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Best Ways to Preserve a Carved Pumpkin

pumpkin
Getty Images, Suhaimi Abdullah

There are several theories or methods of how to preserve a carved pumpkin beyond the typical 3-4 days. They all recommend soaking the pumpkin overnight or longer in a water and bleach solution. This kills the fungi and bacteria that rot the pumpkin. Then pull it out and let it air dry. There is disagreement over what to do next.

  • The most popular method recommended online is to smear the entire pumpkin (especially the carved parts) with petroleum jelly (Vaseline). This shields the pumpkin flesh from new bacteria and fungi.
  • Online reviews of the product “Pumpkin Fresh” are good.
  • The most popular method on Pinterest is to brush the pumpkin daily with a solution of 2 tbs. vinegar and 1 tsp. lemon juice in a quart of water. This will supposedly work for “weeks.”

That last idea makes the most sense to me. The pumpkin needs to breathe, so I don’t trust the petroleum jelly method. And I’m suspicious that the “Pumpkin Fresh” product is just bleach or this vinegar/lemon solution in a bottle.

Try one of the methods and let us know if it works!

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