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How To Preserve A Carved Pumpkin To Make A Jack O Lantern Last Longer

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How to preserve a carved pumpkin for Halloween!

This is the best method to make a Jack-O-Lantern last longer!


How to make carved pumpkins last


Carving pumpkins into Jack O Lanterns is so much fun!

My family looks forward to it every Halloween. 

The problem is Jack O Lanterns don’t usually last very long.

And nobody wants a rotting pumpkin on their porch on Halloween night. 

So how can we make a carved pumpkin last longer?

How To Keep Pumpkins From Rotting

First and foremost, you need to know how to keep pumpkins from rotting so fast. 

Once pumpkins are carved, mother nature takes over and the mold spreads. 

One way to keep pumpkins from rotting as fast is by making sure your pumpkin is healthy.

Inspect the entire pumpkin for soft spots, holes, and bruises.

Just one little hole on your uncarved pumpkin can mean there is mold inside making your pumpkin rot before you even carve it. 

Check out this list of ways to preserve uncarved pumpkins to keep your pumpkin from rotting before it is carved. 


How to preserve carved pumpkins


How To Make A Carved Pumpkin Last Longer

Now if you have read how I preserve uncarved pumpkins to make them last longer, then you know my favorite pumpkin preservation method is using bleach.

Yes, bleach is how to make a carved pumpkin last longer as well.

We all know that bleach kills bacteria, fungi, viruses, and mold.

Bleach is the answer to make your Jack O Lantern last longer!

Make A Jack O Lantern Last Longer

There are several different ways you can use bleach to preserve your Jack O Lantern.

Once you have carved your pumpkin into a Jack O Lantern then you must use bleach soon before the decaying process sets in. 

Let’s go over a few methods of how bleach can make your carved pumpkin last. 

Cleaning Pumpkins With Bleach

To clean a carved pumpkin with bleach, you can do it two different ways. 

They both involve mixing bleach with water.

No matter what way you choose to preserve your pumpkin, cleaning it thoroughly after you carve it is important to make the carved pumpkin last. 

Cleaning a Jack O Lantern with bleach and water does two things, it kills off the microbes that make the pumpkin rot and the water from the bleach mixture hydrates the pumpkin.

Spraying Pumpkins With Bleach

To clean a carved pumpkin with bleach you can simply spray the inside and outside of the pumpkin with a mix of bleach and water. 

When mixing a spray bottle with bleach make sure that the spray bottle has been thoroughly cleaned to be sure there are no other chemicals in it.

Your mixture should be 5 parts water to 1 part bleach. 

Make sure to label your spray bottle. 

Be sure to spray the entire pumpkin (inside and out), including the stem. 

Soaking Carved Pumpkins In Bleach

Soaking a carved pumpkin in bleach is my favorite way to preserve a Jack O Lantern.

It is easy and less of a mess than spraying it.

Simply fill a large bucket with water and add 1-2 cups of bleach.

If your pumpkin is jumbo-sized or you are preserving more than 1 pumpkin, you may need to use a plastic tote.

Make sure the bleach and water mixture completely cover the pumpkins. 

Let them soak for several hours or overnight.

Then simply let it air dry.

How To Make A Jack O Lantern Last Longer


How To Preserve A Carved Pumpkin

There are plenty of other methods on how to preserve a carved pumpkin, but I think bleach works best.

It is simple and easy, and it will keep your Jack O Lantern from rotting before Halloween!

I use this method every single year to preserve carved pumpkins, and it works every time. 

Honestly, I haven’t tried all of the other methods out there because I usually stick with what works!

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Aaron House

Monday 25th of October 2021

Will the bleach change the color of my pumpkin?

Myrtle Marie

Thursday 28th of October 2021

It will bleach the inside somewhat. However, it really makes the carving stand out more.