How to Preserve Your Jack O’Lantern

How to Preserve Your Jack O'LanternHalloween is coming up! Time to get some pumpkins and carve Jack O’Lanterns! They’ll make your front porch look creepily festive – for about a week. Then they’ll start rotting, and you’ll be left with a soft, mushy, sorry mess. How can you get your pumpkins to last longer? Here are a few tips for Jack O’Lantern preservation.

Pick the right pumpkin.

The quest to save your pumpkin starts as you’re buying it. The harder the pumpkin, the earlier it is in the ripening process, and the longer it will take to start rotting. Also make sure there are no dark spots or discolored areas, which indicate frost damage.

Treat your pumpkin.

This is the most effective method of Jack O’Lantern preservation. Add a tablespoon of bleach to a quart of water in a spray bottle, and spray the surface of the pumpkin before carving. This will kill fungus and keep your pumpkin from rotting. Some experts even recommend soaking your carved pumpkin in bleach solution for eight hours.

Other treatments.

While bleach is the best, you can also coat the pumpkin in WD-40, Vaseline, or vegetable oil. Floor wax works too, but only if you don’t plan on carving your pumpkin.

Hold off on carving.

Don’t carve your pumpkin before October 31st. Cutting into it and exposing the insides accelerates the rotting process. When you do carve it, rub lemon juice on the inside. Like with apple slices, this prevents it from browning. It also helps it retain moisture and stops it from shriveling up as it dries.

Maintain the right temperature.

Fall weather in Corpus Christi can still be pretty warm, which is one of the main contributors to pumpkin rot. When temperatures rise, bring it indoors and let your HVAC system keep it at a cool 60-ish degrees. You may be tempted to freeze the pumpkin to preserve it longer, but don’t do this. Once it’s out of the freezer, it starts to thaw, causing it to rot even faster.

For more tips on fall temperatures and HVAC tips, contact us at CCAC today! We’re the Coastal Bend’s trusted source for quality HVAC solutions.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about your HVAC system, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495. 

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    David Mathewst David Mathews is the owner of CCAC Air Conditioning and Heating. A Corpus Christi native... More »