Your scariest Halloween decoration shouldn’t be a moldy pumpkin.

Remember: A pumpkin is just a fruit. After exposure to the elements for several days, your jack-o-lantern’s grin will begin to sag.

Your pumpkin deserves to be preserved, so here are four ways you can keep it healthy with household items.

Removing a pumpkin's seeds and pulp to preserve it
A scoured pumpkin is a preserved pumpkin. (DepositPhotos)

1. Gut It 

This may seem obvious, but make sure you remove all the pulp! When that stuff piles up, it attracts bacteria and pests. Cut a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin, and scour the walls and base for all loose pulp.

Wet and Forget Ready-to-Use Outdoor next to carved pumpkins
Wet and Forget Ready-to-Use Outdoor prevents mold and mildew from growing on pumpkins. (mattjeacock/Getty Images Signature)

2. Clean It

Wet & Forget Ready-to-Use is more than a moss, mold, mildew and algae stain remover. It can do double duty for pumpkin preservation.

Spray your carved pumpkin with Wet & Forget Ready-To-Use. Be sure to spray the full interior, lid and crevices of your pumpkin.

Apply Wet & Forget just once per week for an easy way to keep your pumpkin mold and mildew free for at least 2-3 weeks.

Jack-o-lantern preserved on table
Your pumpkin is just like you when it comes to hydration — it needs it! (DepositPhotos)

3. Hydrate It

Keeping moisture in will keep your pumpkin plump leading to Halloween. Consider applying lubricant to the cuts you make. WD-40 works great for this, but you can also use vegetable oil or even petroleum jelly.

Something else to try is hairspray — that or any other sealant can keep your pumpkin from getting dehydrated.

Front porch fall display featuring jack-o-lanterns and bales of hay
Keep displayed pumpkins in a shaded area. (DepositPhotos)

4. Avoid Sunlight

If placed outside without cover, your pumpkin can rot fast.

Try to keep the pumpkin as cool as possible.

Further Reading

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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