With Halloween right around the corner, are you looking forward to carving your jack o' lantern? We put together a few tips to ensure longevity.

A carved pumpkin starts to dry up as soon as it's cut and exposed to air. That can be heartbreaking, especially for the little ones who created them. Here a few reminders that don't cost a thing to do.

  • Keep the masterpiece away from animals who would enjoy devouring it.
  • Keep it out of direct sunlight.
  • Keep it cool.
  • Don't leave your jack o' lantern outside if you're expecting a frost.

Dehydration starts with the first cut. It's essential when you're buying a pumpkin to make sure there are no cuts, bruises, or soft spots. Organisms can quickly get inside any cut in the flesh, cause rot, and then the dreaded cave in. By following these tips, your jack o' lantern should last about a week.

  • Remove dirt on exterior surfaces.
  • Put one tablespoon of bleach and a quart of water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution inside and on all carved areas of the pumpkin.
  • Let dry for about 20 minutes.
  • Rub petroleum jelly, vegetable oil, or lemon juice on all the cut surfaces to keep out bacteria, mold, and reduce dehydration.
  • Candles shorten the lifespan of the pumpkin, so try using a battery-operated candle or glow stick.

Good luck with the masterpiece. Take your pictures right away when he's fresh and perky, and not like the guys above. Don't forget to send us your pics so we can see how spooky or friendly they are.

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