It’s tempting to buy fresh pumpkins long before Halloween. Problem is, the kids may not be able to wait until Halloween to start carving. But to do so can mean your masterfully carved creation could end up looking even more frightful than you planned as it withers away to a prune-like glob. That’s why you need to know something about Jack O’Lantern preservation.
Following are some tips for ensuring Jack stays fresh looking till the last trick or treater is gone.
Tips for Turning Out the Well-Preserved Jack O’Lantern
- Choose a pumpkin that is hard to the touch, and that has no dark spots on the top. Dark spots are a sign of frost damage.
- Delay carving your pumpkins until as close to Halloween as possible.
- Setting your thermostat down will help preserve pumpkins. Ideal temperatures are 55-65 degrees F. If it’s warmer than that in your house, you may want to keep them outside in a cool place, but don’t let them freeze. However, they should fare well if you maintain your HVAC system at about 68 degrees. Place them in a cooler area in your home — not in front of a heating duct. If you keep your house really warm and you have room in your refrigerator, put a couple in there.
- To preserve pumpkins, spray them all over with a solution of bleach and water or lemon juice.
- Scrape the insides completely, including the walls. This will help preserve the pumpkin better.
- After carving the pumpkin, apply petroleum jelly or vegetable oil to the cut places. You can also spray the cut pumpkin with hairspray.
- An alternative method of keeping carved pumpkins fresh is to immerse them in a tub of water in the day, taking them out at night.
Tip: Cut the bottoms off the pumpkins rather than tops so you can set the pumpkin on top of the lit candles.
For more on Jack O’Lantern preservation or other ways to use your HVAC to preserve things in your home, contact Aggressive Mechanical of Neptune City.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).