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How to Preserve Carved Pumpkins With a Pumpkin Bleach Bath

Keep your carved pumpkin from rotting this Halloween. Discover how to preserve a carved pumpkin with a bleach solution to keep your carved pumpkins fresh.

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How to Preserve a Carved Pumpkin

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® Disinfecting Bleach 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! If you’d like to try this, here’s how!

Materials Needed

  • Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach
  • 1 clean 5 gallon bucket
  • 1 quart measuring cup or measuring spoons
  • Spray bottle
  • A pumpkin
  • Sharp knife and a spoon (tools for cleaning and carving)


  1. Measure 3 teaspoons of Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach.
  2. Add bleach to 3 gallons of water.
  3. Fill a spray bottle with the diluted bleach solution.
  4. Carve your pumpkin as desired.
  5. Generously spray inside of your carved pumpkin with the diluted bleach solution.

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!

Don’t worry about bleach hurting squirrels or other curious critters who might take a nibble of your treated pumpkin. During normal household use, bleach breaks down primarily into salt and water. So after using Clorox® Bleach as directed on your pumpkins, the diluted bleach solution will break down to table salt and water when it’s exposed to the air and sun. The pumpkin will just taste a bit saltier than the squirrels were expecting!

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