7 Easy Hacks That Prevent Pumpkin Rot


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Every October, I love carving the perfect pumpkin. Unfortunately, I find that I need to throw away my carving long before I want to because they start rotting.

Little did I know (until now, of course,) that there are ways to prevent that, and they’re super easy!


Here’s how.

Keep The Pumpkin Out Of Direct Sunlight

Heat is the enemy of a carved pumpkin. Think of it this way: heat cooks fruits and vegetables, softening them. The more heat these are exposed to, the softer they get, meaning they rot faster.

Choose LED lights instead of candles

Once again, heat is the enemy of freshness. Fire literally cooks the pumpkin from the inside out, so using a fake LED candle is the best possible solution to this. All the light, and much less heat!

Water & Bleach Solution

First, carve your pumpkin, then rinse the inside, removing all excess seeds and pulp. Then, fill a large bucket with 3 gallons of water and three teaspoons of bleach.

Dunk the pumpkin, making sure to hold it down so it’s submerged completely and doesn’t float. Let it soak for 2 minutes, then remove from the solution and let it air dry.

Silica Packets


Buy “Pumpkin Spray”

Yep, pumpkin spray is actually a thing. It’s something you can buy that is proven to help prolong the life of a carved pumpkin. It contains water, borax, and sodium benzoate (a preservative and fungicide).

Spread On Petroleum Jelly, WD-40, Or Even Cooking Oil

Mineral oil can be found in Petroleum Jelly and WD-40, and this keeps your pumpkin hydrated but locked away from outside moisture. Mineral oil is flammable, so be careful if you decide to use a candle!

Cooking oils also hold in moisture, so this will work pretty well also.

Shine With Floorwax (Uncarved Pumpkins Only)

If it’s an acrylic liquid type of cleaner, a thin coat will protect decorative pumpkins outside of your house. Just know you (obviously) can’t eat it afterwards.


No matter what you decide to carve (or not carve,) this October, we hope you try some of these tips and your pumpkins last as long as possible.

Happy Halloween!