The first and most common way is to use petroleum jelly to rub the insides and the carved section of your pumpkin. Vegetable oil can also be substituted for petroleum jelly. If you cannot get all of the inside area, do the best you can. You can put some petroleum jelly on a cloth to coat the insides of the pumpkin, helping to reduce the mess. Make sure to wipe away any excess if you plan on placing a candle into the pumpkin.The petroleum jelly helps to seal in the pumpkins moisture, thus retaining its shape and preventing the onset of mold and decay.
Additionally, during the day, try to keep your carved pumpkins out of the sunlight, and in a relatively dry place.
Another method is to preserve your pumpkins in what is called a pumpkin bath. By soaking your pumpkins in a container of water each day or night, you can extend the life of your carved pumpkins. Some farmstands or supermarkets also sell a liquid or a powder that you can mix with the water to help fight against mold.
Lastly, a product called Pumpkin Fresh is on the market. This liquid comes in a spray bottle for easy application to pumpkins. Guaranteed to combat mold and decay, Pumpkin Fresh is non-toxic and biodegradable. The spray should be applied daily in order to give your pumpkins maximum life expectancy, approximately two weeks, depending on their environment. You can find Pumpkin Fresh at http://www.pumpkinfresh.com/home.htm
One last method would be to simply put your pumpkins in the fridge each day when they are not on display.
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