HALLOWEEN is just around the corner and if you’re a fan of the spookiest time of the year, you’re probably already thinking about the perfect pumpkin.
Whether you're planning to carve a jack-o'-lantern or use pumpkins as part of your Halloween home decor, to make the most of your spooky design it’s best to keep them fresh and vibrant.
The research team at Land of Rugs have shared 7 tips that are essential to ensure they look their best on the big night and not turn to pumpkin soup a few days before.
1. Pick the Perfect Pumpkin
If there is one thing we can control, it’s the pumpkin we ultimately decide on and take home with us.
The best trick to keeping your pumpkin fresh, of course, starts with selecting the right one in the first place.
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Keep a look for a pumpkin that is firm, clear of spots, bruises, or an unhealthy stem. These are giveaway indicators that your pumpkin isn’t likely to last.
Avoid carrying your pumpkin by the stem and make sure to store it carefully.
2. Don't Carve Early
It must be tempting, but eagerly etching your designs into pumpkins will only make them go off faster.
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The closer you wait until the big night to carve your decorations, the more you will ensure that your pumpkin stays in great condition.
If you must carve in advance, consider using LED lights or glow sticks to illuminate your pumpkins instead of candles. This generates less heat and won't cause the pumpkin to wilt as quickly.
3. Bleach Bath Your Pumpkin
A top tip for long-lasting freshness is to give your chosen pumpkins a bleach bath.
After carving up your design, soak the pumpkin in a mixture of water and bleach (about 1 teaspoon of bleach to around 4 litres of water) for a few hours.
This can help kill bacteria and slow down the decaying process. Afterwards, you can thoroughly dry your pumpkin before choosing to display it.
4. Keep It Fresh
If you don’t want to end up with pumpkin soup, it’s best to keep your pumpkin cool so as not to speed up the decomposing process.
Store your pumpkin in a cool place (ideally 10-13°C). Extreme heat can cause the pumpkin to wilt and soften quickly, so avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or hot environments too!
5. Use a Sealant
Another way to prolong the life of your carved pumpkin is by using a commercial pumpkin sealant or spray.
Alternatively, many opt for Vaseline, petroleum jelly or even vegetable oil to preserve their pumpkins.
Sealants are designed to lock in moisture and slow the drying process, helping your pumpkin stay fresh for longer.
6. Lemon Water and Cling Film
Spraying your new design with lemon water once your carving job is finished is another great way to easily preserve your pumpkin.
It’s also advised once you’ve finished with your citrusy spritz, to wrap your pumpkin in cling film and keep it somewhere cool to further add a sense of preservation.
7. Monitor Your Pumpkin
Keeping a close eye on your pumpkin as Halloween approaches is key to making sure that your spooky creation doesn’t start to go off before you realise it.
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If you notice any signs of decay or soft spots, you can touch up the affected areas with petroleum jelly or vegetable oil.
This will help you to keep the life of your pumpkin flourishing and looking in its best condition for Halloween.
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