When my kids were younger, they couldn't wait to carve their pumpkins. I always worried that if we did it too soon, all we would have on Halloween would be a rotting mushy mess. I wish I knew about this resource when my children were younger.

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The Great Outdoors has some great advice on how to make your pumpkin last longer after it has been carved. Before you start cutting, you'll need to get some tools. You'll need a pumpkin carving kit or some sharp knives, a spoon or pumpkin scoop, a spray bottle, water, bleach or peppermint soap, Vaseline or WD-40, a big bin or bucket, and a reused plastic bag.

It might sound like a lot but it's totally worth it. Start by cleaning the inside of the pumpkin really well. Scoop out all the guts and seeds and scrape the inside of the pumpkin down to the rind.

You're done with the gory/worst part, so let's prep the pumpkin. Spray the inside and outside with a mix of bleach and water. This will keep the bacteria from ruining your carved pumpkin. After you spray your pumpkin, let it dry.

After your pumpkin is dry, you can carve away. Find a big container and fill it up with water and about 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon. Put your pumpkin all the way into the container and let it soak for several hours but not more than 24 hours.`

What NOT To Do While Preparing Your Carved Pumpkin

You'll want your carved pumpkin looking its best for as long as you can, so rub it down with petroleum jelly or WD-40 every day. Whatever you do though, don't put a candle inside your pumpkin.

An open flame in a pumpkin covered in WD-40 would not end well. It would be best if you used a flashlight instead. Finally,  you should put an equal mix of bleach and water in a spray bottle and spray your pumpkin every day to help it not get mushy and nasty so fast.

You can find additional tricks to keep your pumpkin fresh here. Now you and your kids are ready to show off their carved pumpkins and be the envy of the neighborhood.

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