How to Preserve a Carved Pumpkin

Advice from our experts
How to Preserve a Carved Pumpkin

Keep your Jack o' Lantern from getting moldy & falling apart with this easy tip from Clorox!

With Halloween just around the corner and pumpkins piled up in bins in every grocery store, are you looking forward to carving a jack ‘o lantern? It’s a favorite holiday activity that’s just as much fun as an adult as it was as a kid.

Lots of people know Clorox® Regular Bleach2 can be used to help cut flowers stay beautiful longer, but may not know that the same bleach solution can also help keep a jack ‘o lantern from getting fuzzy mold and black mildew inside. It’s super easy, and (spoiler alert) fun to watch the pumpkins float! If you’d like to try this, here’s how!

Materials Needed
—Clorox® Regular-Bleach
—1 clean 5 gallon bucket
—1 quart measuring cup
—Measuring spoons
—A pumpkin
—Sharp knife and a spoon (tools for cleaning and carving)
—Paper towels

1. Cut the top off the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Try to remove as much of the stringy fibers on the inside of the pumpkin by scraping them away with the spoon. Be sure to clean the underside of the pumpkin top, too.
2. Rinse the pumpkin inside and out with water.
3. Cut the desired face or design into the pumpkin.
4. Measure 3 gallons of water into the 5 gallon bucket.
5. Add 3 teaspoons Clorox® Regular Bleach2 to the water in the bucket, and use the measuring spoons to stir the bleach solution.
6. Immerse the pumpkin in the bleach solution. Since the pumpkin floats, you will need to stir it around to make sure all surfaces contact the bleach solution for a full two minutes. And don’t forget the top!
7. Remove the pumpkin from the bleach soaking solution, and let it air dry on a few paper towels.
8. Easy clean-up — just pour the bleach soaking solution down the drain.

This also works well with mini-pumpkins — I like using them to hold tea lights. You can trace the outline of a tea light on the top of the pumpkin, and then cut around it. The top pops off, and then you can clean out the inside and soak it in the bleach solution as described above. Finally, just pop in the tea light! If you will be using these to set a festive table for a Halloween Party, no worries about prepping them early!