How to preserve pumpkins?

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I am living in southern California and I want my pumpkin to last until halloween.  What can I do?

9 Members Answered
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member since may 2016


I read somewhere that if you carve a pumpkin you can put silica gel inside the pumpkin to keep it from rotting. Even if you didn't want to carve it completely open, you could probably just cut a small hole somewhere and slip some silica gel packets in. 

member since jul 2016

Bleach Keeps Pumpkins from Rotting

This is an easy and effective way to keep your carved pumpkins from molding for up to seven days. The sodium hypochlorite kills microorganisms that make pumpkins rot. The steps for making the solution are super simple:

  1. After your pumpkin has been carved, rinse it out with water to get rid of excess strings and gunk.
  2. Take a large bucket or tub and fill it with three gallons of water.
  3. Stir three teaspoons of bleach into the water.
  4. Dunk in the pumpkin. Be sure to hold it down as it will try to float. The entire pumpkin should sit in the solution for two minutes. You might want to wear gloves, too.
  5. Remove from the solution and let the pumpkin air dry.

More information can be found at Clorox's website. It's also interesting to note that over at My Science Project, a bleach-treated jack-o'-lantern lasted for up to ten days with only minimal decay.

WD-40: Not Just for Rusty Hinges

Not only is WD-40 great for your squeaky doors, turns out it's also great for pumpkin preservation. How and why does it work? The company famously keeps its ingredient list a secret. However, WIRED Magazine sent a bottle of the stuff to a lab and broke down the ingredients within.

It turns out the main ingredient in WD-40 is mineral oil—the same stuff in Vaseline (see below). So that's what's keeping your pumpkins hydrated, protected from moisture, and fresh looking. It also contains several alkanes that are water-repellant and freeze-resistant. So go forth and use it to preserve both carved and uncarved pumpkins. The directions are simple:

  1. Spray all over your uncarved pumpkin to keep it looking shiny and new.
  2. For carved pumpkins, spray inside and outside making sure every part is saturated.

Keep in mind that mineral oil is flammable, so you may want to be cautious about putting a lit candle inside, but some folks say they've never had to deal with a jack-o'-lantern en fuego.

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member since may 2016

Keep it as cool as possible 

member since mar 2016

Try not to carve the pumpkin until a day or two before the holiday.

member since mar 2016

i have no clue i always have the same issues

member since feb 2016

i hear bleach helps 

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Momma to a beautiful little girl and a wonderful husband I love very much

member since mar 2016


The Answer? Bathroom Cleaner with Bleach. You could probably use any cleaner with bleach in it, but I used Chlorox Clean-Up in the experiment and it worked really well. I've since tried Tilex and also the dollar-store brand and they all work.

member since jul 2018

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