The latest stories, straight to your inbox

The latest stories, straight to your inbox

Be inspired every day with Living North

Subscribe today and get every issue delivered direct to your door
Subscribe Now
Be inspired every day with Living North
October 2021
Reading time 5 minutes

Want to get ahead on your pumpkin carving? Did you know there are a number of everyday household items which will keep it fresher for longer?

Here are our top tips to protect your carved masterpiece from decaying.

You don’t need us to tell you that spooky season is here; the nights are getting darker, and the next full moon is less than two weeks away.

But Halloween isn’t just for ghosts and ghouls, it’s a time to celebrate with decorations galore! One of the most popular is of course the humble pumpkin, but how can you stop it from rotting quickly once you’ve carved it?

Here are seven top tips for keeping your pumpkin looking fresher for longer – and we’re betting you have most of these in your house right now. 

Pumpkin front door decor

1. Dip it in bleach

Bleach can stop pumpkins from rotting as it kills fungi and bacteria before they can turn into mould or rot. To use bleach to stop an uncarved pumpkin from rotting, simply add a tablespoon of bleach into a large bucket and dilute it with 4 cups of water. Then dunk your pumpkin in the solution and leave it to soak for 20 minutes. Once soaked, remove it and dry it. If you want to prevent a carved pumpkin from rotting, you can simply spray it with bleach and allow it to dry.

2. Rub it in floor wax

Floor wax is also a useful solution to prevent your pumpkin from rotting. Simply add a tablespoon of floor wax to a damp rag and then rub the solution all over the pumpkin. This will leave a thin layer of wax over your pumpkin, protecting it from mould as well as giving it a nice sheen. Floor wax can be flammable so be sure not to leave your pumpkin near any open flames.

3. Use rubbing alcohol

What can’t rubbing alcohol do? Rubbing alcohol can be used in lots of scenarios such as de-icing your car or getting sticker residue off, but it can also be used to stop your pumpkin from rotting. Simply put it into a spray bottle and spray the outside of your pumpkin. However, if you do decide to use this method to prevent rotting, do not put a candle inside your pumpkin as alcohol is flammable.

4. Spray on a coat of hairspray

If you don’t have the ingredients above, then you can always use hairspray. If this is your go-to method, remember it’s flammable, so don’t use this on your pumpkin if you plan to add a candle to your finished creation. Hairspray or an acrylic finish spray can act as a sealant to prevent mould and keep your pumpkin looking fresh. If you use an acrylic finish spray, you can get creative with different shades. Gold pumpkin anyone?

 5. Give it shelter

Although not expected, sometimes autumn can get pretty warm and sunny. If your pumpkin is left somewhere warm, it can rot prematurely. To give your pumpkin the best chance of survival put it in a shady place such as a porch.

Pumpkins carved

6. Massage in vegetable oil

Applying a layer of vegetable oil can prevent a pumpkin from rotting. All you need to do is to dry your pumpkin thoroughly and massage the oil all over it. Oil is very flammable so we don’t recommend using this method on pumpkins that will have candles in them, or will even sit near an open flame

7. Spray on WD-40 Multi-Use

You may think of WD-40 as a lubricating spray or a rust remover but did you know WD-40 can be used to repel insects from your pumpkins and keep your pumpkins fresher for longer? Simply engage the wide spray nozzle and apply a thin layer all over the pumpkin. The WD-40 formula is flammable so we don’t recommend using it on pumpkins that will be placed near a flame.

Warning: If you do try any of these methods with a pumpkin that you want to put a candle in, always be careful to read the label to ensure that the solution you use is not flammable.

Tips from

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Please read our Cookie policy.