How to Keep Jack-O'-Lanterns From Rotting


It is not possible to completely prevent a jack-o'-lantern from rotting. There are ways to delay the decaying process, though. My Science Project, a website that tests various things, conducted experiments and found that some treatments were more successful than others. The use of a commercial anti-fungal pumpkin spray and no treatment at all had the best results, with the use of a bleach solution being the third most successful. However, the commercial spray option is expensive, especially considering the minimal results. The bleach option, although results are questionable, is much less expensive than the anti-fungal spray option, and several pumpkin experts recommend the bleach spray approach. The least expensive option is to do nothing at all and may yield the best results. You may want to experiment with two pumpkins, one treated with bleach and one with nothing, and discover which method works the best for you.

Things You'll Need

  • Large bowl or container
  • Bleach
  • Spray bottle
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Plastic food wrap
  • Clean out the pumpkins, taking care to remove as much pulp as possible. Carve your design.

  • Mix 1 tsp. of bleach with 1 gallon of water in a container large enough for one of the pumpkins.

  • Place one of the pumpkins in the bleach mixture and let it soak for eight hours.

  • Fill a medium spray bottle with the bleach solution. You will use this every day to keep the treated pumpkin fresh, so the longer you want to keep the pumpkin, the more solution you will need.

  • Set both pumpkins in an area with a consistent temperature of 62 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Spray the treated pumpkin inside and out with the bleach solution every day for two weeks.

  • Compare the levels of rot on the treated and untreated pumpkin.

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