Every year we go to this little pumpkin patch at my son’s old school and pick out pumpkins. We always get a giant one to carve and several others to sit around the house or to paint or craft with. Well, they always end up rotting, some sooner than others. So, this year I started wondering if there was anything I could do to preserve pumpkins to make them last longer.
I googled and searched and saw several methods and suggestions. The first was to basically use common sense when picking out your pumpkins. You know, don’t pick one that’s probably already starting to rot. Try to get one with a stem. Look for soft spots and don’t pick one that has soft spots. Well, try telling that to my kids. We pick our pumpkins based purely on whether we have a connection with them. Is this pumpkin speaking to me in some way? Really, we might be more pumpkin rescue than pumpkin picking.
The other methods included things like coating them with petroleum jelly, or floor wax, which I considered. But, the suggestion that seemed to be the best was to dunk your pumpkins in a bleach bath. The bleach kills any mold or fungus that might grow and cause the pumpkins to rot.
Since, I’ll display these pumpkins on my dinning room table and I have four cats that like to hang out in the dinning room, I looked up whether or not bleach would harm my cats. Yes, that is a thing. Bleach can harm your pets, but I think the danger is when you are actually doing your pumpkin bleach bath. I was careful not to leave my sink filled with bleach water unattended. You could also do this in a bucket, but I also have dogs. If you do use a bucket, please be careful not to let your dog have access.
HOW TO PRESERVE PUMPKINS
STEP ONE: FILL YOUR SINK WITH WATER
First, I just filled my kitchen sink about 3/4 of the way with water. I left some room for the pumpkins.
STEP TWO: ADD BLEACH
I poured in about three short pours of bleach. The ratio is probably something like two tablespoons to a gallon of water. The bleach is pretty diluted.
STEP THREE: ADD PUMPKINS
Next, I just dunked some pumpkins in the water. I turned them over and let them sit for a few minutes. I wiped them down when they were in the water with a paper towel to get any dirt or mold off of them.
STEP FOUR: DRY
Then, I got them out of the sink and placed them on towels on the kitchen counter. I dried them off with paper towels and drained my sink. I let them sit so they could dry off completely before putting them on my dinning room table.
STEP FIVE: DECORATE
When they were all dry, I added them to the dinning room table. I always place them on top of something like a tray, a runner, a place mat, or this year, a cutting block. This way if they do start to rot and I don’t catch it right away, they won’t rot directly on my table.
Hey, that was easy, wasn’t it? Here is another easy idea for gourds.