If You Are Carving a Jack-O-Lantern, These Tips May Help It Last

If You Are Carving a Jack-O-Lantern, These Tips May Help It Last

Bacteria and molds are big culprits in rapid decay of Halloween favorite; some simple steps can make it last to the big day.

Carved jack-o-lanterns rarely last more than a few days to perhaps one week, according to Ward Upham, horticulturist with Kansas State University Research and Extension.

But, you can do a couple of things that might make that Halloween favorite last longer, he said.

First, remove bacteria and molds before carving or painting. Wipe the surfaces, either with a household disinfectant or with a solution that combines one part bleach to 10 parts water.

Second, pick up a spray designed to help carved pumpkins last longer. Some are offered on the internet or in stores, but a cheaper option is just to use hair spray. It creates a lacquer-type surface that delays the cuts' drying-out process," Upham said. "Spray-waxing your pumpkin can do much the same thing if you coat all of the cut surfaces."

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