Preserve Your Pumpkin – Bleach on a Jack-o-Lantern?

Preserve Your Pumpkin – Bleach on a Jack-o-Lantern?

Have you heard the one about preserving Halloween pumpkins in bleach to make them last for weeks?

Wait, is that a hoax? I thought that was true!

Since pumpkins typically last less than two weeks, if you’re decorating for Halloween now, you’re probably going to be carving more than once and you may have some pretty scary, rotting gourds on your doorstep.

Popular Pinterest and Facebook posts suggests that you should soak your pumpkin in a mixture of water and bleach to preserve your Halloween Jack-o-Lantern.

But is it true?

There are several ways to make your jack-o-lantern last longer, but sadly actual research suggests that none of these methods to preserve pumpkins work much better than leaving it untreated.

Put it to the test, and find that an untreated pumpkin actually lasts several days longer than any of suggested treatments options.

How long does a pumpkin last? A typical pumpkin will last less than two weeks, so plan your carving party accordingly!

What Really Works to Preserve Your Pumpkin

So, how did the infamous bleach to preserve pumpkins compare to other preserving techniques?

[vtftable ]
Length of Time;;; Material Used ;;; Condition of Pumpkin ;nn;
6 days;;; White Glue ;;; Profuse mold and rot;nn;
9 days;;; Acrylic spray;;; Profuse mold and rot;nn;
9 days ;;; Vaseline Profuse mold and rot;nn;
10 days ;;; Beach & Water;;;Minimal mold, some rot. ;nn;
14 days ;;; Control (untreated pumpkin);;;Minimal rot, some mold. ;nn;
14 days ;;; Pumpkin Fresh;;;Minimal mold, some rot. ;nn;


In conclusion, the untreated pumpkin and the pumpkin treated with Pumpkin Fresh lasted two weeks. Bleach and water lasted four days less than not treating the pumpkin with anything!

To ensure your pumpkins last through Halloween, I recommend waiting until until mid October to buy it and carve it no more than 10 days before Halloween.

If you have an elaborate creation that you want to keep looking pristine for as long as possible, we recommend using either the bleach treatment or acrylic spray or hairspray (commonly used by expert pumpkin carvers). Your pumpkin’s life may not be as long overall, but it will look good while it lasts.

Source & Photo Credit: My Science Project