The two main causes of pumpkin rot are mold growth and dehydration. Luckily, there are several ways to prevent both!
- A bleach bath: Give freshly carved pumpkins a bath in bleach water. You will want to use one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water. Soak the pumpkins for 4-6 hours, occasionally pouring some of the water over the pumpkins and turning them
- Bleach spray: If you do not feel like soaking your pumpkins in bleach you can spritz them daily with a bleach spray solution. Just make sure that you spray the inside as well as all carved parts daily. I recommend spritzing the pumpkins from time to time even if they are soaked in bleach.
Why Bleach works: the water helps hydrate the pumpkins which prevents rotting. The bleach helps kill any bacteria and get rid of any dirt which prevents molding and further helps to keep the pumpkins from rotting.
Applying Vaseline to the carved parts of a pumpkin prevents both dehydration and mold growth, making the pumpkins last weeks longer! Simply rub Vaseline over the carved parts of the pumpkin as well as the inside. You may want to use a glove to do this. It might be a little messy, but it works great!
If you happen to have WD-40 on hand you can use it to preserve your carved pumpkins. Why does this work? Mineral oil is one of the main ingredients in WD-40, and mineral oil will prevent the pumpkins from drying out.
Cooking oils such as vegetable oil and coconut oil will prevent pumpkins from rotting and works in a similar way to the WD-40. Simply rub the oil on the carved pumpkin areas and reapply as needed.
And there you have it!