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How to Preserve a Halloween Jack o Lantern

Preserve Your Halloween Jack o Lantern of Carved Pumpkin

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Your Halloween jack o lantern doesn't have to rot before Halloween gets here.

Don't be sad! Your Halloween jack o lantern doesn't have to rot before Halloween gets here. A little household chemistry can postpone the inevitable.

Sharon Dominick, Getty Images
Your carved pumpkin or Halloween jack o lantern doesn't have to rot or mold before Halloween! Here is how to preserve a jack o lantern so that it will last for weeks instead of days.
  1. Mix up a preservative solution for your carved pumpkin consisting of 2 teaspoons of bleach per gallon of water.

  2. Fill a sink, bucket, or tub with enough of the bleach solution to totally immerse the carved jack o lantern. Place the jack o lantern in the bleach mixture right after you have finished carving it. Soak the carved pumpkin for 8 hours or overnight.

  3. Remove the pumpkin from the liquid and allow it to air dry. Spray the pumpkin inside and outside with a commercial pumpkin preservative or use your own mixture, consisting of 1 teaspoon of bleach in water. Spray the pumpkin once daily, to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.

  4. Smear petroleum jelly on all of the cut surfaces of the pumpkin. This will prevent the pumpkin from drying out and getting that puckered, shrivelled look.

  5. Protect the jack o lantern from sun or rain, since one will dry the pumpkin out, while the other will promote the growth of mold. If possible, refrigerate your jack o lantern when it's not in use.
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