable. Note that we are not making the suggestion to use it! Clear nail polish, clear spray sealer or even white glue are also suggestions to seal your pumpkin.
  • -Mix a DIY Pumpkin Spray!  Fill an 8-ounce spray bottle with about a capful of castile soap and add 6 drops of peppermint oil or cinnamon oil. These oils have anti-fungal properties. You will want to spray it daily.
  • -If you are not a DIY’er you can order a ready-made product called Pumpkin Fresh. It is similar to the DIY spray above and non-flammable.

As you can see, there is a lot of conflicting evidence on the best way to keep your Jack-O-Lantern alive. If you try them out, we would love to know how they worked for you. One thing we do know for sure, save those seeds to make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds! They are delicious! Happy Halloween from all of us at Method Mortgage!