People have been carving pumpkins and leaving them to haunt the front steps of their doors for generations, so most people already know how to carve a pumpkin. But have you ever considered how to keep the jack-o-lantern from spoiling just a few days after its creation? A few things to consider when trying to make your jack-o-lantern last is bacteria and heat.
Once you cut into the pumpkin, you pierce its outer skin allowing all form of bacteria and fungi to grow. Normally the pumpkins outer waxy skin protects this but when you give your friendly pumpkin a large toothy grin all bets are off. So, to help slow this process we can use a couple of techniques.
First clean the outer pumpkin and remove all dirt. The more sterilized you make the pumpkin, the longer it takes bacteria and fungi to grow. After you carve the pumpkin make sure to fully remove all seeds and insides so that there is no abundant food for the bacteria to grow on.
Then, mix a tablespoon of bleach per quart of water and mix it together in a spray bottle, any kind of bleach will do. Then proceed to spray the inside and all the cut areas of the pumpkin and let it soak. This will kill any existing bacteria and growths and sterilize your new orange friend. Let it soak into the pumpkin for about 20 minutes. After it is done soaking, remove all excess liquid.
Lastly, make sure to keep your pumpkin out of direct sunlight. If the pumpkin stays cool, but hopefully not damp, then it should last longer than your average pumpkin. If you want to you can spray it with the bleach spray every couple of days to make it last a little longer but make sure the bleach spray is out of reach from children if you keep it around for a while.
Hopefully with these tips in mind, you can have a spooky, but clean Halloween!