Jack-o’-lanterns tend to start rotting within five to ten days. But here are a few things you can do to make them last longer than that . . .
1. Pick a pumpkin that’s rock solid. Don’t pick one that’s already going bad. Bruises and blemishes are big red flags. And water-soaked spots on the surface can be a sign of frost damage.
2. Spray it with bleach and water. Just mix in a tiny bit of bleach, and spray the whole thing down. It should help keep bacteria and mold away.
3. Put a cup of baking soda inside. It’ll absorb the extra moisture and help it last longer. Bringing it inside at night also helps by keeping the morning dew away.
4. Smear the inside of it with Vaseline. A thin layer of petroleum jelly can also protect jack-o’-lanterns from moisture. Don’t forget the lid and all the exposed parts you cut out. You don’t have to cover the outside though.
5. Use hairspray, but be careful. The anti-frizz kind can protect jack-o’-lanterns. But don’t use it if you’re putting a real candle in there. Hairspray tends to be flammable.
6. Pay attention to the weather. Make sure it doesn’t get rained on, and bring it inside if it gets too hot OR cold out. In general, jack-o’-lanterns last longest when the temperature is right around 60 degrees.